Racing

Start the night right with Grace Heart

Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview

RACE 1 (1,000M)

9 GRACE HEART has never been rated as low as he is now at any time throughout his 30 starts in Hong Kong. Zac Purton jumps back aboard now, having never missed a top-four spot on the Stratum gelding, and he returns to the Happy Valley 1,000m where he has a fairly solid record. This looks his chance to return to the winner's circle.

3 OCEAN ROAR is a one-dimensional type in that he goes forward and makes his own luck. He might face opposition for the front here but, if he goes unchallenged, he might be able to slip away from them.

8 JOLLY BOUNTIFUL still looks to be learning what the caper is about, based on his barrier trials, but trainer John Size has already had four unraced gallopers win this season. He must be respected.

1 MORETHANLUCKY drops to Class 4 for the first time. He might find this a bit sharp, but he is worth including.

RACE 2 (2,200M)

Hong Kong's handicapping system occasionally allows the impossible to become reality. So it does here with 10 STORM KID, who gained a cult following as Hong Kong's slowest horse but who actually looks capable of winning this race. He was travelling a dream on the corner last start, but he couldn't get clear running and the race was over by the time he did get a crack at them. With more luck, he can score what would be one of the most popular wins of the season.

2 TELEPHATIA has finished in the placings on six of eight occasions over this course and distance, including two wins. His last start was good and he does meet Audacity four pounds better for a half-length defeat.

5 WEALTHY FORTUNE finished third in a similar race earlier this term, but has been out of sorts since. He will be suited by stepping out in trip again.

7 ALWAYS WONGCHOY has found form at his last two starts and, with Joao Moreira jumping aboard, he will be a player.

RACE 3 (1,800M)

5 VICTORY BOYS has been a model of consistency over the last year and has been in the placings at all nine runs in the last 13 months. He should appreciate the return to Happy Valley and can win this.

9 ISTANBUL BEY is still in his first preparation, but he looks to be coming to hand now. He hasn't been beaten far in his last two races and he now gets Joao Moreira aboard with only 118 pounds to carry. He'll be around the mark.

7 BEAUTY LOVE is hard to catch but he is in top form at the moment. He will go forward and should be able to stick around. 
8 EASY HEDGE has generally disappointed. He needs everything to fall his way, but if it does, he can get into the minor money.

RACE 4 (1,650M)

2 GLENEALY PRIZE ran two good races on the dirt over 1,800m before the blinkers came off with a drop to 1,650m. He didn't fire. He returns to the turf and the extended mile at Happy Valley should be up his alley and he can score another victory.

4 GOOD CHOICE always seems to be around the mark in these sorts of races. He is racing consistently at the moment and can bob up again.

6 SUPERIOR BOY steps beyond 1,400m for the first time. He is yet to win in Hong Kong, but he might find this sort of race to his liking. 
5 SPINNING DANCER has missed the top five only once in his last 11 attempts at the course and distance. He can fill the minors again.

RACE 5 (1,200M)

1 PACKING STONES was once considered a contender for the 2,000 Guineas. However, the colt disappointed at his first start at Sha Tin, and has been given four recent trials to prepare him for this. He has shown a propensity for blowing the start but, if he can jump on terms, he will be a chance.

12 CALIFORNIA ASPAR is nearing the drop into Class 4, but off his last-start third, perhaps he could win one in this grade. He should be suited stepping up to 1,200m.

3 IRON BOY has been mixing his form since winning at Sha Tin in October. However, his winning rider that day, Joao Moreira, hops back aboard for the first time since, so he must be thrown in.

2 JOLLY CONVERGENCE was poor last time out, but he looks like he will be suited returning to 1,200m.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

9 VITAL SPRING could break through for his first win in Hong Kong here. He returns to 1,200m, he comes to Happy Valley and gets the blinkers. With a good draw, this looks a classic case of everything coming together at the right time.

2 GOAL FOR GOLD has just his second run in Class 4 here. He did run a neck second over the Sha Tin dirt at his one go in the grade and, from the inside gate, he is capable of going close again.

5 BUMBLE BABY is still looking quite raw in his races. However, he looks suited returning to Happy Valley with Joao Moreira jumping back aboard.

6 GOLDEN CHOPSTICKS might still be dropping, but his last run in March was good and he could place.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

2 JETWINGS has had plenty of injury woes but he did win at his last start in March. He then had leg issues. If he is back fit and firing from a good gate, then he will be the one they have to beat here.

7 SUPER TURBO didn't disgrace when trying out the mile last time. He returns to the 1,200m here, but does get Joao Moreira on board.

6 MOLLY'S JADE STAR has run well the last two times he's drawn a gate in Class 2. He can figure here from another good draw.

5 ROMANTIC CASH returns to the races for the first time in 18 months, and runs for Gary Ng for the first time. The trainer is hardly known for his prowess with horses in these grades, but the horse can add value to those exotic bets.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

6 TRAVEL DATUK charged home for second to Lotus Breeze last start and arguably should have won that night. He is going to break through shortly and might get his opportunity here if things fall his way.

12 BEST STEP raced away for an easy success over the Happy Valley 1000m last time out. If he can take that form to the 1,200m, he will be hard to beat at the bottom of Class 3, especially from gate two.

4 WAYFOONG Vinnie was short of room and then struggled to pick up last time out in the same Lotus Breeze race. He should get a nice trip here from gate one and he can bounce back.

5 ALL GREAT FRIENDS was edged out last time out, but he's clearly found form again. Sam Clipperton is a positive jockey upgrade and he should be around the mark.

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

 

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