The odds won't be anything flashy but three-year-old Rapper Dragon should cement his place as one of the rising stars for next season's classics in the Group Three Lion Rock Trophy (1,600m) at Sha Tin today, reports the Racing Post HK (

The Lion Rock has taken the place of the defunct ATV Cup, famous for being run in wet conditions almost every year, and the weather gods don't seem to have noted the change.

Yesterday's rain and the likelihood of more this morning before a clearing day leaves the state of the ground a possible query but even that might work for Rapper Dragon (Joao Moreira).

The John Moore-trained youngster has been a really good find for the stable, probably getting to a triple-figure rating well in advance of expectations and looking very much a Derby favourite next year. He dropped back to 1,400m in his successful Class One debut last time out, assisted by a good speed but still carving out a very fast final sectional.

With another rise in grade, he carries much the same weight, does appear better suited by 1,600m and is an obvious first choice.

Today's race doesn't set up for Rapper Dragon perfectly in terms of tempo, with Multivictory's scratching leaving only Beauty Flame as a firm leader, althoughRomantic Touch (Keith Yeung Ming-lun) and Flame Hero (Derek Leung Ka-chun) have been seen in leading roles at different times in the past.

For a horse who probably will sit third back along the fence, that tempo is the tricky part. If it was well run, that would be game over and Rapper Dragon wins comfortably, but a wet track could work for him as fields usually do open up in those conditions.

For dangers, it might be wiser to look at other horses down in the weights rather than those who have to give Rapper Dragon big lumps of handicap.

Stablemate Helene Paragon (Chad Schofield) was impressive winning in Class Two, sprinting hard off a slow tempo, although he will likely be behind the favourite so he needs to outrun him, which is no easy task.

Flame Hero and Romantic Touch both look nicely in at the weights and chances at good odds, although the set-up isn't perfect for either.

Flame Hero failed at 2,400m last month and drops 800m but his form prior was sound and he has a visor going on to sharp him up. Romantic Touch was no match for Rapper Dragon running on at 1,400m but does have a worthwhile weight turnaround on the favourite and may have a chance if he can be in front of him.