#7 Comet Splendido has an excellent chance of inverting the form with #6 Almost Fine in Wan Chai Handicap from Wednesday to happy valley.
The pair met two weeks ago in a 1,650 meter (about 1 mile, 40 yard) event, with Nearly Fine rising late to run down Packing Famous and Comet Splendido.
Packing Famous cleared form with another second-place finish last week, suggesting the horses either side of him should be worth watching again in this race.
A few factors give Comet Splendido a strong chance to turn things around. First, the draw barrier – usually a big factor in Happy Valley – has been reversed, with Comet Splendido starting closer to the rail than its rival. Second, it meets Nearly Fine in better four-pound terms with the changes in their ratings.
Third, increasing the distance to 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) may help Comet Splendido more than Nearly Fine. Comet Splendido’s only departure over the distance in Hong Kong produced a second near #5 Super Oasiswhile Nearly Fine did not finish within two lengths of the winner on both of his attempts to move.
The aforementioned Super Oasis also cannot be ignored. A two-time Group 2 winner in New Zealand as Surely Sacred, Super Oasis were disappointing when they arrived in Hong Kong, but a stint with Tony Cruz’s stable at the end of last season seems to have it rejuvenated, and he has won two of his last three starts. .
#4 Tourbillon SJa Hampton Court Stakes (G3) usher at Royal Ascot for Aidan O’Brien, then known as Roman Empire, finished third in his only start at Happy Valley last season and can feature at the finish here, while that #1 Stunning and #3 Romantic Combo are others to consider for Exotics.
- $10 win/$30 show: #7 Comet Splendido
- $1.30 Trifecta: 7 with 4, 5, 6 with 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Bonus game — New Zealand
Otaki, Race 6, Harcourts Otaki Maiden, 1,600 meters (about one mile)
- $10 win/$30 show, #8 Extraordinary: Finished strong for second place at Waverley on September 11 behind a Graded Stakes placegetter and should enjoy seven stages of progression.