Selections and previews for each race on Wednesday’s card for Happy Valley:
RACE 1: #1 Little Fantasy, #3 Excellence, #5 Gold Velvet, #10 Dynamic Lions
RACE 2: #10 Lucky Lucky, #4 Leisured Feet, #6 Bingo, #1 Adonis
RACE 3: #6 Giant Turtle, #7 Har Har Heart, #4 Ensuring, #6 Super Chic
RACE 4: #8 Sparkling Sword, #3 Sichuan Boss, #2 Merrygowin, #1 Kiram
RACE 5: #1 Eighty Eighty, #7 Golden Glory, #9 Applause, #3 Happy Surveys
RACE 6: #2 Dances With Dragon, #5 Money Boy, #12 Very Rich Man, #8 After Me
RACE 7: #1 The Judge, #10 Jolly Gains, #5 Little Island, #7 Ultimate Dream
RACE 8: #5 Cheerfuljet, #1 Smart Boy, #4 Fantastic Feeling, #11 Triumphant Jewel
RACE 1: DAEJEON HANDICAP
#1 Little Fantasy drops into Class 5 for the first time at his 26th Hong Kong start. His form has been moderate recently, but now into this grade, he deserves consideration. #3 Excellence also returns to Class 5 after some fair efforts in Class 4. He gets Zac Purton back in the saddle and he’s a big player with even luck from gate nine. #5 Gold Velvet has his first run for Tony Millard and has drawn the inside gate. He’s a major contender. #10 Dynamic Lions also steps out for a new trainer, with Richard Gibson his new handler. He hasn’t caught the eye in his trials but with no weight in the cellar grade, he can be included at odds.
RACE 2: INCHEON HANDICAP
#10 Lucky Lucky has not raced in over a month. He has had to contend with a number of bad barriers recently, but with a better draw over this course and distance, he deserves another chance. #4 Leisured Feet has been working his way back into form. His last run was good and with Joao Moreira aboard now, he must be included. #6 Bingo is still a bit weak but he finally broke through last time. It might be better watching him here, though. #1 Adonis is finding form and bears close attention now that he has gained a start.
RACE 3: BUSAN HANDICAP
#6 Giant Turtle is an admirable galloper who has rarely run a poor race this season. He won at his only go at this distance, beating Ensuring at Sha Tin in January. He does meet Ensuring seven pounds worse for a three-quarter length victory, but he is also racing well and deserves another go in this spot. #7 Har Har Heart steps up to this trip for the first time. He looks as though he’ll relish this sort of race, so he must go in. #4 Ensuring has lost his way in recent starts but he had proven very consistent before that. If he can bounce back, he’s right in the mix. #6 Super Chic can also bounce back stepping back up to 2200m.
RACE 4: DAEGU HANDICAP
#8 Sparkling Sword couldn’t get out to lead last time out, settling midfield, but he still ran well. If he can get anywhere near the lead, he’ll be hard to beat. #3 Sichuan Boss was a strong course and distance winner three back, while last time out, he was unlucky not to finish closer after being held up for much of the straight. He has a plum draw this time and that could prove crucial. #2 Merrygowin is another who improved for the drop in class last time out. He’s yet to miss the board in eight starts in Class 4 and stepping up to this course and distance might bring out the best in him. #1 Kiram has an awkward draw but cannot be overlooked.
RACE 5: INCHEON HANDICAP
#1 Eighty Eighty has not set the world on fire like he was expected to do after a number of very good barrier trials, but he hasn’t been terrible either. He has hit the board at each of his four starts, winning once and finishing second twice. He makes his Happy Valley debut here and from a good gate, he’s a serious chance. #7 Golden Glory is racing well and needs just a slight ounce of luck to finish in the numbers. #9 Applause is capable of getting into the finish on his current rating. #3 Happy Surveys has dropped a long way from his peak and, despite his fourth consecutive outside barrier over the Happy Valley 1200m, he can place.
RACE 6: THE KOREA RACING AUTHORITY TROPHY
#2 Dances With Dragon has had a chequered path since a good fresh effort in December. He’s first-up since unseating Joao Moreira at the gates in a race at this course in February. The 1000m might prove too sharp, but with blinkers on, he’s one well worth keeping safe here. #5 Money Boy is a hit and miss prospect, but he has a good draw and he’s well in contention if he can get luck at the right time. #12 Very Rich Man has to carry three pounds over, but he is the type who could get loose on the lead regardless. #8 After Me deserves consideration if he can improve on a solid debut fifth.
RACE 7: DAEGU HANDICAP
#1 The Judge returns to Class 4, where he has finished second twice from only two attempts. He should get every chance to break his Hong Kong maiden here. #10 Jolly Gains has been working his way into form, placing at his last two starts. He’s the one to beat in this spot. #5 Little Island ran well two back before disappointing last time out. Perhaps he needs to be ridden closer to the speed, which he should be able to do from the inside gate with blinkers applied. If he can settle that little bit closer, he’s right in the mix. #7 Ultimate Dream is unplaced from eight Hong Kong runs. However, he has a good draw now and he seems to be finding his feet, so he could get into the placings.
RACE 8: SEOUL HANDICAP
#5 Cheerfuljet has not lived up to two very impressive wins in Class 4, both with Zac Purton in the saddle. However, he has run OK twice in Class 3 from four attempts. Purton jumps back aboard now and, from a good gate, he should be able to get into the finish. #1 Smart Boy is an underrated galloper, but he still got another win last time out. If he can get the right run, he could end up in the money. #4 Fantastic Feeling is consistent and he is getting back down to a mark where he can score again. #11 Triumphant Jewel might need to get down to Class 4 but he has run a couple of nice races recently and he could hit the board. – Hong Kong Jockey Club
Hong Kong TV presenters’ tips:
R1 – 9-5-7-4
R2 – 4-6-10-1
R3 – 6-7-5-4
R4 – 3-2-5-4
R5 – 1-6-5-9
R6 – 5-1-10-2
R7 – 10-12-1-9
R8 – 2-10-5-7
Best: R7 – 10 Jolly Gains
Longshot: R5 – 6 People’s Champion
Best Play: R3 – QQP 5,6,7
Best Bet: R4 – 2 Merrygowin
Longshot: R6 – 10 Happy Cooperation
Best Play: R4 – QQP 2,3,4
Andrew le Jeune
Best Bet: R5 – 1 Eighty Eighty
Longshot: R6 – 2 Dances With Dragon
Best Play: R5 – QQP 1,2,10