The reappearance of top jockeys Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte after suspension will be a highlight at Sha Tin on Saturday, with both having strong books of rides.
And the two look matched up head to head in the day’s trophy event down the 1,000m straight course, with Purton on impressive last-start Happy Valley winner Windicator Star and Whyte stays with Seasons Star, who returns to 1,000m after failing after a tough run over 1,200m last start.
Seasons Star has already won up the straight while Windicator Star finished unplaced at his only appearance there after missing the jump. Windicator Star has taken time to find his form in Hong Kong, but his win at Happy Valley suggested he will be a stronger proposition now.
Local rider, Derek Leung capped some nice recent form by winning the Jockey Challenge honours at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and he has been handed a golden chance by Tony Cruz to keep the ball rolling with Lucky Omens.
The three-year-old overcame difficulties to win on debut at 1,200m and his style of racing suggests an extra 200m in the ninth race should suit.
Elsewhere on the card, Richard Gibson’s former Irish debutant Akeed Mofeed will attract plenty of attention in the final race under Olivier Doleuze.
Gibson is making an instant impact with the tried horses he bought during the last off-season, with Gold-Fun already a favourite for the first of the four-year-old Group Ones next weekend, the Classic Mile, and another former Irish galloper Mizani making an impressive winning debut last week.
Akeed Mofeed has a bigger reputation than either of those horses but Gibson has warned the horse has not been wound up for a first-time win against a very solid Class Two field. John Moore looks to hold the aces in it with Flash Knight and Cosmic Boom.
By Nathan Mody