The Hong Kong jockey ranks are on the edge of chaos going into the final stages of the season, with a number of suspensions exacerbated by illness and injury.
The five horse fall at Happy Valley midweek had a better outcome than expected when it happened, as Chinese rider Howard Cheng fractured an arm but Douglas Whyte, Vincent Ho, Tye Angland and Eddy Lai were reported to have escaped injury, other than some bumps and bruises.
Zac Purton, who missed that meeting after having laser surgery for kidney stones was back in hospital Thursday for more treatment but still hoping to ride on Sunday, where he looks to have a ready made winner in the opening race, the unraced Triumphant Jewel.
The son of Not A Single Doubt has been impressive at the trials and has drawn the right side of the straight, unlike his major John Size-trained rival, Luger.
Four off the pace, Size looks ready to make a real push for the trainer’s title this weekend, and his eight runners on Sunday all look capable of winning or being right in the finish.
His bid begins in the first then continues in race two with improving Dehere’s The Love, Sichuan Exec dropping back to Class Four in the fifth, then Khaya and Master Sommelier in mid-meeting lead up to the trainer’s impressive chances late.
Glorious Sunday has chased home two of the most promising sprinters in Hong Kong, Rad and Bobo Dragon, at his last three runs, but will be the one to beat in the absence of anything of that standard in the ninth.
Potential 2014 Derby horse, Dr Good Habit will be a short-priced favourite to win his third on end in the tenth race before Size produces another youngster improving with racing, Fighter Class, in the final event.
By Nathan Mody