Racing

Moreira set to win both Group 1 events

Hong Kong (Sha Tin) preview

RACE 1 (1,600M)

1 AH BO is far from a prolific winner, having won only once in his 26 Hong Kong starts. However, he is now getting down to Class 5 for the first time. He is drawn to get a soft run and will be hard to beat.

7 HIT A HOME RUN is not an easy horse to catch either and has been out of sorts since putting together four wins in five starts in 2014. He has won only once since. Maybe a switch to Sam Clipperton might spark him up.

It is coming up on three years since 10 UNIQUE JOYFUL won a race, but he has been good in his two runs in Class 5 so far and he does get a significant jockey change to Zac Purton.

8 LIGHTNING AND GOLD is another with a major jockey upgrade with Chad Schofield replacing Kei Chiong. He has been terrible this season but there are signs to suggest he can turn it around here.


RACE 2 (2,000M)

1 ENSURING ran third in the HK Group 3 Ladies' Purse (1,800m) last season but has not looked the same since. He has run some OK races though, particularly in this grade, and Moreira is jumping aboard now.

3 GREEN DISPATCH has been bowling around on the dirt recently but, despite his pedigree, perhaps he is better suited to turf at this stage. He won off a higher mark in October and does get a jockey upgrade from Dylan Mo to Hugh Bowman.

His stablemate 8 JOLLY GENE should have won two starts ago before an awkward draw scuppered his chances last start. He's a leading player if Vincent Ho can rate him similarly to how Matthew Chadwick did two runs back.

2 SHARP SAILOR finished just ahead of Jolly Gene last start. He is hard to catch on a win line but he has been fairly consistent of late.


RACE 3 (1,200M)

2 SIGHT LEADER looked a horse heading far higher than Class 4 when winning on debut over the straight 1,000m. He goes to the top of the weights now and there is no reason to think that he won't continue his progression with another win.

Blueblood 9 INFINITY ENDEAVOUR produced a good effort on debut on New Year's Day, finishing fourth in a good form race. He looks to have improved since, based on his trials, and although he will eventually be better over further, he can still figure here.

5 MULTIGOGO still appears to be figuring out the caper, but he does have ability. He will likely go forward and make his own luck.

Debutant 7 ENJOY LIFE finished a distant second to exciting youngster Hot King Prawn in a recent trial and looks to have had a good preparation ahead of his first start.


RACE 4 (1,600M)

1 CLUB LIFE has not won since December 2014, when he managed to score off a mark of 74. He now drops into Class 4 for the first time since his second start in 2013. He has an unbeaten record in the grade and should be winning again.

5 LUCKY POWER was very disappointing under Zac Purton last time when he couldn't race near the speed as intended. Hugh Bowman will likely be looking for a forward position from a good draw.

12 POLYMER LUCK has finished second four times this season from seven starts. A change of luck is all he needs to be able to get into the finish.

8 TRIUMPHANT LIGHT is racing well enough and, with Moreira aboard, he must be considered some chance.


RACE 5 (2,000M)

7 GORGEOUS AGAIN has really put it together in his last three starts, winning three races on end. The style of his victory last time out suggests that he can add another.

11 GARLIC YEAH is another who has come of age in recent starts, mostly at Happy Valley. However, he arguably should have won two starts back behind Gorgeous Again, and he meets that galloper a whopping 21 pounds (9.54kg) better with Dylan Mo's claim.

6 BLAZING PASS is difficult to catch but he can always get into the finish under the right set of circumstances. He should get a soft run from gate 1.

4 ALLCASH has been a major disappointment, but this race looks his best chance in some time of being able to finish around the money, particularly with Moreira sticking solid.


RACE 6 (1,000M)

1 MAGIC LEGEND has done something that very few horses have achieved, winning his first four races in Hong Kong. He could have run in the Chairman's Sprint Prize later in the card and started in the market, but instead, trainer John Moore is keeping him to handicaps. With an ideal draw, he can keep his perfect local record intact.

