Preview and form for the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday. Selections by Andrew Hawkins.
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday April 15, 2018)
RACE 1: #6 Strathallan, #4 Quadruple Double, #3 Speed Vision, #7 Styling City
RACE 2: #6 Happy Sound, #2 Sky Treasure, #9 Le Pegase, #5 The Greatest
RACE 3: #3 Fiama, #2 Unicron Jewellery, #1 Hang's Decision, #4 Positively High
RACE 4: #8 Striking Mr C, #4 Goldie Flanker, #2 Giddy Giddy, #1 Gallant Return
RACE 5: #2 Photon Willie, #8 Honest Way, #9 Noble De Love, #1 Hard Ball Get
RACE 6: #5 Desmios, #8 Strathspey, #2 Marvel Joy, #1 Red Elysees
RACE 7: #3 Mr Lumieres, #1 Patriotism, #12 Alcari, #8 Dragon Pioneer
RACE 8: #2 Packing Dragon, #1 Exultant, #3 Ruthven, #9 Consort
RACE 9: #4 Shamport, #8 Hard Promise, #13 Sonic Fighter, #3 God Of Dragon
RACE 10: #6 Team Fortune, #3 Fight Hero, #11 Pick Number One, #12 Radiant Steed
RACE 11: #4 Hezthewonforus, #1 Great Honour, #6 Win Beauty Win, #8 So Fast
RACE 1: CASTLE PEAK BAY PLATE
The first griffin race of the season sees seven unraced gallopers take to the Sha Tin 1000m. #6 Strathallan, a two-year-old half-brother to Perth Listed winner Mr Utopia and South African G1 placegetter Brazuca, has shown precocity in trials. He looks well-primed to make a winning debut. #4 Quadruple Double, the first son of Zoustar to race in Hong Kong, has trialled well and shapes as a danger. #3 Speed Vision, a son of Helmet out of a half-sister to proven Hong Kong entities Chater Way and Beauty Prince, can show up on debut. #7 Styling City is interesting – he has not trialled in blinkers, but he sports the headgear at his first start. He is one to watch.
RACE 2: KAT O HOI HANDICAP
#6 Happy Sound will likely head to the lead under Matthew Poon. He doesn’t quite see out a strong 1200m but, on this surface, he could hold off all challengers if he gets it easy enough. #2 Sky Treasure returns to Class 5 and to 1200m here. He should be able to track the speed and if he gets the breaks, he can get into the finish. #9 Le Pegase drops back to 1200m, a trip short of his best this season. However, he should enjoy a nice run and he could get into the placings. #5 The Greatest has been improving in recent starts and is not without a hope.
RACE 3: MIRS BAY HANDICAP
#3 Fiama should have won last time out, striking plenty of trouble in the stretch. He’s a talented galloper who should be winning in short order. #2 Unicron Jewellery was plain last time out. In a race with limited speed, he could push forward and if so, he could prove hard to run down. #1 Hang's Decision is out of form but he is at a mark where he should be able to break through again soon. Don’t be surprised to see him run a better race here. #4 Positively High should be better up to a mile and can finish in the placings.
RACE 4: PORT SHELTER HANDICAP
#8 Striking Mr C has performed fairly in two starts to date. The switch to the dirt is a fascinating move but this appears easier than the other races he has contested and he deserves consideration. #4 Goldie Flanker has a great turn of foot on this surface but he needs things to go his way. If he can get conditions to suit, he’ll be chiming in late. #2 Giddy Giddy returns to Class 4 here. Expect him to ping out and lead from gate 12 and if he can get things easy enough, he’ll be hard to run down. #1 Gallant Return has talent but he’s still putting it all together. He’s one to watch.
RACE 5: RAMBLER CHANNEL HANDICAP
#2 Photon Willie drops to Class 4 for the first time in his Hong Kong career. He hasn’t been too bad in recent starts and if he can gain clear running in the straight from gate two, he’ll be hard to beat. #8 Honest Way flashed home to just fall short on debut before boxing on last time out. This is the best gate he’s drawn and if he is able to take a step forward, he’s going to be right in the mix. #9 Noble De Love is sure to have plenty of supporters after two good runs at his last two starts. He’s in contention. #1 Hard Ball Get also drops back into Class 4 once more. He has a good record in the grade and can’t be dismissed.
