If there is one trainer desperate for a winner at the last two meetings of the season, it’s Me Tsui Yu-sak.
With one week of the campaign left, Tsui sits on 21 winners for the season but needs one more victory at Class Four level or above to avoid receiving a strike for failing to meet the Jockey Club’s performance benchmarks.
Tsui is throwing everything behind gaining that all-important 22nd success and he is represented in eight of the nine races at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
While he will be hoping for wins from U W Brother in the Link Handicap (1,000m) and Fortune Triple in the Ventris Handicap (2,200m), both of those races come at Class Five level so victory for either will not prevent Tsui from having a mark against his name.
Tsui will instead be relying on one of his stable stars as Telecom Fighters contests the Class Two Wong Nai Chung Handicap (1,650m).
The five-year-old is rated only behind Harmony And Rich among the current inmates in Tsui’s yard and he has climbed up the handicap this season, reaching a career-high mark of 96 after a string of consistent efforts.
A win on his second start of the season may have been the highlight of his 12 runs this term but he has proved a real money spinner for connections, finishing in the first five on 11 occasions this term.
Another good run can certainly be expected and he sneaks into this 95-75-rated race at the top of the weights after being dropped a couple of points after finishing fifth on dirt a couple of starts ago.
Telecom Fighters will be carrying a burden of 135 pounds and will have to give plenty of weight to all his rivals, including the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained pair My Ecstatic and Everyone’s Delight.
Elsewhere on the card, Wind Speeder is backed up quickly by Tsui in the first section of the Class Four Sung Tak Handicap (1,200m) after winning at last week’s Valley meeting.
Ridden by Vincent Ho Chak-yiu, the four-year-old got the perfect passage on his way to winning by half a length. That was his first win in the city and he should again go close provided last week’s exertions have not taken too much out of him.
Dragon Kingdom is another of Tsui’s runners not granted much opportunity of a rest as he will contest the second section of the Sung Tak Handicap just three days after disappointing at Sha Tin.
Sent off at just $11 on Sunday, he could never get competitive from a bad draw in stall 12 and finished a long way last behind impressive newcomer Universal Horizon.
Tsui’s Jolly Honour has been pretty consistent at Class Four level this season with seven top-five finishes and he takes his chance in the Hau Tak Handicap (1,650m).
Without a win since March 2020, he has fallen from his highest rating of 75 to a mark of 41 and another disappointing run will result in him starting next season at the basement level.
Sergeant Pepper has a win and a runner-up finish to his name in his past two starts and will be having his second run in eight days after racing at the Valley last week.
He takes part in the Class Four Broadwood Handicap (1,000m) off top weight, while Tsui’s final runner at Class Four level or above, Super Buddy, looks up against it in the Class Three Oi Kwan Handicap (1,800m).