Preview and form for the BMW Hong Kong Derby meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday. Selections by Declan Schuster.
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday, March 17, 2019)
RACE 1: #3 Speedy Dragon, #2 Mr Croissant, #13 Loriz, #8 Flying Victory
RACE 2: #4 Dan Control, #10 Aerohappiness, #2 Ka Ying Legend, #12 Looking Good
RACE 3: #6 Trust Me, #4 Meridian Genius, #14 Multimax, #9 Supreme Plus
RACE 4: #14 Dashing Dart, #7 Empire Star, #1 Romantic Chef, #13 Management Star
RACE 5: #1 Chairman Lo, #6 Craig’s Star, #4 Voyage Star, #9 Flame Lily
RACE 6: #2 Good Omen, #1 Heavenly Thought, #7 Vincy, #14 Dynamic Eagle
RACE 7: #5 Full Of Beauty, #4 Flat Heaven, #1 Ugly Warrior, #7 Lean Perfection
RACE 8: #1 Waikuku, #2 Dark Dream, #6 Helene Leadingstar, #13 Tianchi Monster
RACE 9: #9 Happy Force, #10 Invincible Missile, #11 Super Star, #8 Planet Star
RACE 10: #10 Tornado Twist, #8 King Opie, #4 Mongolian King, #3 Solar Patch
RACE 1: FAY FAY HANDICAP
#3 Speedy Dragon is already a two-time winner across his career and a third win would not surprise. He struggled to make ground last start in a leader-dominated race, but he deserves forgiveness, especially if he gets a race run to suit on Sunday. #2 Mr Croissant placed on debut behind the Dennis Yip- trained Prince Of Gems. Prior to his debut second he was an excellent trial winner, where he scored by half a length under a strong hold at Sha Tin (1000m). #13 Loriz has only raced twice for two unplaced runs. He’s drawn (5) to lead where can make his own luck, especially with Matthew Poon’s claim (-3lb) on his back. He’s the value of the race. #8 Flying Victory has impressed in all three of his trials. He’s drawn (14) awkwardly, but he appears forward enough to feature in the finish on debut.
RACE 2: DESIGNS ON ROME HANDICAP
#4 Dan Control is on debut for John Moore and his latest trial performance suggests that he is a live chance to win on debut. He was urged to lead under Zac Purton in his most recent trial, where he went onto win. He’ll be wearing the same famous silks as Dan Excel, who was a three-time G1 winner across his career. #10 Aerohappiness has crafted a consistent record (7: 1-2-2) for trainer John Size. He was slow out last start, but in the straight he rocketed home to finish third. #2 Ka Ying Legend hasn’t started any shorter than a 12-1 so far this season and although he failed to fire a shot last start, his best form is up to this. He’s notched up two second placings this season and with Victor Wong’s claim (-7lb) he gets very well at the weights, especially as he is the second top rated (77) horse in the race. #12 Looking Good has struggled in Class 3 and as a result has only returned one placing from four runs. If he’s ridden cold, he'll get a chance to turn his form around, especially with only 114lb on his back.
RACE 3: SUPER SATIN HANDICAP
#6 Trust Me was sent around as a 227-1 chance last start following a debut last, but he outperformed his starting price as he notched up a fast-finishing second behind Sunshine Universe. Zac Purton takes the reins which is a good push and if he can hold his form, then he should be able to get off the mark. #4 Meridian Genius finished second two starts ago before finishing fourth in his latest. He’s shown enough natural talent to suggest that his last-start fourth is worth forgiving and he’s also a much better 1200m horse. #14 Multimax is a seven-time winner from 64 starts. He’s placed in his last two starts and in his favour is the draw (4), which Craig Williams is expected to utilise and lead early from. #9 Supreme Plus is on debut for Frankie Lor. He’ll be worth keeping safe.
RACE 4: COLLECTION HANDICAP
#14 Dashing Dart hasn’t won since early 2017, but his last three races have seen him record three placings. He’s capable of returning another win in Class 4, especially with only 116lb on his back. #7 Empire Star is a recent acquisition to the John Moore stable. He’s recorded two placings since transferring and in his most recent, he finished fourth, beaten by half a length. He’s winless from 22 starts but this could all change on Sunday. #1 Romantic Chef is one win from six starts across his short career. He won well three starts ago and since then he has recorded two placings, where he has finished less than a length off the winner in each. He’ll need to overcome the wide draw (13) and the 133lb on his back, but he’s race-fit and has claims. #13 Management Star won well last start in Class 5 under Vincent Ho. He has the ability to lead from the draw (1) and if so, find himself somewhere in the finish.
RACE 5: BMW CENTENARY HANDICAP
#1 Chairman Lo has been a costly conveyance across his short career, having finished second on four occasions from six starts, but, he once again rates as the leading chance. He’ll get a soft run under Joao Moreira from the inside draw (2), which should leave him with little excuses. #6 Craig’s Star has placed second in his last two starts. He was only beaten by a neck in his latest behind E Star who sprouted wings from near last to win at a modest 68-1. He’s a talent on the rise and he is capable of winning. #4 Voyage Star led and won well last start in his fourth race appearance. He’ll make his own luck in the lead for Silvestre de Sousa, however, the concern is how he handles the step up to 1400m from 1200m. #9 Flame Lily is worth consideration.
