Classy form gives hyped import a fine opportunity of getting off the mark
7.20 Sha Tin
8.25 Sha Tin
9.00 Sha Tin
Decrypt, who finished third in last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas, looks set to open his winning account in Hong Kong in the 7f handicap (9.00) at Sha Tin.
Formerly trained by Paddy Twomey in Ireland, the four-year-old chased home Phoenix Of Spain and Too Darn Hot in a high-class Classic at the Curragh, and has indicated he is acclimatising to his new surroundings in the stable of Frankie Lor.
Following two encouraging thirds in Class 2 handicap company, he finished only sixth in the Hong Kong Classic Mile, appearing to be slightly out of his depth against the outstanding winner Golden Sixty, who is now Derby favourite.
But back in distance here, and with Zac Purton regaining the ride, this is a fine opportunity for Decrypt to start living up to his reputation. His danger is the Douglas Whyte-trained Super Wealthy, who steps up in grade and distance after registering two easy wins.
Whyte saddles a number of key runners, with Farhh Above, who runs in the 7f handicap (8.25), arguably the one with most long-range potential. The Farhh colt will be ridden for the first time by Alexis Badel, on his last day before returning to France after a lucrative stint locally, having chalked up 25 winners.
Farhh Above suffered terrible interference when fourth last time in a similar race, being blocked several times and arriving too late at the finish. His running style contributed much to that, and there can be no guarantee of a trouble-free run here either, but he definitely stands out on class.
Whyte alsofieldslikely winner Inner Flame in the 6f handicap (7.50) but the son of Zoustar will be prohibitive odds, so the alternative is the more generously pricedCircuit Three in the 7f handicap (7.20).
This Tony Cruz-trained five-year-old hacked up recentlyand, despite a mammoth 12lb rise in the handicap, he still looks a standout. Chad Schofield retains the ride.
Circuit Three is by Savabeel out of an O'Reilly mare, a pedigree that suggests he can improve as he steps up in distance.
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