LEADING trainers’ championship trainer Caspar Fownes, who only a couple of weeks back held a commanding lead in the title race, suddenly finds himself under pressure from former 11-times champion John Size.
While Fownes has found winners hard to come by recently, having only struck once in the last fortnight, Size has produced an impressive mid-season surge, saddling 14 winners already this month, including a treble at Sha Tin on Sunday.
With Fownes on 39 wins, and finding himself only a handful of victories in front of Size, he will be desperate to turn his fortune around at his favourite track, and add to his already outstanding record of 21 victories at Happy Valley this season.
With seven raiders at the inner-city, he will be disappointed if he leaves empty-handed, especially as all his challengers holding first-rate chances.
He will hold high hopes about progressive sprinter Kurpany supplementing his recent track and trip victory in the Connaught Handicap (1.45pm), but a double-figure draw and a hefty 11-pound penalty tempers enthusiasm.
It may prove wise to wait until the finale when he saddles the fast-improving ROYAL BOMB, who seeks to follow-up his recent Sha Tin victory, in the Des Voeux Handicap (2.50pm) over the extended mile.
This ex-Australian galloper did it the hard way when sitting close to the pace from the off at Sha Tin, but still outstaying his rivals in the closing stages.
Even with a penalty, he can prove different class to his rivals and will be hard to beat.
Royal Bomb 2.50pm Happy Valley