Racing

Focus on Grant van Niekerk in Race 6

Wednesday's Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview

RACE 1 (1,200M)

9 NICE KICK closed strongly first-up over this course and distance, finishing just over a length behind the winner. He can progress further with that run under his belt and the booking of Joao Moreira signals intent from the yard.

4 IRON BOY turned his form around last start, rattling home to grab second. He mixes his form but Douglas Whyte appears to have him going well and his could be up to claiming this.

10 SUPREME PLUS is winless. He's taken his time to acclimatise to Hong Kong but he might just find himself in the right spot from the good gate.

1 HERO TIME has 133lb (60.4kg) to lug but he gets the services of Zac Purton to offset this. He can figure.

RACE 2 (1,650M)

6 GOLDEN CANNON closed strongly first-up to grab third in eye-catching fashion. He's capable of doing the same again, especially with the added distance on offer for this. The combination of Francis Lui and Vincent Ho have teamed up for five winners already this season and a sixth would not shock.

1 CALLING THE SHOTS turned his form around last start when dropping to Class 5. He remains in the same class. With Zac Purton taking over riding duties, he should be in the finish.

2 GOLD VELVET has been a model of consistency this campaign. He does his best racing at the Valley which he returns to now.

9 MEGATRON is the likely leader of this race. He gets 10lb off, thanks to Alfred Chan's claim. Another win for the duo wouldn't shock.

RACE 3 (1,200M)

7 GOLDEN GLORY rattled home last start from out wide to finish just two lengths behind the winner. He can progress further with that run under his belt and the inside draw should afford him every opportunity to do so.

1 MR PICASSO gets down to Class 4. He will improve rapidly in the weaker grade and the booking of Purton suggests that he is finally ready to peak.

8 SIMPLY FLUKE was fair first-up. He's next best if he's continued to improve off those runs.

RACE 4 (1,650M)

4 ZHAN JIANG ROCKS was impressive first-up with Purton in the saddle and his booking once again signals intent from the Chris So camp. Although he's winless, this looks a suitable race to finally get the job done.

2 STARSHIP won third-up last campaign and he appears to be on a similar path. He's been rattling home from the tail of the field at both of his seasonal outings and, if he gets a fast pace on offer, he'll be in the finish.

7 C P POWER is a course-and-distance winner. He should find himself in the right spot under the in-form Grant van Niekerk.

5 KIRAM is next best.

RACE 5 (1,800M)

11 GARLIC YEAH is having his fifth run back from the break. He's fit and is down to a competitive mark, as his last-start third suggests when closing nicely to grab third.

10 BULLISH GLORY narrowly missed last start by a neck. Still, he's racing well and is capable of going one better.

1 HEAVENLY THOUGHT gets a welcome drop to Class 4 as well as the services of Hong Kong's champion jockey Purton. He can figure with a positive ride from Gate 5.

2 STARLIT KNIGHT is the likely leader of this under Jack Wong. He can make his own luck and, if so, be very competitive.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

11 FOCUS turned in an excellent first-up run last start, finishing fast to grab second. He gets the services of the in-form van Niekerk again. With just 117lb on his back, he's going to prove tough to beat.

1 LADY FIRST has been consistent in both of his outings this season. Purton sticks aboard and, from the inside gate, he should get every possible chance, as long as he can handle the 133lb.

3 SHOUSON is nearing a win. He's steadily improved across each of his outings this season. With even luck, he will be in the finish.

4 KHAKI was stuck at the rear last start with far too much work to do. He can figure with a positive ride.

RACE 7 (1,650M)

3 HIGH REV couldn't have been more impressive last start, he runs to a similar level, he'll take a power of beating. He remains in Class 3 which suits and he's capable of winning his way into Class 2.

1 MY ALLY should find the front with Alfred Chan's 10lb claim. He has the talent. Although this is a difficult affair, he could string them out and prove tough to reel in.

4 CHARIZARD found himself too far back in the field with too much to do last start. Prepared to forgive that run as he's much better settling closer to midfield, which is where he'll need to be at the Valley.

6 HAR HAR HEART turned in an improved effort last start. He rarely runs a bad race over this course and distance.

RACE 8 (1,000M)

3 KING'S EMINENCE caught the eye on debut, closing for fourth behind Snap Fit, Special Stars and Beauty Charisma. That was an impressive debut run. If he's taken improvement and experience out of that, he could prove difficult to catch.

2 FRUSTRATED is the likely pacesetter. Purton is likely to roll forward from Gate 4 and play catch me if you can from there.

4 SPECIAL STARS is a two-time course-and-distance winner, who before to his last-start second, had largely struggled for form. His last-start effort was impressive. If he's held his condition, he's going to be a major player.

7 BEAUTY CHARISMA is next best.

RACE 9 (1,200M)

8 BUOYANT BOY resumed impressively and is capable of getting Alexis Badel off the mark if he isn't already. He ran a blinder first-up and any improvement from that should see him take beating.

6 FIRST RESPONDER has shown on a number of occasions without winning that he is ready to break through. He closed for a game second behind Le Terroir last start, which appears the right form line to go close to winning this.

4 BALLISTIC KING got off the mark impressively last start. He rises five points in the ratings, but he should still be around the mark even with the added weight.

11 DANCING FIGHTER is yet to finish outside of the top two. He has the awkward gate to contend with, but he's another who should finish around the mark once again.

Comments courtesy of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

HORSE RACING