Racing

Happy Happy Star hard to beat in Race 3

Hong Kong (Sha Tin) preview

RACE 1 (1,650M)

3 THE SHOW gets onto the dirt for the first time, a surface on which he's worked and trialled well in the past, and he makes his maiden appearance in Class 4 here. The blinkers go back on and he has drawn the inside. Expect a better effort.

6 TRAVEL AMBASSADOR also makes his dirt debut. He's racing well enough to suggest he can be competitive here.

2 EXPEDITE is hit-and-miss but he is a four-time course-and-distance (C&D) winner in Class 4 and, with the right run, he'll be right there at the finish.

1 ENREACHING ran a bold race over the Sha Tin all-weather track's 1,650m three starts back and a repeat will see him go very close for his first win.

RACE 2 (1,800M)

5 BEST JADE TRIUMPH has superior form at Happy Valley rather than Sha Tin, but his one start over this C&D produced a shock third at three-figure odds. He gets Brett Prebble aboard and he can figure.

6 GENTLEMEN has looked a coming winner with the drop into Class 5, running two good races including a closing third on dirt last time out. He is rather one-paced but he's a chance.

7 GORGEOUS AGAIN gets Joao Moreira aboard but has to contend with the outside gate, although that is not such a negative from the 1,800m with a long run to the first turn. If he gets in, he'll be a big chance.

8 MALAYAN PEARL is honest enough when he goes forward. He's tough to catch but if he turns up and runs his race, he'll be around the mark.

RACE 3 (1,200M)

5 HAPPY HAPPY STAR debuted strongly with a three-quarter length second to Daring Fit in his first Hong Kong start. If he has improved from the effort, he will be mighty hard to beat with Moreira aboard.

8 AMBITIOUS HEART went close to winning last time out at Happy Valley and now returns to the bigger track. He is nearing a point where he will be breaking through and he should get the ideal run in transit here.

6 PLANET STAR looks a work in progress after his even debut eighth in the Daring Fit race. Zac Purton jumps aboard now and he's another who should be coming to hand quickly.

3 GOLDEN DEER has dropped a long way in the ratings, his last win coming at this race meeting in 2015 a whole grade (20 points) higher. With the inside gate, he'll be a contender.

RACE 4 (1,650M)

11 LOTUS STRIKES BACK steps onto the dirt for the first time at his 23rd Hong Kong start. The trip might be on the short side for him but he has drawn well and should get a perfect run.

13 ELECTRONIC PHOENIX is one-paced but he's also taken to the dirt like an old hand this season. He needs the right set-up but should he get it, he'll be finishing strongly late.

14 ASSOCIATION FANS paid 60-1 for the place when he ran third in his last start. He's looked a better horse on dirt in the mornings and he can back up his last run here.

6 VANILLA produced the biggest margin victory in Hong Kong in nearly 20 years last time out and got whacked with a 14-point rise. Sticking to the dirt is a plus.

RACE 5 (1,000M)

6 SUPER WISE arrived from Australia with a bit of a boom around him, and in his last two starts, he has shown that has been justified with two good seconds. Now, he should be close to his peak and he looks likely to break his Hong Kong maiden here.

14 FORTUNE BO BO has been unlucky not to break through yet, including a nose second to Water Diviner two starts back. He should be around the mark.

There are shades of Peniaphobia about 4 BIG TIME BABY, who steps out in Hong Kong for the first time. The British Listed race winner looked like he'd be better as a three-year-old last season and his trials have been fairly good since his arrival.

7 TRAVEL DATUK ran well last time out and is capable of winning a race off this mark.

RACE 6 (1,600M)

11 HASTILY FEET is yet to win after 14 starts in Hong Kong, but he looked on the verge of a victory before a last-start failure. A return to the turf 1,600m looks a plus and he should get a soft run.

7 C P POWER is dropping through the ratings after having looked on the verge of a win earlier this season. He is racing well enough and is a contender.

3 KING'S MAN gets Moreira aboard but also has come up with the outside gate, so expect him to head back and run on as is his typical style. He's not far from winning, but he just needs a few things to go his way.

2 GO BEAUTY GO is consistent and should be around the mark again.

RACE 7 (1,600M)

5 CALIFORNIA DISEGNO was gallant in defeat last time out, finishing second to Beauty Generation and in front of Western Express and Winner's Way. He may not get the same set-up, but this still looks his best chance of breaking through for his first Hong Kong victory.

10 BABA MAMA was eye-catching even though beaten fairly in seventh in the Hong Kong Classic Mile. He looks very well-treated at the weights, carrying just 116 pounds (52.7kg) after Derek Leung's claim. If they go along at a solid tempo, look for him to fly home late.

1 LUCKY GIRL is a gangly galloper who gets Danny Shum's current rider of choice, Nash Rawiller. Expect a big run off a two-month freshen-up.

6 LET US WIN finished 12th in the Hong Kong Classic Mile and is shaping up as a horse in need of ground. He does get Moreira and he might be best served sitting outside runners here.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

5 GOLDEN HARVEST has dropped from a mark of 115 to 87. He is probably nearing a mark where he should be able to break through again and his recent trial on the Sha Tin all-weather track gives further confidence that he can win here.

12 HOUSE OF FUN disappointed last time out in a mixed Class 3 after winning by a big margin the start before. He looks better suited at the bottom of Class 2 with only 117 pounds.

4 CLEVER BEAVER is consistent and should run another good race, especially from gate 2 with Neil Callan aboard.

11 MALMSTEEN can press forward under Kei Chiong and may improve if he gets it easy enough out in front.

RACE 9 (1,400M)

4 VOLITATION has won two of his four starts impressively enough this season. He still looks to be learning what the game is all about but, if he turns up, he will be hard to beat under Moreira from the inside gate.

8 AGREE has been acclimatising through his three Hong Kong starts to date. He's drawn slightly awkwardly again but expect an improved effort.

1 PIKACHU has not run off a mark this low since late 2014. He has lost his way in recent starts but don't be surprised if he starts to show something more now, as he is generally honest.

5 MR POTENTIAL has really turned his form around in his last couple of starts to win twice and is a chance again.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

1 BEAT THE CLOCK has to defy an 11-point rise in the ratings but he has looked a horse going places in his five starts to date, even in defeat behind the likes of People's Knight, Winner's Way and Seasons Bloom. He gives every indication he can win again. He has trialled well.

13 DARING FIT is one of the few horses with speed in this race, so he should cross from gate 12 to be up near the lead. He tackles Class 3 for the first time but looks well suited.

3 ROUNDABOUT finally won again last time out. He has drawn well and should get a soft run in transit.

9 LUCKY GUY, who has to contend with the outside barrier, is racing well and does have Zac Purton aboard.

COMMENTS BY ANDREW HAWKINS, COURTESY OF THE HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB