Sunny Orient is a bright hope in Race 5
Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview
RACE 1 (1,650M)
It was painful watching 1 INDUSTRIALIST WAY'S run on Sunday. The horse was shuffled back through the field in a race of mid-contest moves, then he struck interference early in the straight before finishing strongly for third under Matthew Poon. He backs up here with Neil Callan jumping aboard and if he has just an ounce of luck in running, he will be hard to beat.
Poon instead rides 3 HAPPY AND HEALTHY at what is the 10-pound claimer's first Happy Valley ride. The six-year-old has run well at his last three starts at Sha Tin under Poon and he should be well suited returning to the city track. He could pose a threat to Industrialist Way's.
5 DESTIN is still learning about the racing game but he did close off well in a race dominated from the front last time out at his first attempt at the Happy Valley 1,650m. Zac Purton jumps aboard for the first time and he's a leading chance.
9 CLEVER SPIRIT has never been beyond 1,400m but gets up to the extended mile after finishing third as a heavily backed favourite over 1,200m last time out. Joao Moreira sticks solid and he deserves respect.
RACE 2 (1,650M)
2 GREAT JOY couldn't have been more impressive last start, finally putting it all together to sprint from last under a masterful Zac Purton ride to score very comfortably. He is unlikely to get a similar pace scenario here, but now that the penny appears to have dropped, he is capable of making it two on the trot. Big chance.
9 MY BLESSING was impressive last start down in Class 5, having put together a string of positive efforts down in the grade. Dylan Mo sticks solid, meaning that the horse only has to shoulder 107 pounds, and this sort of race provides him with his best opportunity to win up in Class 4.
8 G-ONE UNION missed much of the season through injury. He should be suited by the step up to 1,650m now and he can get into the finish.
3 SPINNING DANCER has been a model of consistency for much of this season and yet he is continually underrated by the market. He must be included in all of those exotic bets.
RACE 3 (1,200M)
7 GENEROUS BOBO has simply had no luck this season and has had things go against him in plenty of his 10 starts this term. He now gets a good draw with Zac Purton to ride him once more, and surely this is his best chance to score another victory.
9 SHOWING CHARACTER has been in top order since recording two wins in Class 5 at the end of last year. He hasn't raced in almost two months but he is reunited with Brett Prebble once again and he is capable of getting into the finish.
3 NONE OTHER had been out of sorts at the bottom of Class 3 but the drop in grade last time out seemed to spark him up somewhat. He hasn't raced at Happy Valley since early on in his Hong Kong career, but perhaps the return to the city track could help him find that extra length to score.
6 NICE FANDANGO was very good at his first two starts over the straight 1,000m, but he was never a chance last start after drawing awkwardly. He makes his Valley debut here, but he is drawn to get a soft run. Can be included in those exotic bets.
RACE 4 (1,000M)
8 NO MONEY NO TALK spent almost a year on the sidelines before returning with a bold run over the Sha Tin straight 1,000m, but last time out over this course and distance, he reared at the start and dislodged jockey Jack Wong. Now, Matthew Poon jumps back aboard, taking his weight down to 108 pounds, and with all favours from the inside gate, he can score.
1 PREMIERE returns to Class 3 after disappointing up in Class 2. He does have to lump 133 pounds but back down in grade, he appears a threat.
3 HAPPY COOPERATION has looked a stronger horse this preparation after missing most of the season. His last win was solid on the speed, and while he is unlikely to get the lead on his own here, he is capable of sticking around for a placing.
5 MR RIGHT is a course and distance specialist, although he does struggle against this sort of company. Still, he is in good enough form and is worth including in exotics.
RACE 5 (1,200M)
5 SUNNY ORIENT has run a number of good races in recent starts, often missing the start and finding himself well out of contention before making solid ground late. Joao Moreira jumps aboard now and this appears his opportunity to get a win on the board.
7 GRACIOUS RYDER has run good races at two of his three starts at Sha Tin. He now switches to Happy Valley with Matthew Poon taking 10 pounds off, and while he has drawn slightly wide, he is a legitimate contender.
12 RUMINARE has not raced since October. He has shown promise at times but he has looked fairly weak. If he has strengthened up with the time off, he is able to get into the finish with only 119 pounds on his back. However, the booking of Alex Lai suggests he may be headed for Class 5.
4 DR RACE finally broke through two runs back, rewarding him after a consistent season. The return of Brett Prebble allows him to take the ride here, and he is likely to be around the mark.
RACE 6 (1,650M)
1 SUPER CHIC is a fascinating runner here. He has not finished better than 10th in four runs in Hong Kong, but the Derby Italiano winner has trialled well a number of times at Happy Valley and might find conditions more to suit at the city track. This is the easiest race he has contested in Hong Kong by a considerable margin, and even with 133 pounds, he might be able to do some damage.
5 JADE FORTUNE has been racing well but fortune has not been on his side, going down by two short heads at his last three starts. His day is coming very shortly, and after his last start, he is likely to be sent off favourite here. He's a big contender.
6 THUNDER STOMP has been racing well since his breakthrough in February. Chad Schofield is a positive jockey change and there's every chance he will be in the mix again.
7 WISKY is a frustrating horse to follow, in that he's consistent but he just lacks that killer blow. He will be around the mark, but whether he's able to win here remains to be seen.
RACE 7 (1,800M)
4 DYNAMISM outperformed expectations at Sha Tin last start with his midfield finish in a very strong Class 2 affair. He returns to the Happy Valley 1,800m, which is more suitable, and he only has to carry 122 pounds now. He can finally break his long drought here.
8 ANDOYAS was not disgraced behind Eagle Way in the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup over 2,400m last time out. He returns to the 1,800m, at the minimum end of his stamina requirements, and with Matthew Poon's claim, he gets down to 105 pounds. With even luck and a good tempo, he'll be in the finish.
11 LET US WIN had struggled to find his feet in Hong Kong, but his first run in Class 3 last time out indicated he had taken a step forward. He returns to Class 2 now with Joao Moreira taking the ride. If he can continue his progression, he will be around the mark.
6 RENAISSANCE ART is a better horse at Happy Valley than at Sha Tin, and it was around this time last year that he returned to form with a devastating win over 2,200m at this track. If he finds that form again, he can get into the finish.
RACE 8 (1,200M)
7 BEST STEP showed the step up to 1,200m was no issue for him last start when he produced a game win on the speed under Karis Teetan. He has to carry seven extra pounds here, but he appears capable of continuing his progression.
11 GRACYDAD is better suited down in Class 4, but with only 105 pounds to carry and a good gate, he is capable of sneaking into the finish.
3 IRON BOY is a quirky galloper who occasionally puts in a good run. He looks like he might be ready to produce again, so he's worth including for Douglas Whyte and Francis Lui.
5 YOU READ MY MIND looks to have found a place in the ratings where he is capable of winning. He has no claim this time with Neil Callan jumping aboard, but perhaps a strong rider like the Irishman may actually be a positive from gate two. He's worth including in all of those novelty bets.