RACE 6: THE CUHK ALUMNI CUP
#5 Desmios has had a number of issues and has taken time to find his form, but all appeared set for him to finally break through – that is, before last start, when he failed after a tough trip. He’s drawn wide again but Joao Moreira jumps aboard and if he is able to get any sort of run, he’s a contender. #8 Strathspey had plenty of support last time out but put in a shocking effort. He’s had three months on the sidelines and if he can find the form he’d been showing previously, he’s in with a hope. #2 Marvel Joy drops into Class 4. His last run was poor but he had shown hints of form before that and he does get in well with Victor Wong’s 10-pound claim. #1 Red Elysees doesn’t win out of turn but he won nicely last time out and maps to get a similar trip here.
RACE 7: SHA TIN HOI HANDICAP
#3 Mr Lumieres won nicely on debut in Hong Kong before he stayed on OK last time out. He has drawn the all-important outside gate over the straight 1000m this time out and appears hard to catch in this spot. #1 Patriotism makes his Hong Kong debut, having raced eight times in Europe when named Frozen Angel. He performed well as an early two-year-old before losing his way, but his trials here have suggested that he might be able to find his best again. If so, he’s well-rated. #12 Alcari has proven a big disappointment, but he might be able to return to form back to 1000m. #8 Dragon Pioneer is next best.
RACE 8: THE KOWLOON CRICKET CLUB CENTENARY CUP
#2 Packing Dragon steps up to 2200m for the first time since finishing seventh in this race last year, behind the likes of Beauty Generation, Eagle Way and Dinozzo – all subsequent Group winners. It was a surprise to see him outpaced last time out, as he’s usually able to find the lead fairly comfortably. The 10-pound claim for Victor Wong could prove crucial if he is able to get the horse rolling out in front, so he deserves respect here. Last-start Derby third and fourth placegetters #1 Exultant and #3 Ruthven are sure to have their admirers. They will use this as a stepping stone to the QEII Cup in two weeks and can’t be dismissed with an extra 200m to navigate. #9 Consort has no weight but he is a teaser. He’s a place chance.
RACE 9: TOLO HARBOUR HANDICAP
#4 Shamport performed well on debut in Hong Kong. He had some decent enough Australian form and if he can take a step forward from his first Sha Tin start, he’ll be right in the mix here. #8 Hard Promise disappointed last time out but had been looking near a breakthrough before that. With a good gate this time around back at the Sha Tin 1400m, he can’t be overlooked. #13 Sonic Fighter steps up to Class 3 for the first time. He has no weight and he should be respected. #3 God Of Dragon is steadily acclimatising and can finish around the mark.
RACE 10: VICTORIA HARBOUR HANDICAP
#6 Team Fortune was unlucky not to get into the placings last time out. With even luck over his favourite surface, he should be in the finish this time around. #3 Fight Hero is proving a consistent commodity on the dirt. He just finds the 1200m too sharp but it is more suitable than the 1650m, which seems to test his stamina, and he can finish over the top of his rivals if they go too quick. #11 Pick Number One is unbeaten on the dirt. He has no weight, and he could easily continue to progress. #12 Radiant Steed won twice at the course and distance last season. He has been a different animal this term, so he creates interest back to the dirt.
RACE 11: YAN CHAU TONG HANDICAP
#4 Hezthewonforus was an eight-length maiden winner at Avondale in New Zealand. He had everything to suit but he still showed plenty of talent that day. He has trialled strongly here in Hong Kong and should be hard to stave off first time out. #1 Great Honour drops into Class 3 after two acclimatising runs in Class 2. He may still need one or two more, but expect a better effort here. #6 Win Beauty Win steps out for the first time since his Griffin Trophy win. He is still untapped. #8 So Fast can fill a minor placing.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 11 race broadcast commences at 2.30pm AEST, 12.30pm HKST, on Sky Racing2, from 5.00pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 6.05pm AEST 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.au form and select race.
Racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club