Racing

Goldie Flanker hard to beat with clear run

Hong Kong (Sha Tin) preview

RACE 1 (1,400M)

2 KWAICHUNG BROTHERS has run some nice races at the bottom of Class 4, albeit all at Happy Valley. He now returns to Sha Tin, where his early form was average, and he drops to Class 5 for the first time. With the claim of Matthew Poon to offset the rise in weight, he should go close to breaking through with even luck.

3 THE FULL BLOOM looked capable of breaking through before he got down to Class 5 but, after a season of fruitless efforts in the grade, he finally gets the drop. He has enough ability to suggest he will be more than competitive here.

8 YOURTHEONEFORME has placed in his last two attempts over this course and distance. A win is near.

11 TELECOM BOOM is quirky but he has run well enough of late to suggest that he can break through with only 106 pounds (48.18kg) on his back, once Jack Wong's seven-pound claim is taken into account.

RACE 2 (1,000M)

6 TRAVEL EMPEROR is the second of this season's Hong Kong International Sale horses to step out, the first having been Sunday's rival Beaut Beaut. Sold for HK$7.2 million (S$1.28 million), he has long been rated highly. A recent emphatic trial victory is sure to see him have even more admirers. Joao Moreira and the favoured gate 14 over the straight 1,000m are cherries on top.

9 WINFULL PATROL has not won since January 2014, but he has run a number of strong races over this course and distance. While he has drawn awkwardly, he should still find himself near the speed and be in contention for a long way.

2 BEAUT BEAUT ran well on debut, finishing fourth. He's got ability and he can prove competitive here.

3 SACRED IBIS looks a nice prospect based on his trials. However, he has drawn the inside gate here and he should appreciate further.

RACE 3 (1,800M)

1 PAKISTAN STAR has emerged as one of Hong Kong's stars of the future this season, building on his very impressive debut in a griffin race this time last year with placings in the Hong Kong Classic Mile, Hong Kong Derby and APQEII Cup. He enters this race as the highest-rated of the six runners, but he still looks like he will head higher yet. He can take this on his way to Group 1 targets next year.

5 EASTERN EXPRESS hasn't reached the heights he promised in his early four-year-old days, but he is still honest enough to be competitive in a race like this with only 120 pounds on his back. The step-up to 1,800m looks a bonus, too, after running second to Booming Delight in the G3 Lion Rock Trophy.

2 HORSE OF FORTUNE won the G3 Ladies' Purse over this course and distance in November, but he had been out of sorts until a surprise last-start second. The step-up in trip should suit and the change of rider to Callan Murray is a plus.

4 HARBOUR MASTER won this race two years ago, when it was run in March. He doesn't win out of turn but he can get into the placings.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

5 IVICTORY looks a very promising horse in the making after two impressive wins, one over the straight 1,000m and one over 1,200m. He steps up to Class 3 now and he has drawn well, so he should get a soft run in transit again. He can win again and potentially race into Champion Griffin contention.

3 WINSTON'S LAD has been winless since two victories to start his Hong Kong career in late 2015. He is at a mark where he should be able to break through, but it looks unlikely that he can beat Ivictory.

6 PRESIDENTPARAMOUNT is at the mark of his most recent win in February last year. He is having his first start for Michael Chang and can get into the placings.

11 INTREPIC shapes as still acclimatising to Hong Kong, but his last run was good and a repeat under Matthew Poon would see him challenging for some minor money.

RACE 5 (1,200M)

1 GOLDIE FLANKER has been terrific in his last three starts, leading to some local media outlets referring to him as the "dirt Pakistan Star". That label might be a vast overstatement, but the manner in which he has sprouted wings to score in his last three starts has been something to behold. If he gets clear running, expect him to be hard to beat.

4 STRATHCLYDE makes his dirt debut here. He has some dirt influences and is closely related to 1998 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Answer Lively, so perhaps the dirt might prove a good move. From barrier 3 and, with Moreira engaged, he should race on or near the speed and prove hard to run down.

8 HAPPY SEA DRAGON has been just fair in two starts on the turf, but the switch to dirt could spark him up, particularly with a good draw.

