THREE of the best all-weather milers in the territory go against each other in the feature race of the day, the £200,000 Cuckoo Handicap (3:50pm). Kings Shield, Elusive State and Glorious Artist line-up against the fast-improving lightweight Hongkong Great.
Add the likes of consistent Encore Boy, progressive sprinter Californiadeepshot, who’s up to a mile for the first time, and useful Righteous Doctrine looking near his best again, and you have a fiendishly difficult puzzle to solve.
If pushed to make a choice, Californiadeepshot each-way makes most appeal but there are more attractive propositions earlier on the card.
One such horse is the Tony Cruz-trained MERCURIAL, who is seeking to compensate supporters for an expensive defeat at Happy Valley earlier in the month, when he takes his chance in the Robin Handicap (Div I) (2:25pm).
Having been backed as if defeat was out of the question, the Australian import ran into the back of a rival at half-way becoming badly unbalanced and from then on always fighting a losing battle.
A subsequent encouraging trial on the all-weather surface suggested he was none the worse for that mishap and looks back to his best.
With ‘Iron-Man’ Neil Callan taking over in the saddle, and an inside draw a plus, he is mapped to get the run of the race and can outpoint his rivals in the closing stages.
Mercurial 2.25pm Sha Tin