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Douglas Whyte chases more dirt success with Will Power before ‘exciting’ switch to turf

Douglas Whyte says he doesn’t want to “break a winning formula” with progressive galloper Will Power but admits it is only a matter of time before he unleashes the undefeated four-year-old on the turf.

Will Power is chasing a third consecutive victory over the all-weather track 1,200m in the Class Three Hang Hau Handicap at Sha Tin on Wednesday night but Whyte is confident the horse is anything but a one-trick pony.

“I think he will eventually switch to the turf, we are going to run out of options – you always do on the dirt,” the first-season trainer said.

“We’ve kept him [on the dirt] – we don’t break a winning formula at the moment – but at some stage he looks like he’s going to step up to seven furlongs or possibly a mile.

“That’s what he’s indicating to me at the moment, with his racing style and just the way that he works in the morning, that he wants further.

“He’s trialled nicely on the turf and I’d love to see him transfer to the turf and see what he can do because it gives us a lot more options and it could be exciting.”

First things first, however, and Whyte expects another big showing from Will Power in his first start in Class Three after a six-and-a-half week break.

“He’s a lovely horse. I just gave him a little bit of a freshen up and found the right race for him again,” Whyte said of Will Power, who tuned up for the race with a relatively quiet trial last week, where he finished six lengths behind a horse he meets on Wednesday night in Baltic Success.

“I must say he did fairly well with that little bit of length between races, he’s a good doer and the trial the other day certainly put him back in his place.

“I think he’ll handle himself up in grade, he’s a well-put-together individual and he’s getting better day by day. Condition-wise and mentally he’s certainly going along the right way and he gets his chance here.”

Will Power carries 123 pounds and Karis Teetan retains the ride, with the pair jumping from barrier six in a race featuring proven course and distance performer Silver Fig and Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s Frustrated.

Will Power is one of four runners for Whyte on Wednesday night as he looks to continue an impressive debut season that has already netted 25 winners.

He also saddles up Smiling City, Best Alliance and Party Genius, with first-starter Party Genius the most intriguing of that trio.

The three-year-old son of Deep Field debuts in the Class Four Po Lam Handicap (1,200m) and enters the race on the back of four nice trials, the most recent two of which he won.

The in-form Alexis Badel jumps aboard Party Genius despite Teetan being in the saddle for all four of the gelding’s trials, and the Frenchman has barrier eight at his disposal.

Also in the race are Francis Lui Kin-wai’s last-start winner Undefeated and consistent John Size-trained galloper Zero Hedge.

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