Former Jersey Stakes runner-up can go close at Sha Tin
Touch Of Luck
8.00 Sha Tin
King Of Hearts
9.10 Sha Tin
10.50 Sha Tin
Champion trainer John Size made a typically low-key start to the season when sending out only two runners on the opening day — both were unplaced — but he can get among the winners this week with Follow Me (10.50) in the finale at Sha Tin today.
Joao Moreira, who is back freelancing this term but maintaining his close link with Size, also drew a blank, though he partnered two seconds. With a total of 88 meetings for the season, there is ample time for both to make their customary impact.
Follow Me, an Australian-bred son of Lope De Vega, impressed in his first season but could progress higher up the ladder in his second. He won two from nine starts, with those successes coming in handicaps over course and distance and this initial assignment should suit him perfectly.
The only snag is that he is drawn 13, which means that Moreira will have to call on all his legendary skill to get a good early position. He will also need a fair share of luck to get across near the inside,
Only 10 days ago, Follow Me had a decent prep for this first run of the campaign when finishing second in a 6f barrier trial on the Sha Tin all-weather track. That should have him well-primed for a successful reintroduction.
While Size has been a tad slow to get going, Tony Cruz saddled a winning treble to head the trainers’ list at the end of day one, and he appears to have chances again today.
The Cruz-trained King Of Hearts (9.10), in the 6f handicap, is one many have been waiting for. Hefinished second to Expert Eye in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and, with a third over course and distance two starts ago, he is clearly well up to this class.
He was not asked for anything in a recent barrier trial, but that could easily have been a ploy to enhance his odds-on reappearance. He will be value, and should be followed again today.
My remaining bet is Touch Of Luck (8.00), for John Moore and Zac Purton, in a 6f handicap, one of four heats on the all-weather on today’s 10-race card.
He was heavily backed on each of his last three runs but failed to oblige. Though he has been costly for punters, he has shown a certain liking for the all-weather surface and is aided by an inside draw. He should go close.
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