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Racing heats up here in Hong Kong with the running of the HK $16,000,000 Group One Mercedes Benz Hong Kong Derby over 2000metres which sees the John Moore trained import Irian the highly fancied runner to take out the event after some handy efforts leading into the race.

Race 1 – CHE SARA SARA HANDICAP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1200m

Rating: 60-40

Loads Of Joy (2) broke through on the All Weather Track last time out after some handy efforts when well supported where he led them up and faded late. He looks more than capable of going on with it here and if he can get a fairly easy time in front then he is the horse they will have to run down. Tom’s Eighth (8) got a bit lost down the straight on debut behind St. Didar in a good form race. He will be fitter for the run and the aid of a turn sees him have strong claims. Electronic Dragon (11) was trapped wide last start and his effort to still finish so close was a top effort and a forward showing is on the cards here if Douglas Whyte can get him to settle. Next best in a poor race is Fun And Fast (1) who didn’t show much on debut in a tougher race and could show up here in a thin race.

Selections:

2-8-11-1

Race 2 – CLEAR CITY HANDICAP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1200m

Rating: 40-10

Seize The Day (3) wasn’t suited by the tight Valley circuit last time out and was caught wide without cover for the majority of the race but still managed to fight on for 6th. He is always around the mark in these races but he is nearing a win and should get the day off to a good start for visiting jockey Craig Williams. Splendid Sails (4) is another one who is never far away and looks to be holding his form well judging by a nice effort in a Valley sprint behind Winning Ahead last time out where he finished the race off well. He should get a lovely run from gate 4 and be mighty hard to hold out. Top Speed (12) draws to be in the finish today and his form is much better than what it reads on paper. He missed the kick and ran on strongly last start behind Gallant Hussar and if he jumps with them today he can easily hold the spot behind the leader and be the blowout. Winning Strategy (8) is dropping back in distance from a Valley mile where he was a beaten favourite but it is best to forgive that run as he is much better suited over the sprint trip.

Selections:

3-4-12-8

Race 3 – SUPER FIT HANDICAP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1200m

Rating: 80-60

Better race here and no reason why Leading City (4) wont win again as he likes to push forward in which his rivals struggled to make ground last week when a comfortable all the way winner. He draws wide and Gerard Mosse will hope he can cross them with ease and hopefully set up a winning break on the turn. Trulli (2) indicated a return to form when he was sighted making good late headway behind Loyal Army in a Valley sprint last start and he is much better suited here where he has handy form in these conditions. Give him plenty of consideration at a bit of a price. Lombardi (10) is struggling to crack it for his maiden victory but has had excuses at his past couple when not having much luck from wide gates. He finally draws a decent gate here and can improve on his numerical form. Shining Victory (3) was a game winner last start when having to do it tough out wide but shook off all challengers to win well. He gets a favorable draw today and is a major player.

Selections:

4-2-10-3

Race 4 – WILLIAM’S COACH HANDICAP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1400m

Rating: 60-40

The Untouchablelad (2) has shown plenty of potential on the Happy Valley circuit with 5 placings from jus the 6 starts. He simply gets too far back on the tight course and therefore looks much better suited to the spacious Sha Tin course where he should be rattling home over the 1400m. Pizzazz (4) went down narrowly on debut when sent out favourite by long shot winner Plentiful in an excellent debut effort. He will be much better for the run and the extra distance is ideal. Industrial Legend (3) is a first starter with the impeccable Size/Whyte combination and should be kept very safe from a good draw after finishing midfield in a trial last month while Chater D’Cat (1) ran well last start in a much tougher race behind Master Elite and will enjoy this drop in class and his cherry draw.

Selections:

2-4-3-1

Race 5 – ZUNG FU RACE (HANDICAP)

Turf ,”A” Course ,1600m

Rating: 60-40

Going for a bit of value here by putting United (8) on top as he gets the weight swing from last start winner Sparkling (12) and a good draw which should see him play a big part in the finish. On debut he just went down to Napa II then was a beaten favourite from a wide draw. His last run was super where he covered ground and stuck on well in the straight. This time he draws perfectly and is sure to find the frame at odds. Fun Rider (6) doesn’t know how to run a bad race but I don’t think he knows how to win either! He has been a well supported commodity at his past few where he has simply failed to draw a decent gate. He finally draws one today and has everything in his favour to break through. Sparkling (12) won well last start but meets a couple worse off at the weights while Animation (5) is looking to continue his smart form here over this distance from an ideal draw.

