Racing

Saul’s something Special in Race 4

Thursday's Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview

RACE 1 (1,650M)

1 HAPPY ICHIBAN is making a welcome step back to Class 5. He is a winner in this grade and it would not shock to see him score again from the good gate with Alexis Badel engaged.

2 SPEED TO EXCEED is also stepping back in grade. He is open to improvement.

10 SHANGHAI POWER bears close watching with champion jockey Zac Purton booked.

4 JOY MASTER has drawn well. He gets his chance again.

RACE 2 (1,800M)

7 DIVINE UNICORN has won in the grade above. Since then, he has been performing well. Jockey Matthew Poon gets on well with this horse. Another win is nearing.

2 OWNERS' STAR is consistent. He commands respect.

5 RED ELYSEES is racing well without winning. He gets a solid draw and should be able to finish off in this contest.

1 METHANE gets a handy 7lb (3.18kg) claim from apprentice jockey Jerry Chau. He can figure with the right run.

RACE 3 (1,000M)

3 SHINING ACE has returned to a competitive mark. He should get every chance with the booking of Joao Moreira and a nice gate.

2 GRATEFUL HEART has been a revelation this season with four wins. He cannot be discounted with Purton aboard.

1 EXPLOSIVE WITNESS is a Group 3 winner over 1,000m at Sha Tin. He is also a two-time course-and-distance who should finish in the money.

7 FLYING GENIUS is in solid form. He slots in light but will need luck from the gate.

RACE 4 (1,000M)

2 SAUL'S SPECIAL has drawn a gate and rates as a leading player with Purton engaged. He is a course-and-distance winner. With the right run, he is capable of scoring a long overdue fifth Hong Kong win.

8 FABULOUS EIGHT should roll forward and find the front from Gate 1.

7 KEEP YOU WARM is consistent. He can figure with the right run.

9 MOMENTUM GALAXY mixes his form but has a blistering turn of foot on his day. He gets in light and has claims.

RACE 5 (1,200M)

5 TELECOM SMART closed off nicely last start. There is a bit of pace in the race. With a clean run, he looks capable of scoring.

1 JOLLY GOOD HEART should find the front from Gate 2. He can see it throughout if he does not get pestered in the lead.

6 SEA ELITE is another who should also roll forward. Chau's 7lb enhances his claims.

3 SUPER COMMANDER has been competitive in this grade. He should be able to run on.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

10 ORIENTAL AMIGO is closing in for his first Hong Kong win. He is racing well and the booking of Vincent Ho suggests he is ready to run a big race.

4 PEAK TO PEAK has shown considerable ability early on without winning. Moreira retains the ride following his narrow defeat and he is likely to roll forward and look the winner at some stage.

8 STAR OF WUYI narrowly missed last start. He is open to further improvement.

1 MR LUMIERE is making a welcome step back in grade. He can figure as long as he can offset the awkward gate.

RACE 7 (1,650M)

1 GLORIOUS LOVER is doing everything right without winning. Still, he gets his chance to break through again. The retention of Purton commands respect, especially from gate 3.

6 RAINBOW LIGHT turned in a career-best performance last start. It would not surprise to see him go one better.

9 STAY CHILL is looking for back-to-back wins. He remains in Class 4, which suits, and is favoured with only 122lb allotted.

4 KING DRAGON, who won two starts ago, is next best.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

10 NORDIC WARRIOR slots in light and has been competitive in this grade, including his last-start fourth. He is worth taking a chance on to upstage his better credentialed rivals.

1 KINDA COOL is one of those rivals. He gets his chance with Purton engaged from Gate 3.

6 AURORA PEGASUS is slowly regaining his best. He narrowly missed last start and has drawn well.

3 ALCARI mixes his form. He needs only luck if he is to give them yet another head start.

RACE 9 (1,650M)

1 BEAR AGAIN can find the front from the good gate and test his rivals. He is a three-time winner in this grade. He appears to be going well enough at the moment to win.

3 INCANTO PREPARED rarely runs a bad race. He is a four-time course-and-distance winner this season. He rates strongly, although he will need to overcome the tricky gate.

5 HELENE WISDOM STAR is lightly raced and on the up. He can figure with the right run.

9 ARMOR STAR is competitive. He just needs luck from the awkward gate.

COMMENTS COURTESY OF THE HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB

HORSE RACING