Preview and form for the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday. Selections by Andrew Hawkins.
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday June 18, 2017)
RACE 1: #5 Hot King Prawn, #7 Chaparral Star, #6 Bingo, #3 Riverside Bird
RACE 2: #2 Aeroluminance, #13 Supernatural, #11 High Speed Metro, #6 Super Sweet Orange
RACE 3: #8 Penzance, #1 Metallic Star, #5 Experto Crede, #14 Wingold
RACE 4: #4 Super Talent, #8 Namjong Invincible, #9 Bolshoi Ballet, #13 Five Stars Agent
RACE 5: #2 Starship, #4 Zero Hedge, #3 Noble De Boy, #6 Our Folks
RACE 6: #5 Victory Boys, #9 Gorgeous Again, #2 Green Dispatch, #1 Ensuring
RACE 7: #7 Giant Turtle, #4 White Magic, #3 Red Marvel, #8 Willie Way
RACE 8: #8 Jumbo Luck, #6 Brave Legend, #11 Travel Datuk, #10 Star Of Joy
RACE 9: #8 Circuit Hassler, #1 Seasons Bloom, #4 Jolly Jolly, #2 People's Knight
RACE 10: #9 Little Giant, #12 Lucky Dollar, #2 House Of Fun, #3 Shamal
RACE 1: BEIJING CLUBHOUSE PLATE
#5 Hot King Prawn has been the clear standout of a fairly moderate group of griffins to step out so far. He looked very comfortable in a recent trial behind stablemate Premiere, who was just beaten at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, and he should be going two-for-two here. #7 Chaparral Star is one of two newcomers in this race. The gelding’s brother Quick Strike was an emerging stayer before tragedy struck in last year’s Hobart Cup, and Chaparral Star is also likely to need much further than 1000m. However, his trials have been fair and in a very weak race, he could get into the placings with 120 pounds on his back. #6 Bingo is the other debutant and is undoubtedly better bred to handle this speed test. However, his trials have been unimpressive and he may need time, although he does have leading trainer John Moore in his corner. There is nothing special about the rest, but maybe #3 Riverside Bird – with the 10-pound claim of Matthew Poon – could run an improved race.
RACE 2: BEAS RIVER COUNTRY CLUB HANDICAP
#2 Aeroluminance has shown himself to be on the cusp of a win at his last three runs at both Sha Tin and Happy Valley. The return to Sha Tin and the step up in trip to 1800m both look positives, particular with gate three. He can break through here. #13 Supernatural has looked promising at certain times throughout his career but he has been unable to conjure a win from that. It remains to be seen whether the 1800m is truly the trip he wants, but he does get Joao Moreira aboard for just the second time. He will have plenty of admirers. #11 High Speed Metro is very one-paced but he is the type of horse who bobs up consistently in these sorts of races. Neil Callan is a good booking to be able to take advantage of gate four. #6 Super Sweet Orange failed at his one attempt beyond a mile, but as a son of Zabeel from a family with some stamina, he should be able to see out the 1800m. The gate makes it tough but improvement wouldn’t surprise.
RACE 3: LEVADE HANDICAP
#8 Penzance is a debutant for trainer David Hall. The good-looking son of Pentire is bred to get over a trip and could even be a horse for next year’s Hong Kong Derby if he comes to hand quickly. He tries 1400m at his debut and looks to have been well-prepared for this. The booking of Joao Moreira is the cherry on top. He can win at his first start. #1 Metallic Star doesn’t win out of turn but is always hard to catch over this course and distance when left alone on the speed. Matthew Poon’s 10-pound claim takes him right down in weight and he can skip away if things fall his way. #5 Experto Crede didn’t show a lot at his first run down in class but he is worth another chance, especially given he is likely to find form before the season is out. #14 Wingold might need the drop into Class 5 again but a few of his runs up in grade haven’t been too bad. Expect him to be somewhere around the mark.
RACE 4: OI SUEN HANDICAP
#4 Super Talent disappointed last start behind Forever Posh but his previous two runs had been very good. He looks a horse that is likely to win before the end of the season and, with luck, he can get into the finish. #8 Namjong Invincible really impressed at his first run on the surface in that same Forever Posh race. He’s drawn well again and will be hard to beat. #9 Bolshoi Ballet has long got back and run home strongly in his races, so it is slightly surprising that this is the first time he’s trying the extended mile on this surface. The claim for Matthew Poon takes him down to 112 pounds, so if he gets a clear, unimpeded run, he should be chiming in late. #13 Five Stars Agent is proving hard to follow up in Class 4 but he will be somewhere near the speed and likely in front at some point in the straight.
RACE 5: SHA TIN CLUBHOUSE HANDICAP
#2 Starship was well beaten into second by Jumbo Luck last start, but it was still a positive showing at his first run in Class 4. Zac Purton sticks solid, he has a better draw and he is capable of breaking his Hong Kong duck here. #4 Zero Hedge was sent out an odds-on favourite on debut and despite racing greenly and looking in trouble in the middle stages, he managed to prevail. The form was franked with Lunar Zephyr winning last week, and if he’s taken a further step forward, he will be hard to beat. #3 Noble De Boy was a good, albeit distant, second with Dylan Mo aboard last start. He gets 10 pounds off once more with Matthew Poon now in the saddle and he is sure to be around the mark again. In four seasons, #6 Our Folks has never been rated as low as he is now. He has started to show glimpses of form and he can be expected to find the winners’ circle again in the near future.
