Gloomy skies and rain have been the staple diet for Hong Kong’s weather this week as racing took a midweek breather for a cultural holiday, but Sha Tin has remarkable recuperative powers for Sunday’s Group Two Chairman’s Trophy.
John Moore and John Size have each won three of the last seven runnings of the race, and Moore has four of the ten runners this time around headed by dual Group One winner, Xtension.
Xtension looks the likely favourite after coming back to something like his old form when third in the Gold Cup last start in February and he will use this as a stepping stone on the way to what Moore will be hoping is a third successive Champions Mile on May 5.
Sunday also features the first ‘griffin’ race of the current season – the Hong Kong equivalent of two-year-old racing – and Size produces One More Knight, who has been trialling well, but it could be a great lead for punters that Douglas Whyte appears to have preferred Moore’s runner, the Bernardini gelding Kynam.
It looks yet another rollout of big chances for Whyte, as he takes over on Moore’s Cosmic Boom – a controversial last-start third – in the ninth race on the all-weather track and on Secret Sham in the last race. Both have been in great form and Whyte looks to be doing some great work behind the scenes to get on these horses as he seeks his thirteenth successive championship.
But the shortest priced of his rides must be Little Men for regular retainer Size in the tenth. Little Men was a remarkable run when the best of good things beaten at his latest run over 1,600m following two wins on end prior, and he won’t be bothered by the step out to 1,800m this time.
By Nathan Mody