Little Bird ready to fly again
Wednesday's Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview
RACE 1 (1,650M)
(10) MISCHIEVOUS SUNDAE is racing well and rates strongly off his last-start effort, in which he finished second over this course and distance with Karis Teetan up. From the good gate, he should be ultra-competitive.
(9) VIRTUS STAR is winless but has gone close on a number of occasions. This contest is more than suitable, especially as he breaks from Gate 5 with only 118lb (53.6kg) on his back.
(1) BREAK RECORD won well over this course and distance three starts ago. He can figure from the good gate with Victor Wong's 5lb claim.
(6) GOLDEN GENERAL should relish the step-back in trip.
RACE 2 (1,200M)
(1) SPLIT OF A SECOND is capable as a two-time winner in this grade. It wouldn't surprise to see him put his best foot forward and grab a third success. He's drawn to get the right run. He's also fit and fresh with a month's break between runs.
(2) FEARLESS FIRE narrowly missed last time out by a neck. He's a consistent customer as a two-time winner this term. He's another who should get the right run from the favourable draw, especially with champion jockey Zac Purton aboard.
(12) SHINING ON slots in light with only 116lb allotted. He's down to a competitive mark and his last run suggests that he is nearing another win.
(6) MOMENTUM HAPPY should improve switching back to the turf. He's drawn to get the right run and will be thereabouts from the draw with the in-form Derek Leung up.
RACE 3 (1,200M)
(3) SPRINT FORWARD has the runs on the board. Following on from his latest defeat, he looks hard to beat in this with Purton in the saddle. He is more than capable of reaching the post first.
(7) MALDIVES lacks experience but was sound on debut, finishing sixth. The inside gate suits and, under Blake Shinn, he should get every opportunity.
(2) HARMONY N HOME has the awkward draw to contend with, but does get a handy 7lb off his back, thanks to Alfred Chan's claim. He still has a number of rating points in hand and this contest isn't an overly difficult, especially as a number of his rivals are inexperienced.
(1) XPONENTIAL is next best.
RACE 4 (1,200M)
(7) MULTIMAX is drawn to find the front from Gate 1 with Victor Wong astride. The pair have made all the running previously this term. From the draw, the duo are expected to get every chance out in front.
(6) AURORA STEED is consistent, albeit still a maiden. He might find himself in the right spot and get every chance to be hanging around at the finish.
(8) KWAI CHUNG ELITE is another who is winless. Still, he's competitive and it's only going to be a matter of time before he does score that elusive win.
(12) FOX CHEUNGER breaks off a low mark. He's drawn well and should be able to finish thereabouts for jockey Karis Teetan and trainer Francis Lui.
RACE 5 (1,000M)
(3) FORZA ANGEL was game in defeat last time out. With that performance under his belt, he can figure again. He'll lug a fair bit of weight from an awkward gate but he only needs to improve in the slightest off his latest effort to go close.
(11) ARDENODE gets in light. He went close last start and, off that performance, rates as a leading player. He can figure with the right run for Matthew Poon.
(1) WE THE SOUTH is a two-time winner this campaign. He's a very straightforward horse who can find the front for Alfred Chan and, from there, take a bit of running down.
(4) WINNER'S HEART mixes his form but has proven that he isn't far from shedding his maiden status in Hong Kong. This is a suitable contest.
RACE 6 (1,650M)
(3) KING'S MAN has the runs and the wins on the board this campaign. If he's continued to hold his condition for leading trainer Ricky Yiu, then he's going to be a force to be reckoned with. He's honest and capable.
(2) TOTAL POWER is winless from nine outings. He was only fair last start but warrants respect with Purton sticking to him.
(9) MURRAY'S PARTNERS dug deep for a narrow win last start. He's drawn to get the gun run again. He's also remaining in Class 4.
(5) DIONYSUS COLLIN broke through last start following a relatively frustrating campaign which saw him narrowly miss on several occasions.
RACE 7 (1,200M)
(4) LITTLE BIRD hasn't won since last season, but this term he does appear to have returned to a competitive mark now that he is back in Class 3. The draw suits. The booking of Poon suits, too, and this contest is well within his reach.
(2) SUNSET WATCH has shown steady improvement this term. He's done his best over this course and trip and is back in this grade.
(1) SEVEN HEAVENS should relish the return to Class 3, where he is a winner this term. The draw makes things awkward, but still he has the capability to take this race.
(5) CALIFORNIA GUNGHO won well last start, leading throughout impressively from the wide draw at Sha Tin. He is expected to attempt the same again. If he can offset the wide gate, he is going to look the winner for a long way.
RACE 8 (1,000M)
(5) DIAMOND BRILLIANT has been a model of consistency all term with six placings. Although he is winless, he has gone close on a number of occasions and the booking of Purton suggests that they're throwing the kitchen sink at him to win.
(6) ETERNAL HARVEST is an impressive talent from the Ricky Yiu stable. He's a two-time winner this campaign and he still appears to have a number of rating points in hand. The wide gate is tricky but Vincent Ho takes the reins, the pair strike at 24 per cent together with 12 wins from 51 pairings.
(2) BE READY has gone close a number of times with five placings from his 10 outings. He's racing honestly and he bears close watching with Alfred Chan's 7lb claim.
(8) VERY SWEET ORANGE is the likely leader. He'll need to use a stack of petrol early from the wide draw but he can make his presence felt if he finds the front early.
RACE 9 (1,800M)
(1) GOLDEN SPECTRUM steps back in trip to a distance that suits. He narrowly missed two starts ago over this course and distance, before stepping up to 2,200m at his latest outing, which saw him struggle. He's drawn to get the gun run but can win over a favourable trip, especially as a Group 2 winner pre-import over the mile.
(8) BRAVE KING is racing well and is a leading contender from pole position. He's on an upward trajectory and can continue his ascent up the ratings.
(3) BLASTOISE loves the course and trip. He is another who will relish the return to 1,800m. He's a leading player.
(2) TOYCOON grabbed third last time out at his Happy Valley debut.