Storm Kompasu has passed through, too late to save Happy Valley’s midweek fixture but in ample time for some of HK’s best horses to square off at Sha Tin. The Premier Bowl (8.35) and Sha Tin Trophy (9.35) are world-class G2 handicaps and a strong supporting card should make for a stimulating Sunday morning on Sky Sports Racing.
PREMIER BOWL (1200m)
The future of HK’s fabled sprint division should look clearer after a potent blend of seasoned speed horses clash with several of the most exciting young improvers in town.
Super Wealthy has won two big 1000m handicaps since joining David Hayes and should be every bit as good over this extra furlong judged on the way he swooped to conquer Sky Field, Lucky Patch and Stronger here in the National Day Cup.
Sky Field has G1 potential after threading his way through to record a career best that day and fully deserves his 120 rating, but he concedes between 7lb and 19lb to dangerous rivals and that will be tough if Courier Wonder and Naboo Attack get the rub of the green.
Courier Wonder has vaulted from a mark of 52 to 107 in a flawless five-race career. John Size’s gelding showed a powerful blend of early speed and acceleration when beating Stronger, Sky Field and Duke Wai narrowly yet decisively here in May, while the hulking Naboo Attack got going too late last time but should get a strong pace to run at here.
In short, this is a humdinger. Size clearly feels Courier Wonder is still ahead of the game having been raised another 7lb for his latest win and he’s the one for win purposes even without a recent run. But nailing the Quinella is key here and Courier Wonder as banker with Sky Field, Stronger and Naboo Attack underneath is a viable proposition, too.
SHA TIN TROPHY (1600m)
A process of elimination looks the way into this £450,000 feature and, with Ka Ying Star likely to set just an average pace, the betting is bound to reflect that at least half the field have questions to answer.
Preciousship is 7lb out of the weights for his reappearance, while ageing warhorse Southern Legend is vulnerable to improvers and Panfield, Columbus County, Glorious Dragon, Butterfield and Russian Emperor are surely building towards longer trips.
With that in mind, Sky Darci and Waikuku are the likely lads for win purposes. Superior speed proved crucial as Sky Darci held Russian Emperor and Panfield in a Derby dawdle over 2000m last season and Joao Moreira seems to think the 13lb he receives from his old ally Waikuku will make the difference this time.
He may well be right, but Zac Purton is a great booking for smooth-travelling G1 miler Waikuku and this pair look key Quinella players with progressive Panfield and in-form Tourbillon Diamond as bigger priced backup.
PIAGET EXCELLENT HANDICAP (1200m)
The finale at 10.45 features a couple of last year’s strongest improvers, namely Fantastic Treasure and Fantastic Show, who won nine of ten combined starts last season and are bound to corner a big chunk of the market for this Class 3 dash.
Fantastic Treasure looks the better prospect but his last three wins came over 1400m and there could be scope for one of the specialist sprinters to make a splash and Trillion Will scores well on several metrics.
Manfred Man’s gelding caught the eye showing up well over 1000m on his reappearance and fully confirmed that promise in a hot race over this course and distance last month, travelling sweetly from a long way out and finding plenty once Naboo Attack came calling.
A 6lb rise was only to expected but Trillion Win looks open to further progress and stall one should help French star Alexis Badel give him every chance of making the most of his current form and fitness.
8.35: Premier Bowl
6 Courier Wonder
Quinella with 6 Courier Wonder as banker and 1 Sky Field, 2 Stronger and 12 Naboo Attack
9.35: Sha Tin Trophy
7 Sky Darci
Quinella combining 7 Sky Darci, 3 Waikuku, 5 Panfield and 10 Tourbillon Diamond
10.45: Piaget Excellent Handicap
6 Trillion Win Each Way
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