In the midst of resurgent season, Matthew Chadwick hopes the combination of potentially rain-affected ground and Douglas Whyte’s finesse will allow Savvy Nine to contend strongly in the HK$3.7 million G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (29 May).
Chadwick has posted 44 wins this season and, with 14 meetings left to run, could mathematically reach or better the 57 victories he slotted in 2012/13 after reaching a career total of 450 wins in Hong Kong with Circuit Nine’s success last Sunday (22 May).
The former champion apprentice believes Savvy Nine is poised to rebound after a last-start 10th, having chased home stablemate Russian Emperor in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) – when the former UK galloper edged Hong Kong champion Golden Sixty into third place on yielding ground on 20 February.
“He’s got a decent weight to carry (130lb) on Sunday, he’s been running well all season – last time he ran was a bit off (when 10th behind Romantic Warrior in the G1 FWD QEII Cup, 2000m at Sha Tin on 24 April), but he didn’t have the smoothest of runs with a slow pace.
“He’s come back a bit more fresh now. Let’s see what the weather is like. He ran second to Russian Emperor in the Group 1 and that was over a bit further, but it was on a wet track.
“The mile is a bit on the short side for him but I would assume Douglas has freshened him up and has him well and so if he brings back what he’s been running previously, he should show what he’s got. Hopefully he can win.”
Placed in six of 10 starts this season, Savvy Nine faces eight rivals at the weekend – Mighty Giant (133lb), Champion’s Way (130lb), Excellent Proposal (128lb), Healthy Happy (128lb), Beauty Joy (121lb), Cheerful Days (121lb), Silver Express (118lb) and My Sugar (114lb).