One of the best racedays in world racing comes around this Sunday at Sha Tin where it is Hong Kong International Raceday, with the four key International races the focus on a bumper ten race card.
Race 1. (15:00) Jim And Tonic Handicap (Class 4) 1400m
Happy to side with 8 Bright Kid (Bet Now: $7.00) in the opener for Douglas Whyte and Oisin Murphy. This bloke is three weeks between runs after racing over 1200m here. De Sousa was on and he just had little to no luck in the run at all. Only clear for the last 100m yet still produced the third best last 400m of the race, and was good through the line, suggesting 1400m will be fine. Just hope he can make use of gate one.
1 Emerald Star (Bet Now: $3.00) is flying at the moment for Ricky Yiu, winning his past two. The latest of those wins came at this track/distance back on October 20 when producing a strong finishing burst from the back to win well. Visually, it was impressively, but on the clock, it was significantly slow relative to the meeting, so that’s the knock, plus the weight rise, but he’s got the winning form.
13 Fantastic Show (Bet Now: $7.00) would likely be better suited at the mile, but he’ll be strong at the end here, which was the case at this track/distance three weeks ago when back from the wide gate and never really a winning factor, but really liked the way he found the line to run third. If he can sit closer in the run from the good draw, he’ll take some beating.
Race 2. (15:30) Fantastic Light Handicap (Class 3) 1800m
Looks a lovely race for 4 Happy Sebring (Bet Now: $4.20), especially with Frankie to steer. A month between runs since racing over 2000m here when taken back from the wide gate and spotted those in front too much head start but really liked the way he found the line to run third to Splendour And Gold. Back in trip no issue, the tick over trial was good and love the booking of Frankie. He’ll do me.
If you’re a weights fan, then 8 I Do (Bet Now: $4.50) is the pony to bet on. He ran third to Happy Sebring when they clashed back on October 1, but I Do meets that horse 2.5kg better off here. Doesn’t win out of turn, but is rarely far away and despite the break between runs, his two trials leading in have been quite good to the eye.
5 Vincy (Bet Now: $15.00) has been frustrating since coming to Hong Kong because early on he did show good ability but over time, he’s gradually disappointed, but a good gate and winnable race keeps him in the mix. Ran over the mile here last time out when taken back from the wide gate and was never a factor. Been given a good break, trialled well since and noteworthy that Moreira is booked.
Race 3. (16:05) Able Friend Handicap (Class 3) 1200m
Backing exports at start one in Hong Kong is fraught with danger, more so if you’re keen on one, but I’m really keen on 11 Super Wealthy (Bet Now: $10.00) running well here. He makes his debut in Honkers after formerly being based in Sydney with Jason Coyle under the name Covert Operation where he did plenty wrong in his lone start but was still awfully impressive and was talked up as a Stakes horse soon after. Now in Hong Kong and his trials have been outstanding. Think he’ll only run well.
ood little test here for 4 Beauty Applause (Bet Now: $2.70) but I think he’ll go close. John Size trains this four year old, who led all the way to win over 1200m here five weeks ago under Moreira, and did it with something in reserve to the eye in an impressive win. Tricky gate, but has early pace and if he can get over without spending too many petrol tickets, he’ll take some beating.
8 High Rise Soldier (Bet Now: $8.00) is a son of Snitzel who made his Hong Kong debut at this track/distance back on November 17 when taken back to get cover from the wide gate and was forced quite wide on the turn but loved the way he found the line late in the piece. I think stepping up in trip would have suited, but a strongly run 1200m will be no negative.
Race 4. (16:40) Hong Kong International Vase 2400m
1 Exultant (Bet Now: $2.30) looks the one to beat. This bloke is going just super for Tony Cruz and it will take something special to beat him. Comes through the Jockey Club Cup when put into the sweet spot by Purton before making the move on the turn, sliding up three wide, and he was just too strong for them. 2400m is only beneficial and looks the winner.
12 True Self (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Willie Mullins trained mare who has been an absolute revelation the last 12 months. Early on in her career, she was a progressive hurdler, but the stable took a chance with her on the flat and since that transition, she’s been outstanding, especially in Australia with a close up second in the Geelong Cup before bolting up in the Queen Elizabeth. If this becomes a brutal 2400m, she’s the one to beat I think.
7 Prince Of Arran (Bet Now: $13.00) has been an absolute marvel for Charlie Fellowes and comes here in super form. Got his way into the Melbourne Cup via a win in the Geelong Cup and on the first Tuesday in November, he ran out of his skin and got very close when second to Vow And Declare. Struggled in this race last year but looks a better horse 12 months on.
Race 5. (17:20) Hong Kong International Sprint 1200m
1 Beat The Clock (Bet Now: $5.00) placed in this race last year and I think he can take it out. I thought there was a lot of merit in his first up run behind Aethero in the Jockey Club Sprint, sitting back while the boom sprinter was allowed to do his thing on speed and dart away. There is clearly more upside with Beat The Clock and if he can settle that pair or two closer in the run, he can win.
If you listen to the hype, 14 Aethero (Bet Now: $1.70) should be $1.10. Best sprinter in the world etc etc…spare me. He’s high class, but this will be the big test for him. He got the lightweight in the Jockey Club Sprint and rightfully took advantage, putting them away impressively. Has the right racing pattern, and will look the winner for a long way. The last 50-75m will be the test.
7 Danon Smash (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Japanese sprinter who comes here with plenty of claims. The Japanese horses always dominate the features around the world and despite their sprinters probably not being the best of their bunch they still need to be kept safe. He opened at big odds and has been specked at the price. Expect him to be in the finish.
