hongkong OKBET Horse racing

Despite the personal pleasure of his October 9 triple, Harry Bentley couldn’t shake the nagging suspicion that his biggest Hong Kong haul would be followed immediately by a two-meeting punishment.

The English rider is ready to go back on the winners’ list after two meetings on the sidelines prevented him from capitalizing on his greatest day in Hong Kong, and now he is anxious to get back on the winners’ list.

In a sport where momentum is crucial, Bentley knew he’d be sitting on his hands rather than converting his confidence into more winners and, consequently, greater support.

“Having a suspension is a bit of a killer when it comes to momentum, and I knew once I had that treble – which was brilliant – it was going to be a bit frustrating not being able to capitalise on the back of it because I had a ban straight away,” Bentley said of his three rides at Wednesday night’s all-dirt Sha Tin meeting.

“It’s a little annoying to have only three on the night, but that’s the way it is.” I’ll simply keep going and pretend it’s not bothering me.”

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Bentley, who has six rides at Happy Valley on Sunday

Believes Group Two winner Mighty Giant will race on the all-weather surface after trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai opted to change things up in the Class Two Kwok Shui Handicap (1,650m).

Mighty Giant has won seven of his 24 races on the grass, but the seven-year-old did run well in his dirt trial last month.

While Mighty Giant looks to be past his prime – his rating peaked at 120 after winning the Group Two Chairman’s Trophy (1,600m) in April last year but has since dropped to 103 – Bentley believes his quality will sustain him.

“Obviously, it’s going to be fascinating to see how he runs on the all-weather surface, but he’s the class horse heading into this,” Bentley said of Mighty Giant, who placed fourth first up this season.

“He trialed well [on the dirt] and comes into the race with a run under his belt.” Obviously, the 1,400m was too short for him last time, but he was putting some terrific late effort. He should be in great shape after that trial and run.

“I haven’t discussed strategy with Ricky yet.” He’s moved ahead – when he won the Group Two, he led the entire race – but in his other races, he’s sat.

“There appears to be a lot of speed in the race.” I believe that Kings Shield and All For St Paul’s will be the two key protagonists in the future. We’ll probably simply sit somewhere off that pace based on our draw in eight.”

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