Selections:

8-6-12-5

Race 6 – MAYBACH RACE (HANDICAP)

Turf ,”A” Course ,1600m

Rating: 80-60

Ribot Legend (9) did it tough last start and still battled on well behind Blessing (5) in which he meets that fellow much better off at the weights and also draws to find a nice forward position which sees him awfully hard to beat. National Treasure (11) is the main danger who was just run down by Blessing last start and does draw poorly here today but I do believe he is much better horse when ridden cold and saved for the one run. I am hoping they adopt those tactics here today which should see him sailing home out wide on the course. Blessing (5) deserved his win last start after solid performances behind Loyal Army and Brave Heart but does not look as well suited here today. Winning form is good form and I’m not prepared to write him off just yet. Win Practitioner (2) is a roughie with claims as he looks suited back to the Sha Tin mile after struggling over longer trips in recent times. He is a two time winner over the distance.

Selections:

9-11-5-2

Race 7 – THE QUEEN’S SILVER JUBILEE CUP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1400m

HONG KONG GROUP 1

Happy Zero (2) looks a good thing here in a cracking race. He failed to catch Sacred Kingdom over the shorter trip last start and he is much better suited at the 1400 where he is a 3 time winner from 4 attempts. Darren Beadman should have him in the firing line at the right time from gate 7 and boy does this guy have a paralyzing sprint on him. Egyptian Ra (1) loves the 1400m and has strong claims if he can get an uncontested lead. He narrowly accounted for Sunny King (5) over this route back in January and he will be in it for a long way. Sunny King (5) flashed home over the unsuitable 1200m behind champion Sacred Kingdom last start and is a 1400m specialist although has just the 1 win. He looks to be going as well as ever and is certainly worth an each way ticket. Armada (6) just failed to pick up Derby favourite Beauty Flash over this trip late last year with Craig Williams aboard and hopefully he can go one better here as horse and jockey re-unite.

Selections:

2-1-5-6

Race 8 – THE MERCEDES-BENZ HONG KONG DERBY 2010

Turf ,”A” Course ,2000m

HONG KONG GROUP 1

Cracking Derby here with many runners having strong claims in one of the most open Derbies we have seen for a long time. I’m going to stick with imported galloper Irian (7) here who has done absolutely nothing wrong in his two Hong Kong starts to date including a good performance first up over 1400m where he made late ground and again he made ground at his latest start over 1800m behind King Dancer (5) in the traditional Derby Trial. Everything points to him relishing every bit of the 2000m and he will certainly be the strongest at the finish. Super Satin (6) was mowed down late by King Dancer (5) last start and there looks to be nothing between those two and it is also hard to leave out the undefeated Fair Trade (4) who returned to racing with a strong win over 1400m. Beauty Flash (1) is the favourite for the race but there is a slight query with him at the distance as he was simply outgunned over the 1800m last time out by a few of his rivals who are also engaged today.

Selections:

7**-6-5-4

Race 9 – ELEGANT FASHION HANDICAP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1600m

Rating: 100-80

Enriched (7) was an easy winner over 1400m last start where he put pay to a smart field after sitting just off the speed. He wasn’t fully tested in the run to the line and looked to have plenty in reserve indicating there should be no doubts with the mile today. Gem Of Chiu Ton (1) broke through for a much deserved win 3 starts back and has had little luck since then, running on hard at his most recent run when only a length off Blue Sky when held up for a run at a crucial stage. He is drawn to go back and find the line and is a must for multiples. Royal Panache (12) and Cerise Cherry (8) are both nice types who are just starting to get the feel for racing here in Hong Kong. Both of them have been a similar margin from the winner in recent starts and with any luck, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them bobbed up at healthy each way odds.

Selections:

7-1-12-8

Race 10 – LUCKY OWNERS HANDICAP

Turf ,”A” Course ,1400m

Rating: 80-60

Vaugirard (5) looks a dead-set moral. His form reads exceptionably well including a close up second behind Tai Sing Yeh on the Happy Valley circuit followed by a tough second to Aashiq where he was simply no match after getting the gun run. This boy had a recent trial where he was back in the field but absolutely motored home under a throttle hold which shows he is fighting fit for his assignment here today. Eight Plus Nine (7) had been threatening to breakthrough for sometime and finally got all the breaks last start where he led them a merry dance and proved far too good. He goes up a notch in grade here but is so honest and has claims to go back to back. Achilles Of Troy (10) always seems to feature in my tips and he looks to be running himself into some good form. He had the run of the race last start and held his ground well. With some weight relief today he is sure to be in the thick of things again along with Sea Prince (8) who battled to the line well behind Aashiq when a distant 4th on this circuit last month. He draws to be in the finish once more.

Selections:

5*-7-10-8

 
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