Preview and form for the meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday night. Selections by Andrew Hawkins.
HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday March 22, 2017)
RACE 1: #2 Agiaal, #4 Five Stars Agent, #1 Letsgofree, #8 Faithful Boy
RACE 2: #1 Circuit King, #6 Lunar Zephyr, #11 Kwaichung Brothers, #2 Very Rich Man
RACE 3: #4 Golden Chopsticks, #5 Grade One, #7 Bumble Baby, #9 Bright Star
RACE 4: #11 Gobi Storm, #1 Super Form, #5 Po Ching Treasure, #3 Autumn Gold
RACE 5: #8 Generous Heart, #12 Powermax, #4 Happy Life, #2 Diego Kosta
RACE 6: #6 Amazing, #10 Lotus Breeze, #3 Charity Glory, #8 Excel Oneself
RACE 7: #11 Dynamism, #2 Circuit Land, #9 Marvel Hero, #7 Packing Dragon
RACE 8: #8 Enormous Honour, #12 Wisky, #5 Nitro Express, #2 Little Dragon
RACE 1: FINANCE STREET HANDICAP
#2 Agiaal is a couple of weeks away from three years out of the winners’ circle, that last victory coming in the middle of Class 3 in April, 2014. He is now down at the top of Class 5, but he does get Joao Moreira aboard from a good gate and this appears his best chance in some time of breaking through. #4 Five Stars Agent has been racing well since getting the drop into Class 5. He should be suited back to the turf, he looked to relish this distance last start and he shapes as a major contender. #1 Letsgofree gets the drop in class after a good effort at his last run two months back. He has had an easy trial since and gets a major jockey upgrade with Nash Rawiller jumping aboard, but he does have to contend with gate 11. #8 Faithful Boy has performed below par over this course and distance this season, but he did win over the Happy Valley 1650m last June so he is worth throwing in again.
RACE 2: LI YUEN HANDICAP
#1 Circuit King has drawn a bad gate at his last five starts but still ran well twice over this course and distance before a fair sixth at Sha Tin last time out. He now gets gate two with Joao Moreira jumping back aboard. He should jump out and lead early, and while he might be crossed from out wide, he should be able to rail through and take control early in the straight and prove too strong late. #6 Lunar Zephyr had his supporters on debut but weakened after showing an abundance of speed. He improved at his second Hong Kong start and his first at Happy Valley, sitting handy before weakening late into sixth. With natural improvement from a better draw, he should be around the mark. Finishing just ahead of Lunar Zephyr last start was #11 Kwaichung Brothers, who rattled home for fifth. He may need the drop in class but he looks to be coming right and he is worth throwing in. Next best, #2 Very Rich Man, who will race forward and remain in this for a long way.
RACE 3: MAN CHEUNG HANDICAP
#4 Golden Chopsticks is not one to win out of turn, his last victory coming in December 2015, but he is now back down in Class 4 and returns to his favoured course and distance for this. He will likely go back from the gate but he can make ground up quickly and he can cause a minor upset here. #5 Grade One is yet to perform up to the level of his debut second on the Sha Tin all-weather track, but he hasn’t been disgraced in two efforts since. He is still learning the game but he can figure here. #7 Bumble Baby has failed at three attempts at 1200m, but this looks his best chance to get the trip yet as he should get a good run behind the speed. Joao Moreira takes the mount, too. #9 Bright Star was simply never able to get into a pace-dominated race last time out. His run before that was good and he can get into the placings late.
RACE 4: MAN YIU HANDICAP
#11 Gobi Storm has slowly been figuring out the racing caper. Last time out, he lost his spot turning for home before making up solid ground late. He might be in need of the drop in grade, which comes shortly, but he is capable of winning with only 116 pounds on his back, even from awkward gate 10. #1 Super Form had a chequered run at Sha Tin out but still was not beaten too far over the 2200m. His Happy Valley form has been superior to his Sha Tin efforts this time in, so expect improvement simply by switching back to the city track. #5 Po Ching Treasure has not won in 34 starts in Hong Kong, having arrived from Australia as a stakes winner. He has been consistent enough but simply hasn’t had that killer blow late. Now having his third start for Caspar Fownes, expect him to be competitive. #3 Autumn Gold mixes his form but with the right run, he can be around the placings.
