Racing

Werther looks a cut above in the HK Gold Cup

Hong Kong (Sha Tin) preview

RACE 1 (1,000M)

4 PADDINGTON started as a short-priced favourite last time out but was trapped deep throughout to finish ninth. If he has improved, he's the one to beat with Joao Moreira astride.

3 KEEP MOVING looked a ready-made racehorse with his debut win over this course and trip a month ago. He'll be there.

13 STRATHCLYDE was average in two griffin runs as a two-year-old in May and June, but he hasn't raced since. The blinkers have been applied in his recent trials and they seem to have switched him on.

RACE 2 (1,400M)

14 TELECOM BOOM looks a coming winner very shortly. The step-up to 1,400m is a plus and he won't have to improve much to be winning this.

1 MASSIVE POWER has placed at his last three starts in the cellar grade. With a good draw, he should be competitive.

7 KING WINSA has turned the corner this season for a win and two top-four finishes. He is capable of winning off this mark.

RACE 3 (1,400M)G1 QUEEN'S SILVER JUBILEE CUP

1 ABLE FRIEND remains Hong Kong's highest-rated horse. He may not be the all-conquering superstar he once was, but he doesn't need to be to take out this race, which he won imperiously in 2015.

5 BLIZZARD has established himself as one of the new players on the sprinter-miler scene. He is at his prime over 1,400m.

4 CONTENTMENT is also a past winner of this race, having scored last year. The 1,400m is his best trip.

RACE 4 (1,400M)

1 RAGING BULL returns to Class 4 here. His last attempt over 1,400m in Class 4, he was a winner. From a good gate, he shapes as a major player.

Drawn directly to his inside is 9 FORMULA GALORE, who looks capable of figuring with a soft run and the 1,400m suits.

11 SOUL ACHIEVER gets Moreira as he makes his return to Sha Tin. His last win in January 2015 came over this trip with the Brazilian aboard.

RACE 5 (1,000M)

5 ROMAN ODYSSEY made up solid ground from an awkward spot on debut. If he can weave his way through from gate 13, he'll be hitting the line strongly.

7 GALLANT ROCK has speed to burn, so expect him to be in front for a fair way.

1 MAGIC LEGEND was impressive winning in his first Hong Kong start, although he was green and wayward.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

5 MERRYGOWIN charged home a half-length third behind Keep Moving a month ago. He has trialled well and a breakthrough appears imminent.

7 GRACIOUS RYDER has been well prepared for his first start, judging by his trials.

10 VITAL SPRING finished evenly into fifth in the Keep Moving race. The step-up in trip is a big plus.

RACE 7 (2,000M) G1 CITI HONG KONG GOLD CUP

3 WERTHER returns to the 2,000m for the first time this season. His two runs over the Sha Tin 2,000m have produced a narrow, but strong, BMW Hong Kong Derby win in March and a rout in the G1 Audemars Piguet QE II Cup in April. His work suggests he should be winning here and book berth for the G1 Dubai Turf (1,800m) next month.

4 BLAZING SPEED is not the horse he once was, but he has remained an honest conveyance capable of popping up in races like this.

5 SECRET WEAPON surprised slightly with his progression earlier this season, winning the G2 Jockey Club Cup (2,000m) before beating all bar Maurice in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2,000m) in December. He is another chasing a Dubai berth.

RACE 8 (1,600M)

7 AGREE steps up to 1,600m after four runs over 1,400m. He has been best when ridden conservatively and allowed to produce a big finish late. The step-up to the mile looks ideal.

4 BRING IT ON charged home to finish fourth two starts back, before racing near the speed last time out and still sticking on well. He'll be around the mark.

6 RAZOR QUEST caused a shock in winning under these conditions on New Year's Day, beating Booming Delight, now a Derby contender. The booking of Moreira is a big plus.

RACE 9 (2,000M)

8 HO HO FEEL was a tough watch last time out. He may not have won, but at the very least he should have finished closer if he wasn't blocked. Gate 13 means he will probably have to go a fair way back again, but with even luck this time, he can make his presence felt.

The horses that beat him last time out, 3 GORGEOUS KING and 10 MAMBO ROCK, are both chances again. That day, Mambo Rock beat Gorgeous King, but with a three-pound (1.3kg) turnaround, Gorgeous King can gain the upper hand.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

8 GOLD MOUNT makes his Hong Kong debut and looks to make a last-ditch attempt to qualify for the BMW Hong Kong Derby. The four-year-old raced as Primitivo in England, where he emerged from nowhere to win four handicaps in a row, culminating in a very impressive display in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot. He has trialled well and can win this.

1 INVINCIBLE DRAGON took the Chinese New Year Cup comfortably last month and has made leaps and bounds this season. Trainer John Moore believes that he could be a Group horse in the making.

5 SOLAR HEI HEI was blocked for a run last week and made up nice late ground when he did get clear. The step-up to 1,600m is ideal.