Douglas Whyte hopes the timing is right with Will Power when his dirt specialist makes the switch for turf riches in Thursday’s (3 February) HK$3.15 million Class 1 Chinese New Year Cup Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin.
“He seems to be enjoying what he is doing at the moment and I think that’s the key to him, when he’s feeling good and he’s healthy he tends to bring that to the races, so he gets the perfect opportunity to show us if he can do something on the turf, and if not, then there’s a race for him a month later on the dirt,” Whyte said.
A seven-time winner on the dirt in Hong Kong – including last start – Will Power has competed on the grass only four times but has done so for two placings – once bravely missing by a neck at Happy Valley over 1200m in Class 2.
“I’ve always thought he would handle the turf and he’s run very well at Happy Valley previously.
“He’s been unlucky a few times and he’s only once been over 1400 metres – that day he was ridden a little bit upside down – and at the moment he’s in no man’s land with his rating – there’s not many options, so it’s the perfect race to give him another shot,” Whyte said.
Will Power – on 109 – is the highest rated horse in Thursday’s lucrative contest.
“He’s probably in as good form – if not slightly better than his last race, so he’s in a rich vein of form at the moment and if he gets a nice run then he should be giving a good account of himself,” Whyte said.