Clint Hutchison – Hong Kong: The time-honoured St George’s Challenge Cup is the feature event – Race 3 – on the Happy Valley card on Wednesday and on paper it does look wide open.
However local handler Me Tsui and Joao Moreira have as good a chance as any with Hong Kong maiden Dragon Pioneer. There was plenty to like about this galloper’s last run in defeat over the course and distance when he was trapped three-wide without cover and still managed to battle strongly all the way to the line.
This time, from a better draw, he should enjoy a far more economical run in transit and only has to hold his recent form to notch his first local win on his ninth career start. The booking of Moreira inspires some confidence with the Championship starting to hot up. While Dragon Pioneer might be a good Eachway play, there could be some real value in a box Trifecta with a couple of the rivals seemingly too big in the market.
Cerefino will no doubt start reasonably big odds and he was quite solid over 1400m on his last outing and might be able to dictate the tempo in this event. Smart Declaration has been holding form well and must be included, along with After Me who might strip a touch fitter for his last outing.
Tony Millard has an excellent chance to notch his 30th winner this season in Race 2 with Master Viking who will be having his tenth start this season.
His last effort indicated he is back in form, and is well handicapped now based on his efforts from last term. A good barrier draw and the 4.5kg claim of Vincent Wong make appeal given Master Viking is a rather straight forward ride and considering he should be around the 6-1 mark, he looks a solid Eachway bet.
One of the better bets on the card is in the last race with Let’s Take It Easy. HIs recent form this term has been impeccable and lost no admirers in defeat on his last outing when caught in the shadow of the post.
It was a brave performance given the strong tempo for the first-half of the race and if he can hold the form from that run, then he looks a good way to finish the card, with a straight out Win bet.
RACE 2 NO 9 EACHWAY
RACE 3 BOXED TRIFECTA 6-8-9-10
RACE 8 NO 6 WIN