Racing

Sparkling Dragon looks hard to bext again

Hong Kong (Sha Tin) preview

RACE 1 (1,200M)

2 RUGBY DIAMOND has plenty of speed but he generally needs things to go his way. He was only fair at his one run on this surface at this meeting last year, but it wouldn't surprise to see him lead all the way here.

11 SNOWHOOVES is well-drawn with Joao Moreira in the saddle. He's a chance.

5 ACTUARIAT is struggling to get a win on the board but, at his best, he can figure.

3 CORRE RAPIDO has proved a massive disappointment, but he gets in with only 125 pounds (56.8kg) and can win.

RACE 2 (1,200M)

2 MASTER VIKING has disappointed in four runs this season but, down to Class 4, looks a major plus. He was poor at his only run on this surface, but he was still a maiden at that point. He looks suited on dirt.

10 STARTLING POWER has dropped 46 points from his peak two seasons ago. He is now back with original trainer Benno Yung and will be breaking through very soon.

4 HEARTS KEEPER is always a chance in this sort of races.

1 SUN TOUCH should be included with blinkers on.

RACE 3 (1,400M)

1 SPARKLING DRAGON created a big impression when he won on debut, leading from the outside gate over 1,200m, and running his rivals into the ground. Gate 3 gives jockey Sam Clipperton more options, but wherever he ends up, he should prove hard to beat again.

2 GALLANT RETURN ran well fresh at Happy Valley and should be suited by the step-up in trip. Getting seven pounds off, he's a chance.

4 FANTASTIC SHOW can perform better if he jumps on terms.

6 FLAME LILY looks best of the debutants.

RACE 4 (1,800M)

10 WINNINGLI has run well after leading at his last two starts on this surface. He should be suited up to 1,800m and, with no weight on his back, he'll be tough to catch.

7 EQUITY DOCTRINE has run poorly at his last two starts, although he had excuses two runs back. If he can find his best, he's a major contender.

13 FAITHFUL BOY should land somewhere near the speed and can stick on for a placing.

12 HAPPY FRIENDSHIP is one of Hong Kong's smallest horses but he looms as some chance in this spot.

RACE 5 (1,200M)

5 PROMISE KEPT debuts here. He's looked good in the mornings and he strikes a race with limited depth, so he can figure at his first start.

4 BOND ELEGANCE has been consistent enough in 16 starts but is an infrequent winner. Still, it all seems to be aligning for him here and he'll be hard to beat.

10 FLYING GODSPELL has been fairly plain in his last two starts after two good efforts before that. With Dylan Mo aboard, he carries only 113 pounds and that could prove crucial.

1 DEJA VU should have a Class 4 win in him soon.

RACE 6 (1,650M)

9 GENEROUS HEART is bred to be better on dirt, which is why it was so surprising when he finished last on the surface in July. Heavily backed when he returned a winner in October, he was just fair last time out. Stepping up to the 1,650m on dirt looks a good move.

2 SUPER CHIC gets down to Class 3 for the first time. He ran well behind three solid yardsticks last start and, against this opposition, he's a player.

4 WILLIE WAY and 8 TURIN PEARL are always chances in these races.

RACE 7 (1,000M)

Taking on 4 HOT KING PRAWN fresh was a losing move as the grey scored easily. He's drawn ideally over the straight 1,000m and it's hard to see him not going four-for-four here.

Fellow three-year-old 2 GOD OF DRAGON won his last four starts in Australia, including two Listed races, when named Pardoe. He arrives on a high rating but should come to hand fairly quickly.

12 ENCORE BOY didn't look the finished product last season. If he's matured, he could make a mockery of his 63 rating in no time.

8 THE CREATETH is next best.

RACE 8 (1,650M)

14 BEST EFFORT is racing well and appears on the cusp of another victory. He's drawn well again and should prove hard to beat.

4 GOLDIE FLANKER has disappointed in two starts on both surfaces this preparation. He looked a decent animal over the 1,200m on dirt last term, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the 1,650m. He's a chance up in distance.

1 ROMAN IMPERO is still improving and is making his debut on the surface. He deserves inclusion.

8 GRAND HARBOUR will jump and run and should stick on for some minor money.

RACE 9 (1,200M)

4 CLASSIC EMPEROR has one of the best dirt pedigrees in Hong Kong and won for fun at his first dirt start last time out. The drop to 1,200m might be some concern, but he should track the solid tempo and can charge home strongly.

Stablemate 1 FABULOUS ONE will be one of a number of horses up on the speed, although he probably has more speed than any horse in Hong Kong. He will likely look the winner at some point.

6 CALIFORNIA WHIP and 5 PABLOSKY are course-and-distance winners who should be around the mark.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

4 SUPER HOPPY has hit the line well in both Hong Kong starts. He's well-placed now to break through.

14 ALCARI should be suited up in class with a light weight. It remains to be seen where he ends up from gate 14, but he's a chance nonetheless.

1 SLEEP EDUCATION has run well enough in three Hong Kong starts. Now, with the drop in grade, he should start to measure up.

7 NEW ELEGANCE can take a step forward from his debut and get into the placings.

HORSE RACING