RACE 5: THE HONG KONG EXCHANGES CHALLENGE CUP
#8 Generous Heart ran a bold race at his first attempt at Happy Valley two weeks ago, just being nabbed by All My Gain. He is drawn to have a similarly soft run here and should prove hard to beat with only 116 pounds on his back. #12 Powermax looks a horse headed towards the top of Class 3, so with only 115 pounds to carry, he will be a major threat here, especially with Joao Moreira aboard. However, gate 12 may make it tough. #4 Happy Life returns to Happy Valley, the scene of his two best runs last season, after two fair efforts at Sha Tin from wide gates. He has once again drawn wide here but this race looks suitable for him. #2 Diego Kosta has run three good races without winning from four starts this season. He is another one who doesn’t win often, but from barrier one, he should have every chance.
RACE 6: HARBOUR VIEW HANDICAP
#6 Amazing is one of a number of Australian imports who formerly raced for Godolphin down under. He raced as Grincheux, winning a Hawkesbury maiden narrowly before taking a restricted handicap at Kembla Grange easily. He looks to have come to hand quickly and a recent trial effort was strong enough to suggest that he’s ready to run a bold race here. #10 Lotus Breeze was only just run down over this course and distance two weeks back. Joao Moreira jumps aboard and he should prove hard to run down. #3 Charity Glory has been very honest this season and just needs a couple of breaks to fall his way to score – that can potentially happen from gate three. Next best, #8 Excel Oneself, who will jump out and lead under Jack Wong and can potentially stick on for a place.
RACE 7: THE HAPPY VALLEY VASE
#11 Dynamism has not won in over two years, having won a Class 2 to qualify for the 2015 BMW Hong Kong Derby. The flashy chestnut finished last there, but for the most part he has been consistent since. He’s shown a liking for Happy Valley, but simply finds the 1650m too short. With the step up to 1800m and only 113 pounds on his back, he is going to be hard to beat here. #2 Circuit Land has been something of a revelation this season – he won two dirt races to take his rating to the high 90s last season, but he has been kept to the turf this season and for the most part has been around the mark. He has been slightly unlucky not to win his last two starts and appears in great form. A repeat of that effort will see him hard to beat, even with 130 pounds on his back. #9 Marvel Hero’s two appearances at Happy Valley this season have been very impressive and with Joao Moreira aboard and only 113 pounds to carry (likely to be 115 pounds with Moreira carrying two pounds overweight), he will be very hard to topple. Next best, the Happy Valley Million Challenge winner #7 Packing Dragon, who will push forward under his light weight and prove hard to run down.
RACE 8: PEDDER HANDICAP
#8 Enormous Honour is an honest conveyance but a rare winner, having only landed the spoils at one of his 29 starts. That came without the blinkers on, but he gets the headgear back on and that could just sharpen him up again with a return to the Happy Valley 1650m. Expect him to be handy to the speed under apprentice Jack Wong. #12 Wisky showed very little at his first run in Class 3, although it did come over the Sha Tin 1400m. This course and distance suits him better and he is drawn to get a soft run from the inside gate for Karis Teetan. #5 Nitro Express is still somewhat underrated despite winning three of his last eight starts. He might be on his mark and he does need things to go his way to score anyway, but Neil Callan’s mount is worth including. #2 Little Dragon has to contend with gate 11 but does get a major jockey upgrade to Zac Purton and ranks as a place chance.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
The eight race broadcast commences at 10.15pm AEST, 7.15pm HKST, on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.