Nervous Witness faces a weighty task in tomorrow night’s (Wednesday, 27 April) Class 2 Cheong Ming Handicap (1000m) at Happy Valley as he looks to maintain his sparkling rise after soaring to a triple-figure rating with four wins from his first seven starts.
One of Hong Kong’s most exciting talents, Nervous Witness will shoulder 133lb for his hat-trick attempt, 11lb more than Stoltz (122lb) who pushed him to within a neck down the straight last start as the pair fought out an enthralling one-two finish.
Additionally, Stoltz owns the 1000m course record at Happy Valley having clocked 55.85s earlier this year at a course he clearly thrives at, while eight others in the midweek fixture’s finale have won at Happy Valley in the past – setting up for a fascinating contest but one that jockey Blake Shinn believes Nervous Witness can overcome with barrier three and by drawing on his untapped ability.
“Stoltz is drawn directly outside of us, Zac’s (Purton) probably not going to make it easy for us but one thing about Nervous Witness is you can’t really put a figure on how much the horse just keeps improving – we’ve seen great signs in his trackwork that he’s relaxing and that his character is getting better all of the time and that’s hard to quantify into lengths just how much the horse is developing.
“So, we think he’s a really promising horse, I don’t really know where he’s going to end up in the long term but it’s exciting to be riding a horse of this calibre and hopefully he can get the job done again tomorrow night,” Shinn said.