It’s getting into the last two months of the Hong Kong season, when fans get used to the season’s under-achievers making up some leeway.
Traditionally, trainers who have battled all season – resulting in their horses dropping down the handicap ratings – pick up quite a few races in the last two months and those who have been winning all the races start to battle.
Almond Lee has had a miserable season, preparing 8 winners after never ending any of his prior eight seasons with less than 23 wins, so he will be looking for a turnaround in fortunes. He has only one runner on Wednesday night at Happy Valley but Sabina is positioned well in the opening event, where he is back to the Valley 1,800m, where he won early in the season, and drawn low after having no luck lately when drawn out.
Me Tsui is another whose season of 20 wins is below his career average of over 34. On Wednesday night, Demon Demon looks the one from his barn that has been really knocking on the door without winning and Zac Purton sticks with the gelding.
Douglas Whyte goes aboard Fortune Together for Tsui in race three, where the gelding is an interesting runner going back to the Valley 1,200m – where Whyte rode him in his only win – after a series of 1,650m runs on the dirt track lately.
Francis Lui is another trainer sitting on a win tally of 12, or about half his average per season, so fans will expect him to train winner in the weeks ahead.
Whyte links with the stable to ride Lovely Boy in the fifth, though he also has chances with Zachary in race three coming down in class and Touch Go, a lightweight prospect in the seventh.
By Nathan Mody