7 GOLDEN HARVEST has only 103 pounds on his back with Mo's claim. He has already dropped 30 points from his career peak rating, and if he can get a good spot behind the speed, he will be a tough contender.

4 ARCHIPPUS is tough and consistent. He did run second to Mr Stunning, in receipt of only three pounds, over this course and distance in January. With the treasured outside gate over the Sha Tin straight 1,000m, he must rank as a chance.

3 MY LITTLE FRIEND is another who performs to his best over this track and trip. He will likely be running on late.


RACE 7 (1,600M)

GROUP 1 CHAMPIONS MILE
4 RAPPER DRAGON is the rising star of Hong Kong. The first horse to take all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series - the Classic Mile, Classic Cup and Derby - his form was franked by the likes of Pakistan Star and Eagle Way last weekend. This looks his chance to get a maiden Group 1 win.

His stablemate 2 HELENE PARAGON has looked flat in his last two starts after winning two Group 1 races earlier in the season but his two scintillating gallops this week have suggested he might be back in form.

A simple assessment will have 1 BEAUTY ONLY is the main danger to Rapper Dragon.

British visitor 5 STORMY ANTARCTIC still looks quite raw, despite the fact he is already a veteran of 11 starts. It is an intriguing move for trainer Ed Walker to put blinkers on first time, and he might be worth including in the quinella.


RACE 8 (1,200M)

GROUP 1 CHAIRMAN'S SPRINT PRIZE

On paper, this appears to be 2 MR STUNNING's race to lose. The Group 2 Sprint Cup winner beat most of these at level weights last time and, while most of these are either at their mark or on the way down, he appears to still be on the rise. He should get an ideal run behind the speed from gate 4.

9 THEWIZARDOFOZ has always looked to have Group 1 potential, but he has had numerous issues that have held him back. He was solid fresh behind Mr Stunning last time out and should have improved vastly.

4 PENIAPHOBIA is an honest conveyance who will jump out and lead. If he doesn't receive too much pressure, he will be the one they will all have to gun down inside the 200 metres.

3 LUCKY BUBBLES is good enough to win this race, but he looked very flat in the Sprint Cup. In any case, he should still be around the mark, but it's hard to see him winning on form.


RACE 9 (1,200M)

2 LITTLE GIANT makes his belated debut here after an intended start in November was aborted due to lameness. He looked a promising animal in New Zealand when winning two for two under the name Blackcrown, including a maiden victory over subsequent Group 1 Australian Cup winner Humidor. His Hong Kong trials have suggested he has untapped ability and is worth playing in his Hong Kong debut.

13 PAKISTAN BABY ran home very solidly for second last time out, belying his reputation as more of a Happy Valley specialist. He has been in good form of late and can bob up again.

3 STAR OF JOY has performed solidly in his first three starts without winning. He will likely be around the mark again.

8 INVINCIBLE FRESH has not raced since November and he might need the run, but he is drawn to get all favours and can fire off this mark.


RACE 10 (1,400M)

1 NEW ASIA SUNRISE is a nuggety, baldy-faced chestnut, who barely tips the scales at 1,000 pounds, has the heart of a tiger and fights on doggedly, even when he is clearly outmatched - as he was against Western Express last start. He is a straightforward horse, so Jack Wong looks a positive booking taking seven pounds off.

3 MY DARLING was tested in the Hong Kong Classic Cup and Hong Kong Derby, but he wasn't good enough and he didn't stay. Back to a 1,400m Class 2 looks ideal.

7 PIKACHU is typically honest and comes out of a good effort behind very promising galloper Nothingilikemore. The inside gate is not ideal but he looks suited by this sort of race and should be running on late.

10 HAPPY AGILITY has been one of this season's most consistent animals, winning three times and placing a further four from seven starts. This is tougher again, but with his honesty, he can find his way into the placings again.