Preview and form for the meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday night. Selections by Andrew Hawkins.
HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday January 23, 2019)
RACE 1: #1 Penzance, #6 Come On Wongchoy, #4 The Joy Of Giving, #11 Wealthy Fortune
RACE 2: #6 Snap Fit, #4 Mr Right, #5 Gift Of Lifeline, #11 Tom’s Dragon
RACE 3: #2 Dashing Dart, #12 My Blessing, #6 Travel Ambassador, #10 Lucky Storm
RACE 4: #5 Naboo Star, #3 Bond Elegance, #8 Travel Datuk, #12 Royal Chocolate
RACE 5: #7 Happy Warrior, #4 General Dino, #1 Merrygowin, #5 Great Joy
RACE 6: #4 Music Addition, #11 Mr Picasso, #8 Roman Impero, #2 Ka Ying Legend
RACE 7: #1 Bigwood, #4 Helene Charisma, #3 Rocketeer, #6 Rickfield
RACE 8: #5 Fearless Fire, #7 Sleep Education, #4 Bank On Red, #10 Arcada
RACE 1: FA HUI HANDICAP
#1 Penzance doesn’t win out of turn, but he’s on a mark where he’s able to score again. The blinkers go back on – the last time he sported them, he was beaten by 26 lengths, but he appears to be a bit more race savvy now so they could just be that extra boost he needs to find the winners’ circle once again. #6 Come On Wongchoy has put together a string of runner-up finishes at his last three starts. He steps up to 2200m now for the first time and, although it remains to be seen whether it will suit, he does get Zac Purton aboard and he will likely be in front at some stage in the straight. #4 The Joy Of Giving is coming off a nice win last time out and there’s no reason why he can’t go back to back. #11 Wealthy Fortune might be able to win once more before he faces mandatory retirement later this year.
RACE 2: MONG KOK HANDICAP
#6 Snap Fit makes his debut here. The Nadeem four-year-old has trialled well enough and the booking of Zac Purton is a strong push. This isn’t an overly strong race and, if he gets any luck at all, he’s capable of getting into the finish. #4 Mr Right’s strong Happy Valley 1000m record in this grade has been eroded in recent starts. He’s still capable on his day though and he can’t be dismissed. #5 Gift Of Lifeline should have gone much better on debut than he did, although he ended up in an awkward spot in a race dominated from the front on the dirt. The step back to 1000m is interesting, but he’s worth including in all exotics here. #11 Tom’s Dragon will have his supporters and, while he’s a chance, gate 12 will make it tough.
RACE 3: SHAM SHUI PO HANDICAP
#2 Dashing Dart has run well in three starts since dropping down to this grade. His biggest issue is missing the break, but if he can jump on terms, he’s going to be hard to beat in this spot. #12 My Blessing gets Silvestre de Sousa aboard here. He’s the type of horse that can improve sharply off his current mark and he’s worth including. #6 Travel Ambassador has only won once from 31 starts, but he’s racing well enough to get into the money here. #10 Lucky Storm will likely press forward. A win is coming sooner or later.
RACE 4: THE HONG KONG FOOTBALL CLUB CENTENARY CUP
#5 Naboo Star has trialled like a very nice horse and his last effort was terrific to get as close as he did after he bombed the start. He has another awkward gate, but he’s likely to be over the odds and he’s worth playing here. #3 Bond Elegance returns to the turf for the first time since April. He won over this course and distance off a slightly lower mark back in March and he deserves respect here. It seems amazing that #8 Travel Datuk is yet to win here in Hong Kong. He’s having his 29th local start in this spot and a win is going to come at some point. Don’t be surprised if it happens here. #12 Royal Chocolate steps back up into Class 4, but his last couple of runs in Class 5 have been good enough to suggest he can figure with no weight on his back.
RACE 5: SIU SAI WAN HANDICAP
#7 Happy Warrior has run well at his last two course and distance starts, being beaten by a neck and a short head when striking trouble on both occasions. He is likely to go off at a very short price again – he was odds-on last time out – but he is the most likely winner in this spot. #4 General Dino performed poorly last time out but had run well twice at Happy Valley before that. He’s drawn awkwardly again but, if he gets speed on, he’s likely to finish off strongly. #1 Merrygowin hadn’t shown a lot before improving for fifth last time out. The drop in grade should help him too and he’s a live hope. In what is a deep race, it’s worth throwing #5 Great Joy into all exotics – he needs luck but he’s one who can get into the finish at odds.
RACE 6: SO KON PO HANDICAP
#4 Music Addition arrived with big wraps and his first effort over the Sha Tin 1200m suggested he’d quickly find the winners’ circle. However, his second start over that same course and distance last month saw him finish near the rear after a wide trip. He’s drawn a good gate for the first time at his Happy Valley debut and he gets his first real chance to show his ability here. #11 Mr Picasso is as quirky as they come but he’s always capable of getting into the finish. Don’t underestimate him. #8 Roman Impero returns for the first time since April. His form has been better over further but, fresh, he’s worthy of respect. #7 Blocker Dee has gained a run with the scratching of Cao Cao. He’s going to be in the right spot and he’s not without claims.
RACE 7: SOUTHORN HANDICAP
#1 Bigwood is racing well. He has to overcome an awkward draw but he shapes as the one to beat again. #4 Helene Charisma remains winless through 26 Hong Kong starts. However, his Class 3 efforts have, on the whole, been good. He’s worth including in this spot. His former stablemate #3 Rocketeer returns to Class 3 here for just the second time. He should enjoy a nice run just behind the speed and he can get into the finish. #6 Rickfield is a two-time course and distance winner who finally strikes a suitable race. He’s a place chance.
RACE 8: TAI HANG TUNG HANDICAP
#5 Fearless Fire finally steps up beyond 1200m again, having found form over shorter trips this season. He’s the type who should be suited at the extended mile here at Happy Valley, so he’s worth a play in this spot. #7 Sleep Education has another awkward draw. The key with him is being able to get into a handy position; if Neil Callan can get him into fourth or fifth, then he’s in with a chance. #4 Bank On Red can capitalise on the inside gate to enjoy a nice run in transit and, perhaps, to get into the finish once again. #10 Arcada is steadily improving and he shapes 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 HKT, on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.
Click on the HKJC form guide banner for Racingandsports.com form and select race.
Racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club