Caspar Fownes is usually the King Of Happy Valley each season, winning more races at the track than his counterparts but he trails another championship contender, Tony Cruz, this year.
So far 244 races have been decided at the quirky inner city track, with Cruz taking 26 of them and Fownes 24, but Fownes has runners in seven of the eight races on Wednesday and the firepower to catch and even pass Cruz.
Fownes has thrown his stable strength behind Zac Purton’s bid for the jockey championship title and the pair has won with 15 of 75 runners together.
That statistic highlights the prospects of Bright Star in the third and Born To Win in the fifth, ridden by local jockeys recently but Purton gets aboard on Wednesday night.
Bright Star hasn’t been far away at a few runs recently and Purton, third on him at his only previous Class Four start, jumps back on as the gelding drops back down to that grade. Born To Win had not been showing much in Class Three but dropped into Class Four two runs ago and improved sharply with a second placing two weeks ago over the Valley 1,200m for Vincent Ho.
One Fownes runner crying out to win one is Great Alexander in the second, but perhaps he’ll be unlucky again after drawing gate eleven, always a tough ask on the wide C+3 rail.
Hollywood Kiss will command plenty of attention as he continues his quest for a maiden Hong Kong victory in the opening Class Five.
Hollywood Kiss has caught the eye a few times in Class Four but still hasn’t won one, so the drop to the lowest class and an inside draw could see him turn it around under in-form rider, Howard Cheng, who had a treble on Sunday.
By Nathan Mody