16/03/2012 14:30Every horse in Derby has his merits
This season's Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby is ready to rock and roll on March 18th. Three top rated four-year-olds namely Sweet Orange, Zaidan and Fay Fay, each has merits and demerits. It's quite different from last year, as Ambitious Dragon was certain to win.
Sweet Orange surprised us with a win in the Hong Kong Classic Mile and later in the 1800-metre Classic Cup, where he was beaten into second place by just a short nose by Zaidan. So, there is no concern for him stepping up in distance but since he is more like a back-finisher, draw, pace and riding tactics matter a lot to his performance - especially draw 10 now in the race.
Zaidan was impressive in the Classic Cup. Although he never raced in a 2000-metre event, he finished in the first three in all his three starts over 1800 metres this season. Compared to his sprint results, he hinted that he is a better horse in long distance. However, he may be compromised by a wet racetrack due to recent rain.
Fay Fay, another popular rising star this season just like Sweet Orange, has scored four straight wins over 1600 metres. But he was in the frame rather than the actual winner in the last two group races, one of which even added 200 metres. Will he possibly unveil a new dimension with Whyte on board?
Horses with rather low ratings usually draw little attention, but this year it has changed. Real Specialist at the bottom ran his first race this season less than two months ago, which was the last meeting in January and the Classic Mile was already over. It should be impossible for him to be pitched on. Even his trainer Size will likely have been amazed as he still ran the horse a week before the Derby. But all these incredible things can't deny the extremely sharp form of Real Specialist, who hasn't been out of the top two in all four starts this season. Clearly, he is a dangerous presence capable of upsetting the group.
All in all, contenders are well-matched this year and it's hard to say who will be the winner. All will be revealed at the right moment!
The above content and information are the personal views and/or opinions of each individual writer and do not represent the views of The Hong Kong Jockey Club and/or its subsidiaries (together, the "HKJC"). The content and information are provided by the writers solely for entertainment purpose only and should not be construed as a suggestion for anyone to place any bet nor should they be taken and/or relied upon as advice of any kind.
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