Back In Black ready to win again in Class 3
Tonight's HK (Happy Valley) preview
RACE 1 (1,000M)
1 INVISIBLE has got down to Class 5 twice for two victories over 1,200m at both courses. The 1,000m might be a bit sharp for him, but nevertheless he still looms as a major player.
12 NOBLE BUDDIES shaped as a horse capable of winning quickly in Hong Kong, clearly shown by the fact he started favourite off a mark of 52 on debut in June 2015. Now, his rating has dropped to 15. From gate one, maybe this might be his chance to break through at long, long last.
2 RUGBY DIAMOND is a speedball who does seem to find the competition too rich in Class 4. This C & D saw him score his last victory in this grade in January, and with an ideal gate, he will be in front for a long way.
10 PERFECT SMART doesn't win out of turn and needs everything to go his way but he produced a better run last time out and can figure.
RACE 2 (1,200M)
11 KWAICHUNG BROTHERS is still in his first preparation but has been improving steadily, producing his best two efforts at his last two starts over the Happy Valley 1,000m. He returns to the 1,200m here, but he should get a soft run under Chad Schofield from the inside gate.
9 STARLIGHT has more ability than his current 43 rating suggests, and it appeared a move back to 1,200m suited him last time as he made solid ground late. Again, he will need all the breaks to fall his way.
2 GRACYDAD thoroughly deserved the win that he finally nabbed last time out. Now he's won one, perhaps he can go on with it, even despite a five-point penalty with Zac Purton now jumping aboard.
7 SUNNY ORIENT made up good ground at his first run for Tony Millard, having formerly been with Benno Yung. He should be improved for that experience and should be fitter now.
RACE 3 (1,650M)
7 VICTORY FOLLOW ME only placed for the first time two starts back, running third over the Sha Tin 1,400m. His last two efforts have been good, though, and with the blinkers now applied he looks like he is ready to finally make a mark here.
4 GOLDEN ACHIEVER didn't see out the trip at his first attempt in February, but the experience seemed to do him a world of good as he managed to run second last time out. With those couple of runs over the trip under his belt, expect him to be competitive here.
3 SPINNING DANCER should get all favours from the inside gate and he is racing consistently this season. He is worth throwing in.
2 EXCELLENCE will likely end up a long way back from the outside gate, but he has shown a good turn of foot on occasions this term and if he gets a suitable pace set-up, he can fly at them late.
RACE 4 (1,200M)
7 CONTRIBUTION is still only a three-year-old but he has shown some good signs so far in his seven starts to date. He gets the blinkers here and with another good draw, he looks ready to break through if the breaks fall his way.
1 GAME OF FUN has been a model of consistency, even if he has recorded only one win from nine starts. He has to shoulder 133 pounds here but he should be around the mark yet again.
6 BRIGHT STAR has been terrible in his last two starts since finding some form three back. The greybeard is getting down to a mark where he should be competitive and he should get all the favours from gate one.
4 VICTOR EMPEROR was a good winner in Class 5 three back and his last two efforts up in grade have not been too shabby. From gate two, he should get every favour in the run.
RACE 5 (1,200M)
1 BACK IN BLACK returns to Class 3 company here after failing to break through in Class 2. He did run well in a mixed-band Class 3 three starts back and looks suited with his rating having dropped six points since then. He should get a soft run from gate four and this is his chance to win.
2 MALMSTEEN is another who returns to Class 3 after a lacklustre season. He gets a significant jockey upgrade to Nash Rawiller and should be in the mix.
7 JUMBO HAPPINESS has won his last two starts well, his last start in particular proving very comfortable. He looks capable of holding his own in Class 3 and is worth consideration again.
3 YOU READ MY MIND may prove a worthy exotics candidate. His last two runs have not been that bad and with Kei Chiong taking a further five pounds off his back, maybe he can find his way into the placings again.
RACE 6 (2,200M)
7 JOLLY GENE ran a bold race last start at Sha Tin, setting the tempo and giving a strong kick before just finding Mambo Rock too good late. The return to the Happy Valley 2,200m is a plus, even despite the outside gate, and he can atone for that narrow defeat here.
2 ANDOYAS has narrowly prevailed at his last two starts, one over this trip and another over 1,800m. He needs everything to go his way but he still looks to have points in hand off this mark.
3 RICKFIELD caused a shock with his win two back over the Happy Valley 1,800m before again performing poorly at Sha Tin. He will need Chad Schofield to give him a similar ride to what Alexis Badel was able to produce two back, taking off mid-race and making it a thorough staying test.
4 SHARP SAILOR was a C & D winner earlier this season. He should get all favours from gate four.
RACE 7 (1,200M)
9 POWERMAX has shown talent but he really hit his straps at his last three starts to win narrowly twice in Class 4 before just finding Mr Genuine too good last time out. He has a kinder gate here and should be able to win.
10 HEALTHY LUCK won impressively enough on debut and has been good in three starts since. He has also drawn well here and will be hard to beat.
1 TENFLAMES returns to 1,200m for the first time since a C & D win in December 2015 and gets in well with the 10-pound claim for in-form apprentice Dylan Mo.
RACE 8 (1,650M)
12 WINNIE'S HONEY is worth watching here. He was very impressive over 1,800m in this grade in November before pulling up sore as an even-money favourite in December. He's had a good break and has trialled well in preparation for this, and from a good gate, he's worth a chance.
1 JOLLY BANNER has just hit a plateau at his last couple of runs, having started the season with three wins. He only found one too good three back, he struck trouble in the Hong Kong Macau Trophy, while his last run was just even behind Western Express. The move to the Happy Valley 1,650m looks a positive now. He's the one to beat, even with 133 pounds.
6 SUPER TURBO has risen through the grades with impressive performances over the Happy Valley 1,200m, but he has always looked like he'd be suited by the 1,650m. This is a good test for him, but expect him to step up.
4 DYNAMISM is racing in great heart currently, but just hasn't got a race to suit. That may be the case again here, and he might find the 1650m a tad sharp, but he is a must-include in all exotics.