There is always plenty of discussion about how important champion trainer John Size is to jockey Douglas Whyte’s continuing dominance, and Sunday’s Sha Tin programme looks a pivotal moment in the battle with Zac Purton.
Whyte leads Purton by four wins and misses the next two meetings through suspension, but will be aboard what looks the strongest team that Size has fielded all season on any one card. It looks a day when both jockey and trainer could land four or five wins without surprising
Size first starters are a critical aspect of the trainer’s seven championship wins from eleven seasons, and the barrier trials lately have seen a very smart swam of new horses from the yard ready to step out and win in the near future.
Whyte is aboard two of them in Brave Brother and Hypersonic in the opening races on Sunday, and the day gets better from there.
Impressive Size-trained Sea Dragon is unbeaten in three starts and will be a red hot favourite to make it four from four in the fifth race, and Whyte is on top chance Fay Fay for the trainer in the day’s feature race, the Premier Plate, and on Tour De Force, a likely favourite in the final event.
Whyte may have given punters a lead in the eighth race, sticking with Dennis Yip’s impressive last start winner Guru’s Dream in preference to Size’s Happy Era, who looked a certainty beaten himself last time and Size has had to turn to Brett Prebble.
Purton has his chances too, without them having the same fanfare, but a key contest for the championship could be the seventh race, where Whyte is looking for three straight on Size-trained Little Men and Purton is in the same situation with Why Not, just as impressive in winning his past two.
By Nathan Mody