THERE will be plenty of media attention surrounding trainer Francis Lui when the 64-year-old arrives at Happy Valley for a nine-race programme in Hong Kong today.
To say Lui is on fire at the moment is an understatement, with the stable having hit the bullseye with eight wins and a further four places from just 26 runners.
Lui, who was crowned ‘King of the Valley’ with the most wins at the track last season, sends a raiding party of five to the course and hopes will be high that he can further improve his winning tally with four of his raiders holding first-rate chances.
Despite his name, Win Win Fighter doesn’t win too often, with just two victories from 31 starts in the territory, but he will never get a better chance of adding to his success rate than when he lines up in the Parrot Handicap (12.45pm) over nine furlongs.
Recent stable transfer from John Size’s yard, Baby Crystal, is another who will be popular with bettors in the Honeyeater Handicap (2.45pm) over six furlongs.
The son of Per Incanto did prove expensive to follow last season, when a beaten favourite in his last four races, but he did win over six furlongs at Sha Tin earlier in the year.
He trialled okay over the track in preparation for this contest and should be hard to beat, although a word of caution, as he is 43 pounds above his last racing body weight in July.
There is no doubt potential superstar Wonder Kit will take centre-stage for the stable when he makes his seasonal reappearance in the first division of the Cuckoo Handicap (3.15pm) over six furlongs.
The striking chestnut gelding really produced the wow factor when running away from his rivals over the course and distance in June, and for many serious form book students, he will probably be the banker bet of the meeting.
He recently produced an emphatic track-trial win as a prep for this contest, and work-watchers are adamant he looks fit and ready for his seasonal assignment.
He does, however, carry a hefty nine-pound penalty for his last win and, more importantly, after coming from the favoured inside draw in June, now finds himself drawn near the wings in stall 10. Outside draws in six-furlong races have a terrible record on the C track, so he is going to need some luck.
Keep in mind rivals Solid Impact, who needed his run last week, and progressive Tomodachi Kokoroe, as both are worth a second look at their probable attractive odds.
Lui has certainly found a gilt-edged opportunity for SWEET BRIAR in the finale, the second division of the Cuckoo Handicap (3.50pm) over six furlongs.
The New Zealand-bred gelding finished last season showing plenty of guts and determination when winning twice over the Sha Tin six-furlong track.
There is no doubt he is better than his current handicap mark and the booking of in-form Lyle Hewitson, who has struck up a great partnership with Lui this season, has to be a bonus.
Sweet Briar 3.50pm Happy Valley