BETTORS will be licking their lips and clutching their wallets in anticipation for the return of John Size to Happy Valley this afternoon with his classy and highly progressive three-year-olds, Red Warrior and Country Star.
Both lined up at the Valley three weeks ago and demolished their opposition with clear-cut victories and will be strongly fancied to reproduce similar performances here.
The handicapper was obviously not happy with the manner of their successes, putting Red Warrior up 9lbs in the handicap, while Country Star suffered an even bigger penalty, with an 11lb hike in the weights.
Red Warrior appears, at least on paper, to have the more difficult assignment. He lines up in the 3.15pm over the extended mile, renewing rivalry with runner-up and Karis Teetan-ridden AMAZING SATCHMO on 6lbs worse terms for just over a length beating.
More worrying for Red Warrior supporters is he is drawn in the ‘coffin box’ of number 12. Only two horses have won from that draw in 44 races on the ‘C course’ in the last three seasons.
Looking on the bright side, he does have Zac Purton in the saddle who is the best jockey in HK for winning from double-figure numbers. But it is still a negative, especially with Amazing Satchmo, drawn in three, getting a dream journey along the rails.
However, COUNTRY STAR looks to have a straightforward task when he races over six furlongs at 3.50pm.
Purton spent most of his time looking at the large TV screen on their recent victory stroll down the home stretch, and he looks to have improved further judged on his trial form last Friday.
Amazing Satchmo 3.15pm Happy Valley
Country Star 3.50pm Happy Valley