Trainer David Hall and jockey Matthew Poon Ming-fai will stick to a winning formula with undefeated speedster Flying Ace as he looks to make it four wins on the trot in the Class Three Freesia Handicap (1,200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
While Flying Ace showed his versatility when sitting just off the speed during his second victory, he came from well back to salute on debut and travelled last before unleashing a blistering late burst to salute last time out.
Handed yet another wide gate in 10 – his third double-figure draw in four starts – Flying Ace will again be left to do his best work late.
“The barrier draw is not perfect but he came from last in his last run so he’s probably going to run a similar pattern. He will have to be ridden patiently and see if he can be the strongest one at the end,” Hall said.
“You’re fraught with danger pressing forward now and a lot of times when he gets to the front he stargazes a little bit, so we will keep the pattern the same way.
“He’s done everything right, he’s trialled well and he’s had a little bit of a space between his runs and he’s in good shape and ready to go again.”
Flying Ace has jumped 21 points in the ratings in three starts and looks to be on a fast track to stronger company, with Hall hopeful he can keep his picket fence going.
“You want to think that’s the case, that’s what he’s there for – to try and keep winning,” he said.
“The writing is on the wall that he is going to keep going to Class Two. I suppose with ordinary racing luck, if he can just have a smoothly run race and he gets his opportunity then he’s going to be pretty hard to beat.”
Flying Ace is one of three runners for Hall on Sunday, with Nicholson Returns lining up in the Class Four Oncidium Handicap (1,600m) and Let’s Do It looking to break his Hong Kong maiden at start nine in the Class Three Hyacinth Handicap (1,400m).
“He’s got the ability there, we’ve seen flashes of it a couple of times, but he’s not a big, strong horse,” Hall said.
“He’s a little delicate but I think if he gets a smoothly run race and he gets plenty of galloping room and can use his big stride then certainly he’s got the engine there where he can reel off a good sectional.
“Obviously he’s coming up against a pretty smart horse, I’m not saying he’s going to be competitive with him – if he turns up and brings his A game then he’s going to be the one to beat.”
That smart galloper is Caspar Fownes’ Galaxy Witness, who is chasing a third straight win to begin his career, while the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained En Pointe also enters the contest on the back of consecutive victories.
En Pointe is one of eight runners on the card for Lor as he looks to move on from the “racing bubble” breach that saw him fined HK$600,000 earlier this week.
Lor also saddles up Kings Shield in the Class One Cornflower Handicap (1,650m) on the all-weather track and is hopeful he can continue to churn out the winners.
“I think there should be more winners out there on Sunday – I’ve been fined HK$600,000 so I need to get more winners,” Lor said.
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