It was that same switch that brought 9 ROCHFORD to life last start as he ran second at bolter's odds. If he can go on with it now, he's able to get into the placings again.

RACE 6 (1,400M)

1 JOLLY BOUNTIFUL made good ground on debut into third at Happy Valley before chasing willingly to just get up on the line last time out. The step-up to 1,400m looks a big plus. 
2 RELENTLESS ME was very good on debut but he lacked a turn of foot when he challenged early in the straight last time out in his first attempt over this distance. He should be better for the run now.

5 ENDEARING was clearly outsprinted by both Jolly Bountiful and also the reopposing High Energy last time out. However, his form has been solid for some time and he can improve if circumstances fall his way, although he does have to deal with gate 13.

12 AUTOPAY has shown hints of talent at times, although he hasn't been able to convert it into a victory. He should get a nice run and can figure.

RACE 7 (1,400M)

The final Group race of the Hong Kong season is fascinating in that all eight horses look to have legitimate winning claims. Perhaps it is worth taking a chance with 6 NEW ASIA SUNRISE. One of Hong Kong's more popular gallopers, the nuggety chestnut with the baldy face is as honest and tough as they come, even if - physically - he is like a bantamweight boxer tackling heavyweights. His last-start win under 126 pounds was impressive and he has earned a shot at the big boys. With only 113 pounds on his back, he can be tough to get past.

4 WINNER'S WAY couldn't have done much more in his last two starts, once over the Happy Valley 1,650m and once over this course and distance. If he can continue his progression, he is sure to measure up in better races next season.

1 THEWIZARDOFOZ returns to 1,400m for the first time since February 2016, when he won a Class 1 - a victory that remains his most recent triumph. He has to shoulder 133 pounds here, but he looks in good order and the step-up in trip should suit him.

7 JOLLY BANNER has been honest this season. He has had a slight freshen-up and is capable with only 113 pounds on him.

RACE 8 (1,600M)

3 FRIENDS OF NANJING has disappointed this season. Nothing has quite gone right for him, but with the return to 1,600m and the removal of the blinkers, he deserves another chance here.

5 QUICK RETURN has closed off well in two starts in Hong Kong. He might still need a couple more starts under him to top him off, but he can figure with the right run.

7 SMILING CHARM is a winner-in-waiting after two defeats by a neck and a short head. He should get a beautiful run from gate 3.

8 BANK ON RED ran fourth in his first Hong Kong run, an admirable effort from near the rear. The step-up in trip should suit him.

RACE 9 (1,200M)

4 TEAM FORTUNE has not raced since January, when he bled after a start over the turf. He came to life early in the season with three wins over this course and distance, and even his defeat over the dirt 1,200m in December was noteworthy. He looks to have been primed for this very race and has only 111 pounds to carry.

The horse that beat Team Fortune in December was 1 ARCHIPPUS. He has had a stellar season, even though he hasn't won since, with good efforts behind horses like Mr Stunning, Lucky Year and Magic Legend. He does meet Team Fortune 20 pounds worse on weights, which will make his task tough, but the half-brother to 2016 Australian Derby winner Tavago can fill a quinella spot.

8 STAR OF YAN OI broke through into Class 2 with a last-start win in Class 3, sprinting very powerfully late. He only carries six pounds less, but this race looks suitable for him.

10 MEGA RED has his first start since March, having bled after a trial. Two runs on this surface suggested he'd found his niche, and with only 116 pounds on his back, he must be monitored closely.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

9 WORLD RECORD may be on his mark now after winning three times earlier this season. However, he has not been beaten far in his last two and those runs indicate that he might still have one good effort left in him.

7 TOP LAURELS was disappointing in his last start in April after a wide run. The freshen-up should have done him wonders and, from a better draw, he can make his presence felt.

11 SIR REDALOT led in his first Hong Kong start and was only run down late. He should have taken great improvement for that run and will be hard to beat on the front end again.

5 CHUNG WAH SPIRIT looks a horse capable of mixing it in Class 2 in time, but he is still so raw that he must be treated with caution. He should get a nice run from gate 1, but he will still be a better horse next season.

 

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