Bowman and Mr Right can draw first blood
Wednesday's Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview
RACE 1 (1,650M)
10 LUCKY STORM trialled well at Conghua before beginning his season with a fourth at Sha Tin. He's disappointed in a number of starts since then, but he's had excuses every time. He's ready and he can score a first victory.
3 BEST EFFORT is yet to place from five Happy Valley starts, but he appears well-placed in this event. He arguably should have won last time out and Caspar Fownes is sure to have him cherry ripe for this.
5 WONDERFUL TIGER saved plenty of ground last time, only to just find Dutch Windmill a neck too good. Clearly, though, a win is coming shortly.
2 THE SYLPH is as unreliable as they come, with one win from 51 Hong Kong starts. Still, a better draw might prove the catalyst for him getting into the finish, even if a win may be too much of an ask.
RACE 2 (1,200M)
4 SUPER EURO STAR gets back down to Class 5, a grade where he boasts one win and one third from two starts. He gets back into a good barrier and is capable of running them ragged.
5 THE SHOW is racing well and is sure to be around the mark somewhere.
3 ROYAL CHOCOLATE improved at his first start in Class 5 last time out. He can run another bold race.
1 DIAMOND LEGEND can swoop from near the rear getting down to the cellar grade for the first time.
RACE 3 (1,200M)
2 HARD PROMISE ran well enough at his first start in Class 4 last time out. If he's able to settle just off the leaders, he can score his first Hong Kong win.
8 NABOO STAR didn't do much on debut after overracing early, getting well back and staying there. He had trialled a treat before that effort, though, so improvement can be expected.
11 GOUTEN OF GARO is always capable of getting into the finish of a race like this. He can't be overlooked.
5 ENERGETIC CLASS might appreciate the faster tempo of a Happy Valley 1,200m. He's worth including.
RACE 4 (1,000M)
3 MR RIGHT is a Happy Valley 1,000m specialist who is drawn to capitalise in gate three and he's racing well enough to figure. With Hugh Bowman riding, he can win the first leg of the IJC.
1 GENERAL IRON returned to form last time out. He isn't the easiest horse to ride, but getting Zac Purton aboard, looks a major positive.
7 ROYAL RACER didn't do much on debut but looks capable of improving drastically second-up under Javier Castellano.
11 GODSPEED can get into the placings with his regular rider Karis Teetan legged up.
RACE 5 (1,650M)
2 GOOD FOR YOU ran a better race last time out dropping back into Class 4. The higher grade is simply too tough for him, but he should enjoy every chance in this company.
6 MARVEL JOY is still yet to win from 18 Hong Kong starts but his last couple of efforts have been much better. He will be in the firing line.
4 NAMJONG INVINCIBLE has built a reputation as a dirt horse, but his turf efforts haven't been hopeless. He has so many issues, but should be well-suited getting up to 1,650m.
8 ISHVARA is long in the tooth now but he's at a mark where he's capable of scoring again.
RACE 6 (1,200M)
3 COUNTRY STAR looks a horse with plenty of talent, as seen in his two wins in September and October. He was beaten by a nose last time out but it was still a run full of merit and he can continue to climb the grades.
5 BLOCKER DEE has been in purgatory as of late, finding the 1,200m too sharp, the 1,650m too far and not really being a capable 1,400m horse at Sha Tin. But he is where he can impress.
10 BACK IN BLACk may be heading to Class 4, but it wouldn't surprise to see him run a strong race before he gets the drop.
1 EPTIMUM is worth consideration and can surprise.
RACE 7 (1,650m)
4 MIDNITE PROMISE has finished last, beaten a combined total of 40 lengths, at his last two starts, but he might be worth a chance in this spot with a return to Happy Valley. From a good draw, don't be surprised to see him run a big race.
7 POSITIVELY HIGH has drawn deep but he ran well enough at his last effort. Zac Purton is a good acquisition and the raft of gear changes suggests we may see a different horse.
9 CURLING LUXURY can push forward and run another bold race with Javier Castellano up.
1 SPARKLING SWORD is an easy horse to ride in that he will go forward and stick on dourly. He's a chance to get Irish champion rider Colin Keane into the placings.
RACE 8 (1,650M)
12 BEAUTY DAY has not been able to emulate the deeds of his brother Beauty Flame, a G2 winner. Still, he has run some nice races here and a win with no weight wouldn't shock.
2 SUPER FORM has such a strong course and distance record that he can't be dismissed, providing Javier Castellano with another leading hope.
7 FAITHFUL TRINITY has disappointed at his last two since winning in September. Still, Mickael Barzalona is likely to push him forward from the wide gate and he is capable of sticking on.
4 LUCKY GIRL is a place chance for Hugh Bowman.
RACE 9 (1,800M)
5 RED WARRIOR'S rise through the grades was stopped last time out at his first run in Class 2. Still, it was a decent enough effort and the step up to 1,800m should see him resume his winning ways here.
7 GIANT TURTLE returns to Class 2 for the first time in three years. Now, at a Hong Kong high of 83, he can still figure by going forward with no weight and sticking around late.
2 VICTORY BOYS has been something of a fairytale, rising from Class 5 to Class 2. He's a chance yet again.
3 SUPER CHIC has found his rhythm and he can't be overlooked.