McDonald replaces Nunes

In a latest development, SPALATO will now be ridden by journeyman and top hoop James McDonald (above). The Singapore enrty for Hong Kong's big race was supposed to have been partnered by Kranji's leading jockey, Manoel Nunes.

However, Nunes has not recovered sufficiently from an injury to his right wrist which had him sidelined over the last five Kranji meetings.

Nunes was looking forward to riding the John O'Hara-trained Spalato the Jockey Club Sprint, a Hong Kong Group 2 event to be run over 1,200m at Sha Tin on Sunday and had even rode in the barrier trials at Kranji on Tuesday morning.

He had said after the trials that his wrist felt okay and that "it hurts a little only when I pull my whip through my hand".