THREE Group Two contests may hold centre stage for the purists at Sha Tin over the weekend, but there are some equally intriguing and high-quality races on the supporting card, notably the BOCHK Asset Management Handicap (6.00am) over six furlongs.
The much-hyped David Hayes-trained galloper, Lucky Encounter, a winner of four of his six races to date, seeks to win again off bottom-weight, but has the likes of smart sprinters Flying Ace, Lucky With You, Dream Winner and Helios Express to contend with.
Keep an eye also on the BOCHK Boc Pay Handicap (9.15am) over six furlongs, which sees two potentially smart newcomers in Celestial Colours and Monta Frutta take on equally exciting Galaxy Patch from the all-conquering Pierre Ng stable who was a winner over the course and distance last month.
Taking trial form literally is a quick way to the poor house, but Celestial Colours has certainly impressed work watchers and made champion California Spangle work hard in a fast-timed trial earlier this month.
The competitive Boc Credit Card Handicap over 10 furlongs (7.00am) is the next step up the ladder for the John Size-trained Ensued, following an impressive win on his debut over nine furlongs last month.
There was plenty of talk about the three-year-old being a potential candidate for the HK Derby next March, but he will have his work cut out to win again from an awkward and outside draw, and especially to confirm form with third placed SWAN BAY.
This son of Australia, a winner over 10 furlongs in Ireland, has taken some time to acclimatise to conditions in his new surroundings, but showed there was more than a glimmer of hope with an eye-catching effort last month.
With an inside draw a positive and a step up in distance ideal, he can finally deliver an overdue victory.
Swan Bay 7.00am Sha Tin