Clint Hutchison: Hong Kong – The eight-race card at Happy Valley does not have a feature event but the highlight on the programme is clearly the last event and John Moore’s progressive sprinter Sea Jade looks as though he can continue his rise through the ranks with the return to the city course.
The talented son of Star Witness had posted back-to-back wins earlier this season before finishing a gallant second to Pakistan Star in the Griffin Trophy. It was a sound effort where under the terms and conditions of the race he was always going to find it hard to beat the eventual winner.
Joao Moreira has booked for the plum ride and from gate No 6, with his blistering natural speed he should find the lead quite easily and prove hard to catch. This is a tougher assignment than he has faced at the city course, but his front-running style is suited to the tight circuit and he looks the best bet on the card.
Verbinsky, who has been a model of consistency when competing at the city course, looks the main danger. Once again, he is well drawn and should have every chance to stalk the likely favourite and make his presence felt.
Blocker Dee ran with some merit in defeat on the all-weather surface on his last outing and that effort gives him claims to figure in the finish once again, while Molly’s Jade Star is better drawn here and there were excuses in defeat last start.
In the sixth event Kei Chiong has a good chance to add to her season’s tally when she reunites with speedster Moment Of Power. The budding apprentice has managed to win aboard this gelding on her two rides aboard this galloper and there was a lot to like about the last defeat of Moment Of Power when partnered by Hugh Bowman last time. On that occasion, Moment Of Power carried more weight and covered plenty of excess ground when three-wide without cover and with a more economical run this time should make every post a winner.
Tony Millard and Chad Scofield team up in the fourth event with last start winner Giant Turtle, and considering this limited galloper finally broke through in the International Jockeys Championship for Ryan Moore, he might be ready to add to his tally again from a beneficial draw. Schofield should land in the box seat and give Giant Turtle a similar chance to win again. Excellence looks the main danger on the back of a solid win over the course and distance and although he rises in class, the ease of his last win suggested he could be competitive in a race of this calibre.