Preview and form for the FWD Champions Day meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday. Selections by Declan Schuster.
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday, April 28, 2019)
Race 1: #7 Happy Alumni, #5 Diamond Brilliant, #11 My Winner, #1 Looking Good
Race 2: #1 Dan Control, #13 Golden Sixty, #10 Smart Leader, #11 Speedy Luck
Race 3: #5 War Lord, #1 Everyone’s Joy, #4 Meridian Genius, #6 Duke Wai
Race 4: #9 Right Choice, #3 Time To Celebrate, #4 Encouraging, #7 Red Warrior
Race 5: #8 Splendour And Gold, #1 Not Usual Talent, #14 Guy Dragon, #13 Champion Supreme
Race 6: #1 Santa Ana Lane, #3 Beat The Clock, #2 Mr Stunning, #6 Enzo’s Lad
Race 7: #1 Beauty Generation, #2 Conte, #6 Rise High, #7 Romantic Touch
Race 8: #1 Exultant, #6 Eagle Way, #13 Deirdre, #12 Lys Gracieux
Race 9: #6 Uncle Steve, #11 Craig’s Star, #9 Super Star, #8 Picken
Race 10: #2 Full Of Beauty, #3 Styling City, #5 Little Bird, #1 California Fortune
Race 1: FWD Insurance No. 1 Handicap
#7 Happy Alumni has been close in his last two starts. Latest, finished fourth beaten half a length after being sent around as the favourite. Zac Purton takes the reins and although he’s drawn awkwardly, he’s the one to beat. #5 Diamond Brilliant has placed in both of his appearances. He got going late last start over 1200m to finish a narrow second behind debut-winner, War Lord. He’ll relish the 1400m on offer and is expected to finish fast. #11 My Winner was an eye-catching third in his most recent after settling near last. He remains at this course and distance which should ensure he gets his chance. #1 Looking Good has shown he has plenty of talent but his best and worst have been few and far between.
Race 2: FWD Insurance ACT Private Handicap
#1 Dan Control rates as the winner off his last-start success and he’s expected to do the same again. He’s a high class galloper from the John Moore yard who is capable of making it two wins from two starts. #13 Golden Sixty gets down in the weights with only 116lb on his back following an impressive debut win. He’s drawn a touch awkward but if he can cross to sit on the speed he should get his chance. #10 Smart Leader has placed in his last two. He’ll be thereabouts. #11 Speedy Luck the best of the rest.
Race 3: FWD Insurance ICBC (ASIA) Handicap
#5 War Lord got the job done last start on debut from the tricky draw (14). Trained by John Size out of Conghua, the son of HK G1 winner Sweet Orange is doing everything right and he’s capable of going back-to-back. #1 Everyone’s Joy is another who won on debut. The Frankie Lor-trained gelding has drawn the inside (1) for his second start and he’s a leading player with Zac Purton engaged to ride. #4 Meridian Genius has twice come within less than head of winning. He can be his own worst enemy at times but if he pieces it all together on Sunday, he’s capable of challenging the top duo. #6 Duke Wai scored in a weak Class 4 at his most recent but the manner of his win suggests that he is plenty of upside.
Race 4: FWD Insurance BOCOM Handicap
#9 Right Choice is chasing his fifth consecutive win. He fended off Time To Celebrate last start who he meets here 13lb better off that weights. Umberto Rispoli rides for the first time and if he can settle him on the speed early from the draw, he’ll be awfully hard to catch. #3 Time To Celebrate is clearly the main danger. He was runner-up behind Right Choice last start and his best form is up to this. Top-weight duties will be hard to shoulder but he gets Moreira on his back to offset this. #4 Encouraging is expected to lead and try to make all. He’s drawn to find the rail and he’ll look the winner for a long way. #7 Red Warrior struggled in the Hong Kong Derby. He’ll improve back to Class 2.
