The intriguing four-cornered contest for the trainers’ premiership in Hong Kong this season goes into the final ten meetings on Saturday, with just four wins covering Dennis Yip, Tony Cruz, Caspar Fownes and reigning champion John Size.
And, of the four in the breakaway group, Size has been the one starting to look like his race is almost run. He has had only four wins since the end of April while his rivals have all had double that number, although having only four more Happy Valley fixtures left will be in his favour.
Size trains more of his winners at Sha Tin and will be hoping to start returning serve to the opposition this weekend if he is to remain at the forefront of the title contest for much longer.
Size has runners in seven of the ten races, with strong hopes King Haradasun in the third, Forever Ahead in race six, Master Sommelier in the seventh and Victorious in the final race. With Douiglas Whyte suspended, Size has turned to South African jockey Weichong Marwing to test his strength against Master Sommelier – he proved too strong for Whyte last start when favourite and was simply uncontrollable in running, but looked a coming winner prior to that.
French rider Olivier Doleuze is the form jockey in Hong Kong at the moment, with more winners in the past five weeks than any other rider, fourteen, and he has some great chances to continue the run on Saturday.
Three-year-old Great Charm looks one of his best rides in the eighth race after drawing a better starting gate than he has had in recent starts, while Bullish Boy is a player in the fifth and Boy Oh Boy looks a leading chance in the sixth after his impressive debut third.
By Nathan Mody