Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained Lucky Hammer did a few things wrong in his long-awaited breakthrough win last time but that should stand him in good stead as he rises in grade in the Sauternes Cup (1,650m) at Happy Valley.

Throughout his first seven local runs, many racing followers had been waiting for Lucky Hammer (Zac Purton) to be fitted with the blinkers he wore in his four wins overseas, and that coincided with his drop into Class Four last start over the same distance.

But, after being sent forward early from a wide gate and sitting outside the leader and facing the light, Lucky Hammer became a touch keen even in what was a sound enough tempo.

Being used early, being exposed or perhaps having blinkers for the first time in over a year could have had something to do with that, but whatever the reason Lucky Hammer should be better for that race and he goes from barrier 10 to barrier two.

As a result, Lucky Hammer won't have to be fired out early to take a forward position and he will take beating again if he can conserve more of his energy for the finish.

The race shapes as an on-pace affair, with Flying Unicorn (Neil Callan) the most obvious leader but others like Lucky Hammer, Invictus (Tommy Berry) and Danewin Express (Matthew Chadwick), are more likely to get a forward position without fighting over the lead.

Purton should be able to box seat on Lucky Hammer, rarely a bad spot on the C course, ready to tackle the front runners and kick for home as they straighten up.

His clear danger looks John Moore-trained Invictus. (