Racing

Inside gate could see Thor The Greatest sprinting home

Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview

RACE 1 (1,000M)

1 EXCEL ONESELF wasn't disgraced at his first run back in Class 4, just being swamped in the concluding stages over 1,650m, before a disappointing effort at Sha Tin last time out. This race lacks depth and he should win.

7 PADDINGTON caught the eye on debut, rocketing home for third after sitting wide. He will be improved for the effort and he does get Joao Moreira aboard. He looks hardest to beat.

5 BEAR CHUM finished just in front of Paddington last time out after saving ground on the turn. The 1,000m is his trip and he should get all favours from gate three.

2 BEAUTY CONNECTION should also get a perfect trip and he is a chance if he can put it all together.

RACE 2 (2,200M)

1 GARLIC YEAH was able to break through last time out. He's a small horse and still looks to be approaching his peak, but it was a nice style and he looks capable of winning again if he sees out the trip.

5 MALAYAN PEARL is one of only three horses in this field to have won over this trip, but that win came with a dead heat victory at Sha Tin in May. He has been racing well at the city track this term.

7 TELEPHATIA is a course and distance winner who has also drawn well. He is on a rating now where he can do some damage.

12 WIN CHANCE is always a chance in these sorts of races and has the inside draw.

RACE 3 (1,650M)

2 WISKY is winless from four runs this campaign. He's drawn to get the right run here with Joao Moreira aboard and should get a win.

7 WINASWEWISH has been very consistent this season since finally getting his maiden win in Class 5 earlier this season. The 1,650m may be slightly too short but he will be charging home.

1 GO GO WIN is another who is yet to win this term. The barrier might make it a little tough but if he rolls forward he could win.

3 GOLDEN ACHIEVER should get a good run just behind the speed and based on his last run, he's nearing a victory.

RACE 4 (1,650M)

4 SPARKLING SWORD is very honest for a Class 4 horse in a tough environment like Hong Kong and has hit the board 19 times, winning thrice. He should be very close here.

6 EVEREST has placed at his last three attempts over the Sha Tin 1,400m. The form around him looks very solid and the Happy Valley 1,650m will suit.

2 ARGENTUM returns to Happy Valley where he once broke free from the parade ring and tried to run into the weighing room. Those dramas are behind him and if he runs to his best he's a chance.

12 CASH COURIER ran well last time out down in Class 5 and now finds himself back up in class. With a soft draw he can run into the money.

RACE 5 (1,200M)

6 YOUNG EMPIRE has trialled well at the city track and he has looked a different horse in the mornings. He looks ready to break through - if not now, then very shortly.

4 KIROV was luckless on the dirt last time out. He returns to the turf and to Happy Valley, the scene of a recent victory in October. The gate is slightly awkward but a win wouldn't shock.

2 SPEEDY ACHIEVER looks capable of breaking through at the top of Class 4 and he does have a more favourable draw here than last time out.

5 GAME OF FUN continues to run well without winning but he looks a horse worth taking on if he is too short in the market.

RACE 6 (1,000M)

9 THOR THE GREATEST performed admirably last time out. He's yet to win at Happy Valley but from the inside gate, he should be able to settle just behind what looks a fairly strong tempo.

3 PREMIERE deserved every bit of his 11-point rise in the ratings after an effortless three-and-a-half-length win last time out. If he doesn't end up in a speed battle, he'll be hard to beat.

7 BOTH LUCKY might still need to drop further to get another win, while 2 CHARITY GLORY has run some good races this season and would not surprise.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

5 LOVE SHOCK was easily beaten last time out. The return to Happy Valley looks a big positive. He's drawn well and he looks capable of winning once again.

2 BACK IN BLACK has drawn well and strikes the most suitable race he's faced this season.

1 DIVINE BOY has always performed well at Happy Valley and an improved showing would not shock.

8 GREEN CARD finished second last time out, albeit a long way from Beat The Clock. He's still a bit quirky but can finish around the money.

RACE 8 (1,650M)

10 GIANT TURTLE has now won two on end in easy style. He is now looking again like the horse that ran second to Mongolian Khan. He's drawn well and is the one to beat.

11 THE SYLPH is forever around the mark, having hit the board a further 13 times. The bottom of Class 3 might just find him out, but he should still be somewhere in the mix.

4 CALIFORNIA JOY returned to form last time out with a soft victory. He needs to prove he can back it up but he should get a nice run in transit again.

2 BEAUTY PRINCE is another reluctant winner who is honest enough that he finds himself near the top of the grade. He should go close under Zac Purton.

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