Race 5: FWD Insurance CCB (Asia) Handicap
#8 Splendour And Gold is chasing the hat-trick. He’s a talent from the Dennis Yip yard and if he handles the class rise, he’ll be tough to beat. #1 Not Usual Talent got off the mark last start following two consecutive runner-up efforts. He’s progressed nicely through the grades and he rates as the main danger. #14 Guy Dragon gets in with only 117lb on his back. He races in Class 3 for the first time, but in his favour is the weight relief and his last start second over 1400m suggests that 1600m will suit. #13 Champion Supreme is another who gets in light. The wide draw hurts but he’s a place chance.
Race 6: The Chairman’s Sprint Prize (G1)
Lack of speed in the race is a slight concern, however #1 Santa Ana Lane is the world’s highest-rated sprinter for a reason and he’s clearly the one they have to beat. He comes off a last-start win in the G1 TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick and if he’s travelled well he is a force to be reckoned with. #3 Beat The Clock kicked back nicely to hold on for second behind Rattan in the G2 Sprint Cup. He’ll need a sit and sprint but if he gets it, he rates as the main danger. Hard to go against #2 Mr Stunning who is looking for his third G1, however with no likely there is a chance he is forced to take up the running. He’s drawn (3) ideally and his record over 1200m at Sha Tin deserves respect. #6 Enzo’s Lad would be the fairytale story of the race. His two G1 Telegraph wins were impressive and he should find himself in the right spot early.
Race 7: The FWD Champions Mile (G1)
#1 Beauty Generation is the world’s joint highest-rated horse with a mark of 125 and against this field; he should be blow this field away. John Moore’s superstar has won his last eight consecutive races including four at G1 level. Zac Purton is expected to lead and from there, take running down. Race for second is a tight but #2 Conte is the most likely. The son of Starcraft won his first five consecutive races in a row before suffering defeat at the tail-end of last season. Since then, he’s won twice and has twice placed behind Beauty Generation. #6 Rise High has plenty of upside and a genuine future however this may have come too son. #7 Romantic Touch may lead which should give him a chance of finishing in the first half of the field.
Race 8: The FWD QEII Cup (G1)
Easily the most competitive of the three G1’s. #1 Exultant is chasing his third win at the top level. Speed should be on in this race which should see him camp off it where he’ll get every chance. His Hong Kong Vase win was impressive and he is equally as good over the 10 furlongs. #6 Eagle Way was ultra-impressive when closing for second behind Beauty Generation last start in the G2 Chairman’s Trophy. He’ll need to repeat that run if he is to be competitive, but the manner of his finish was eye-catching and he’s the value of the race. #13 Deirdre finished fourth behind Almond Eye in the Dubai Turf last start. She’s familiar with Sha Tin having placed here at G1 level before in the Hong Kong Gold Cup. #12 Lys Gracieux is another who has placed at G1 level in Hong Kong. She loves the 10 furlongs and the inside draw (4) will see her get every opportunity.
Race 9: FWD Insurance Growth Handicap
#6 Uncle Steve narrowly missed last start after making up a stack of ground from the rear. He’s progressed nicely with each outing and he’s reached a winning mark. Strong booking of Zac Purton. #11 Craig’s Star was admirable in defeat last start. Zac Purton weaved a path through the field to run him down, but he was still gallant in defeat. He’ll push forward and make his own luck. #9 Super Star is chasing the hat-trick. He won in Class 3 at his first attempt last start and although this appears tougher, he’s not without a chance. #8 Picken the best of the rest.
Race 10: FWD Insurance Elite Handicap
#2 Full Of Beauty kicked off his Hong Kong career winning five races in a row before suffering his first defeat last start to California Fortune by a short-head. He’s a top talent and he’s capable of atoning for that performance, especially back on the “A” course. #3 Styling City is G3-placed. He finished third in the same race behind Full Of Beauty last start. He’ll be fitter for the run and he’s capable of going home the best. #5 Little Bird should put himself in the race and with even luck, get his chance. #1 California Fortune scored from the front last start. He’ll do the same again but the draw (13) makes things tricky.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's FWD Champions Day meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 10 race broadcast commences at 2.45pm AEST, 12.45pm HKT, on Sky Racing2, from 5.20pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 6.00pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.
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