Race 6. (17:55) Highland Reel Handicap (Class 3) 1400m
Pretty keen on 9 Monica (Bet Now: $3.00) running well here. Several key chances here come through a 1400m race back on November 9, a race won by Lakeshore Eagle, who had the A1 run in transit and was too good, just, but Monica was the real eye catcher. Probably wins if he runs straight and love the booking of J Mac, plus he can sit just off the pace instead of being dragged back from the wide gate.
2 Super Star (Bet Now: $4.60) is a progressive gelding for Tony Millard that ran third in the Lakeshore Eagle race mentioned above where he was tardy away and that cost him dearly. Was back near last, Moreira rode for luck but unfortunately he didn’t get it and ran a luckless third. If he can sit closer in the run from the gate, he’s hard to beat.
1 Sacred Ibis (Bet Now: $17.00) is a big improver here I feel. He finished down the track in the Lakeshore Eagle race where Chadwick had him back near last in the run and was forced very wide on the turn, not making much headway in the straight. Has been freshened up and got some confidence under the belt with a trial win at Conghua, and Bowman jumps on from an inside barrier.
Race 7. (18:30) Hong Kong International Mile 1600m
Knock a champion at your peril I say and I’ll back on the best version of 1 Beauty Generation (Bet Now: $3.10) bouncing back. On face value, he was ordinary in the Jockey Club Mile three weeks ago behind Waikuku, but looking at the early splits, he went way too hard in front and was left a sitting shot. If he can find the front cheaply and pinch a furlong, it’ll take something very good to beat him.
2 Indy Champ (Bet Now: $3.30) is a star miler in Japan and will prove to be mighty hard to hold out. His CV in 2019 is that of a world class horse. He lowered the colours of Almond Eye earlier this year and in recent times has done the Yasuda Kinen/Mile Championship double, the same double Maurice done before he won on this day in 2015. If Beauty Generation remains off his game, he’s clearly the one to beat.
6 Ka Ying Star (Bet Now: $8.00) is a beauty for Tony Cruz and did beat home Beauty Generation in the Jockey Club Mile, so he’s worthy of a look at odds here. He swat outside Beauty Generation and was the first under pressure but kept finding and stuck to the task really well in defeat I thought to run second to Waikuku. Not sure he wins, but a must for multiples.
Race 8. (19:10) Hong Kong International Cup 2000m
7 Magic Wand (Bet Now: $3.20) is a classy mare for Aidan O’Brien that was solid enough in the Melbourne Cup behind Vow And Declare before backing up a few days later in the Mackinnon where she was backed as if unbeatable and the support was justified as she finished best to score such an impressive win. That confirmed she’s a 2000m horse and a fast run 2000m here will be perfect.
6 Furore (Bet Now: $3.00) is the best of the local chances. The Derby winner from last season found some positive form in the Jockey Club Cup three weeks ago when second to Exultant. Bowman gave him a peach of a ride and was there to win, but Exultant was just too good on the day. Hard fit now and his track/distance record is outstanding.
3 Time Warp (Bet Now: $16.00) is an improver at odds here I feel. Just went too slow in the Jockey Club Cup I think. Tried to pinch cheap sectionals, and did, but Purton aboard Exultant was awake and forced the issue, with Time Warp caving in. His CV does read very well for this race and if he leads and does his own thing, rolling, he’ll take some running down.
Race 9. (19:45) Lord Kanaloa Handicap (Class 2) 1200m
10 Mr Croissant (Bet Now: $3.60) is an absolute beauty and he’ll only run well once again. Vincent Ho rode a 12/10 race on the gelding last time out at this track/distance, taking full advantage of the inside gate to position just behind the speed before getting clear air in the straight and showing good change up speed to win. He’s flying and confident he goes close.
4 Fat Turtle (Bet Now: $4.50) is a Frankie Lor trained son of Smart Missile who does tend to race best with fresh legs. He comes through a 1200m race from a month ago when sent on speed from a wide gate and looked to land there comfortably so for mine, thought he was a touch disappointing in the straight when third to Thanks Forever. Trial since was good, Moreira remains on…he can win, but personally, couldn’t back.
Fresh, back to 1200m and back in overall depth are all big ticks for 3 Gunnison (Bet Now: $26.00). He last raced over 1400m here after two solid efforts at blacktype level and battled away pretty well without really threatening behind Encouraging. 1200m at this level, he’s dangerous from an inside and is a must for exotics I feel.
Race 10. (20:20) Eishin Preston Handicap (Class 2) 1600m
Good test for 14 Preciousship (Bet Now: $11.00) but I think he’s heading in the right direction. Had his first look at this trip on the turn last time out here where he was tucked in with cover before angling into clear air late and he savaged the line for an impressive win. That was in a Class 3 and the time was only a few lengths off what the Class 1 ran the same meeting. He’s got upside and he’ll do me in the get out.
1 Not Usual Talent (Bet Now: $12.00) drops miles in grade/depth here after contesting the Jockey Club Mile from three weeks ago won by Waikuku. Bowman put him into a pretty good speed just off the speed and had his chance, was well held, but far from disgraced behind the high class five year old. If he can get luck from the wide barrier, he’s hard to beat.
Keen to see the Hong Kong debut of 8 Super Oasis (Bet Now: $9.00), formerly known as Surely Sacred, a very good Kiwi who placed in the Derby behind Angel Of Truth at Randwick. Has trialled very well leading in and while 1600m is short of his best, traditionally this race has been a good launching pad for Hong Kong Derby aspirants.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 1 Beat The Clock
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 11 Super Wealthy
LONG SHOT: Race One Number 8 Bright Kid
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 1, 2
Leg Two: 1, 3, 6, 7
Leg Three: 2, 3, 4, 10
Leg Four: 1, 4, 7, 8, 14
$50 Investment = 31.25% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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