RACE 6: FORTUNE ROOM HANDICAP
#5 Victory Boys has been remarkably consistent over the last 15 months, winning four times at Happy Valley and not finishing out of the placings in that time. His one Sha Tin run beyond a mile was very good two runs back and with Matthew Poon taking 10 pounds off his back, he only carries 116 pounds. He’s a major contender. #9 Gorgeous Again has had a long first season, but he has really come of age at his last few outings to win four of his last five starts – including three over this course and distance. He now takes his first shot at Class 3, but in his current form, he cannot be dismissed lightly. #2 Green Dispatch tried hard to throw away victory last start, but he managed to scrape in by a neck. He’s worth taking on at too short a quote, but there’s no doubt he some chance. #1 Ensuring is a better horse than his current rating of 80, but he also needs a race shape to suit and that might be his major query here. Still, he can run home into the placings.
RACE 7: HAPPY VALLEY CLUBHOUSE HANDICAP
#7 Giant Turtle impressed at his first start on this surface two back, while he wasn’t disgraced back at Happy Valley last time out. The return to the dirt looks a plus, even with the wide gate, and there doesn’t look to be a great amount of speed here outside of Grand Harbour, so perhaps he can have things his way on the lead. #4 White Magic has come to life at his last two starts to suggest that he is near a win, if everything falls his way. He should get a nice enough run in transit and this appears his best chance yet to get a win on the board. #3 Red Marvel had spent a year out of the winners’ circle before his last start victory. It remains to be seen if he still has the potential to win again, but he should get a nice run from gate two and he will likely be somewhere around the mark. #8 Willie Way is coming off a career-worst effort at his last start in March, but he did win two races on this surface in 2016, albeit over 1800m. Still, coming into this fresh, perhaps he can add some value to exotics.
RACE 8: THE MEMBERS CUP
#8 Jumbo Luck had been slightly disappointing in two efforts at the top of Class 3 before producing a very dominant win last time out. He is up in grade, but this race doesn’t look that much more difficult and if he gets it easy enough out in front, he should be able to steal a march once again. Hong Kong debutant #6 Brave Legend looked to go to another level when winning his last two races in New Zealand in October, having not shown a great deal as a two-year-old. His trials here suggest that he has taken another step forward again and he can get into the finish fresh. #11 Travel Datuk is proving frustrating to follow – it’s clear he has talent, but he just hasn’t been able to put it all together to win yet. He should get all favours from the inside gate and maybe this race could prove his best chance to break through. #10 Star Of Joy was stuck wide last start and disappointed at Happy Valley. The return to Sha Tin should prove a positive.
RACE 9: MOON KOON HANDICAP
#8 Circuit Hassler looked to be coming to hand earlier this year with two good Class 2 runs, but he then stepped up to the Hong Kong Derby and the Queen Mother Memorial Cup, finishing ninth in both. The return to 1600m off a slight freshen-up looks a positive move and the booking of Matthew Poon means he is thrown in with 107 pounds. What gives him the nod over #1 Seasons Bloom is the weights – only two and a half lengths separated the pair in the Classic Mile at level imposts, but now, Seasons Bloom has to carry a whopping 26 pounds more. Still, Seasons Bloom is also a chance – he has had tough runs at his two course and distance efforts since his Hong Kong Derby fourth. From gate one with Joao Moreira aboard, he must be considered. #4 Jolly Jolly has been solid at his last four starts, the last three from wide gates. He should be able to position somewhere near the lead from gate eight and he will be in the mix for a long way. #2 People's Knight had some minor niggles heading into last start and still ran well enough, coming after a good effort in a Class 1 over 1400m. He could get into the placings.
RACE 10: THE RACING CLUB HANDICAP
#9 Little Giant could hardly have been more impressive at his Hong Kong debut, coasting home by a length and three quarters in Class 3. This backed up some useful form he brought from New Zealand, including big wins over Australian Cup winner Humidor and Brisbane Cup winner Chocante, as well as some handy trials. He looks more than capable of handling the step up to Class 2 with only 122 pounds on his back, and gate two should make his job easier. #12 Lucky Dollar was another who arrived in Hong Kong with a big reputation after two comfortable wins in Australia. He was beaten at his Sha Tin debut behind the reopposing Shamal, but he atoned with an easy win over the straight 1000m last time out. The 1200m will be no issue, especially with a far kinder gate, and he’s the main danger. #2 House Of Fun has done a tremendous job to win five races this season. He may now be on his mark, but with his consistency, it is hard to toss him out completely. #3 Shamal has risen 32 points in the ratings after four consecutive wins. A hallmark of his victories has been that he has made all each time, something that looks tough here with some speedy horses engaged. Still, if he can get out in front, he will keep rolling for a long way.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 10 race broadcast commences at 3.00pm AEST, 1.00pm HKST, on Sky Racing2 and from 5.00pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.
Racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS