A menacing force on the surface – Kings Shield is looking to stamp his authority as Hong Kong’s unofficial dirt course kingpin in Wednesday night’s (29 December) lucrative Class 1 Fo Tan Handicap (1650m, dirt) at Sha Tin – the second race of the midweek fixture’s no-nonsense all-dirt programme.
Eyeing a fifth course and distance win in the HK$3.15 million feature, the American-bred son of Scat Daddy bossed opponents first-up by two and a half lengths on the dirt under Derek Leung before – as usual – failing to fire on the grass at his second outing.
“He won well two runs ago, he has quality on the dirt and he is quite a straightforward horse,” Leung said, referencing the six-year-old’s all-the-way success in October.
Kings Shield (133lb) steps away from gate four in tomorrow night’s quality-filled feature, squaring off against six others including Will Power (130lb), Californiadeepshot (126lb), Telecom Fighters (123lb), Silver Express (122lb), The Rock (120lb) and Red Desert (116lb).
“This time you can see a few horses may go forward to sit handy but if I can control the pace in the beginning it will be an advantage to him – let’s see how he jumps and settles over the first 200 (metres),” Leung said of the 106-rater.
Leung has partnered the dirt expert in two of his wins on the surface, while Zac Purton has been in the plate for the other two.