Most eyes on Asian racing this weekend will focus on the dual attractions of the Japan Cup and the World Super Jockey Series in Tokyo, but Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Brett Prebble could run rampant at Sha Tin.
Douglas Whyte joined Zac Purton at the top of the jockeys’ table on Wednesday night, and has some good chances to go to a clear lead with with Purton away in Japan.
But Prebble will be a serious factor this Sunday with some nice rides all day and several in particular which stand out.
Solar Great had his first start for David Hall earlier this month and put a Class Four field to sleep very quickly, and he will be strongly fancied to make it two on end as he climbs into Class Three in the third event.
Later in the afternoon, Prebble’s successful link over the last six months with top trainer John Moore should bear some fruit, with lightly-raced maiden three-year-old Winning Bear in the fifth race and with Sterling City in the final race, one of the day’s most interesting contests.
Sterling City was sensational first-up winning in Class Three, ridden quietly for the first time in his 7 starts career and he exploded with outstanding finishing sections to score easily over 1,200m.
He has some very serious opposition here, including talented, lightly-raced John Size-trained gelding G-One Winning, the French 2,000 Guineas runner-up Californiavitality having his first local start, and Green Eagle looking for his fifth win in succession.
This is a deep race which might have implications down the track for a Group One race like the Classic Mile in late January. Sterling City has to step up to 1,400m for the first time in his career but if he turns up in the same form as he showed in October, he will take all the beating.
By Nathan Mody