THIS is a season that popular handler Caspar Fownes will want to forget. The former three-time champion trainer has only saddled a disappointing 37 winners, well below last seasons total of 61.
To rub salt into the wound, he also looks like losing his annual crown of King of the Valley to John Size, trailing the champion-elect trainer by four winners.
Fownes tries one more roll of the dice by saddling seven runners, and although he looks likely to still fall shy of catching Size, he does have a good chance of landing a treble.
The Joao Moreira-ridden Letsgofree (12.15) and well-drawn bottom-weight Nice Fandango (2.45) have good chances, but its SKY MELODY who really catches the eye when he lines-up in the Class 3 Sweet Orange Handicap over 1m1f at 2.15pm.
Fownes calls upon his old ally Zac Purton to get the best tune out of this unpredictable but potentially useful four-year-old, who produced his best run in a seven-race HK career when chasing home Brave Legend over an extended mile last time out.
Having been taken back to last place from an outside draw, he suffered a desperately tough run, racing two or three wide for most of the journey before staying on strongly in the closing stages.
With the step-up in distance a bonus, and hailing from a favourable draw this time, he is mapped to settle in midfield and then make his dash for glory down the home stretch.
Sky Melody 2.15pm Happy Valley