IT WILL be boom or bust for Time Warp when he seeks to become only the second horse in the history of the Hong Kong Cup (8.30am) to successfully defend his crown.
The Tony Cruz galloper only has one way of running, and that’s to set off in front and burn his rivals into submission.
Last year, the Zac Purton-ridden five-year-old dictated his own pace from the off and then suddenly sprinted in the home straight, catching his rivals unaware.
Two months later he did it again when breaking the track record, but now his rivals know what he’s up to, and if any horse pesters him for the lead, he is sunk without trace.
It happened to him most recently in the Group Two Jockey Club Cup when his full brother and rival Glorious Forever battled him for the lead.
It looks likely to be a similar scenario again, with both horses wanting to the dictate the pace and with the likelihood they will set the race up for a strong finisher.
Japan have two strong candidates in SUNGRAZER and Deirdre who both come into the contest in top form.
Seven-time winner Sungrazer chased home Rey De Oro in the Group One Tenno Sho Autumn in October and the winner is rated second only to Japanese champion Almond Eye.
Watching Sungrazer in track work at Sha Tin this week has been like gazing on a well-oiled racing machine. He will be very hard to beat.
Sungrazer 8.30am Sha Tin