TRAINER Caspar Fownes and jockey Hugh Bowman are starting to build a formidable partnership. The combination has only paired up twice so far this season, but with a 100% strike-rate.
With Fownes’ stable in the middle of a purple patch, and Bowman presently riding winners for fun, unpredictable and frustrating character ROYAL BOMB is worth more than a second look when the pair team up again in the Humphreys Handicap (8.05pm) on the all-weather surface, over the extended mile.
With only one win from 22 starts, but numerous places to his name, it’s safe to assume his many ardent followers are close to rattling their begging bowls, having been well supported on many occasions.
The major plus, however, is he has only run once on the dirt surface, finishing a highly-creditable fourth to Chancheng Prince, finishing the contest with only three shoes, having lost his plate just after the off.
He only finished just half a length behind subsequent winner True Legend in that contest, and now meets that rival on 16-pound better terms, which suggests a reproduction of that form would be good enough here.
Bottom-weight Yes We Can will be a popular choice for many, having been caught napping when True Legend bounded clear in the home straight last month. With Silvestre de Sousa taking over in the saddle, his chance looks obvious.
Copartners Elites is interesting, making his all-weather debut in Hong Kong after a series of good efforts on turf against better opposition than he meets here.
Two wins on the polytrack surface in the UK, when known as Beautiful Bertie and trained by Roger Charlton, says dirt shouldn’t be a problem, and he did finish fifth in the highly competitive Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot last year.
With an inside draw a plus, and trainer Danny Shum and jockey Vincent Ho in good form, he is a speculative each-way play.
Royal Bomb 8.05am Sha Tin
Copartners Elites (e/w) 8.05am Sha Tin