RACE 6: AKEED MOFEED HANDICAP
#2 Good Omen welcomed a drop to Class 3 racing last start by finishing fourth, beaten a length. He’ll be much improved with that performance under his belt and he is already a Class 3 winner this season. #1 Heavenly Thought was G1 placed in Australia when he finished second behind Dark Dream in the Queensland Derby (2200m). He’s expected to improve stepping back up to 2000m from 1800m. #7 Vincy finished third behind Tianchi Monster in his latest. He can run another bold race here. #14 Dynamic Eagle finished an eye-catching fourth in his latest. He’ll finish fast under Vincent Ho.
RACE 7: AMBITIOUS DRAGON HANDICAP
#5 Full Of Beauty is 4/4 across his short career. He’s displayed an electrifying turn of foot in each of his wins and he’s capable of winning again. He steps up to Class 2 which is usually a concern, but for a horse of considerable talent such as him, it shouldn’t pose any threat. #4 Flat Heaven closed impressively for an eye-catching win last start at Happy Valley (1200m). He’s a Class 2 winner already for trainer Ricky Yiu and he should be suited by the spacious track that is, Sha Tin. #1 Ugly Warrior is a five-time winner on the dirt. He transferred to the turf last start where he finished sixth. He’s the likely pacesetter of the race, especially from the inside draw (6) with Victor Wong’s claim (-7lb). #7 Lean Perfection the best of the rest.
RACE 8: THE BMW HONG KONG DERBY 2019
The Hong Kong Derby is Hong Kong’s premier race and it is restricted to horses four-years-old only. The race carries a purse of HK$18 million and it has been won by champions of the turf such as Viva Pataca, Akeed Mofeed, Werther, the late Rapper Dragon and most recently by the John Size-trained; Ping Hai Star. The 2019 edition is set to be another, competitive affair. #1 Waikuku is shaping up as the hardest to beat. He’s one of four from the John Size yard, but of those he is clearly the leading chance, especially with Joao Moreira booked to ride. A winner of his last four starts, he’ll need to overcome the widest draw (14), but the manner of his wins have been ultra-impressive and he’s shown the turn of foot and class that is required to win. He’s advantaged by the set weights (126lb), which will see him as the 108 top-rater, drop 7lb from his length-and-a-half win last start where he carried 133lb to victory. He was during the week however, required to pass a veterinary examination for a sore foot, which came up with no abnormalities and following his trackwork, trainer John Size advised the Stewards that he was satisfied with horse’s work on Thursday and that he had pulled up sound afterwards. He has the ability to overcome the wide draw and win. #2 Dark Dream is one of three from the Frankie Lor stable, who in 2018 won the G1 Queensland Derby (2200m) and since arriving in Hong Kong, he has hit the ground running across his four starts, which includes a win at Class 2 level over 2000m. He hasn’t raced for a month, but as a G1 winner already he commands plenty respect, and of the field, he is one who will see the 2000m out with ease, as he is already a winner over 2200m. #6 Helene Leadingstar is another who is already a derby winner, having won the G1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in Australia when he was previously known as Leicester. He was a two-time winner in Australia and since arriving in Hong Kong he has been put through his paces nicely as he builds towards the HK Derby. He’s yet to step up to 2000m in Hong Kong, but he should relish it and if he can overcome the wide draw, he will be in the finish. #13 Tianchi Monster is a winner of his last two and at his latest start he won well in Class 3. He’s a chance to sneak into the placings for Australian jockey Craig Williams; who is no stranger to G1 success in Hong Kong, having won the 2011 HK Vase with Dunaden.
RACE 9: LUGER HANDICAP
#9 Happy Force is a winner of three of his last four starts and his bold, front-running style of racing should ensure that he is hard to beat once again. He’s kept on winning and he’s done so since so rising from Class 4 to Class 3. Victor Wong’s claim (-7lb) ensures that he will only carry 115lb and he has the most upside of the field. #10 Invincible Missile won on debut for trainer Chris So and since then has recorded a third placing from two runs. He is sure to be around the mark. #11 Super Star is a two-time winner from four starts. He’ll need to handle the class rise, but he’s taken a liking to 1400m and a second win in as many starts would not surprise. #8 Planet Star has found his rhythm and he can’t be overlooked.
RACE 10: RAPPER DRAGON HANDICAP
#10 Tornado Twist brought up the hat-trick two starts ago, however the streak ended at Happy Valley, after he was slow out which cost him the race. His three wins prior came at Sha Tin and he looks well placed to add a fourth win to that tally on Sunday. #8 King Opie was overrun late in his Class 2 debut, but he’ll improve with that run under his belt. He won first up this season and since then his rating has gone from 54 to 83 a figure that could rise again on Sunday. #4 Mongolian King has been thereabouts all season without winning. He flew home in his latest to finish a narrow second and if gets a tempo to suit in this, then he should be flashing home late. The only two wins of his career have come at Sha Tin over 1400m and another wouldn’t surprise. #3 Solar Patch was outclassed last start over 1800m, but he should be much improved dropping back to 1400m. His first up run this season saw him finish second and if he finds that form here, then he is a place chance for Zac Purton.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's BMW Hong Kong Derby meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 10 race broadcast commences at 4.00pm AEST, 1.00pm HKT, on Sky Racing2, from 6.00pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 7.00pm 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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Waikuku contests the BMW Hong Kong Derby on Sunday, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club