Clint Hutchison: Hong Kong – The France Galop Cup (Race 7) is one of the feature events on Wednesday’s Happy Valley card and provides a good opportunity for champion jockey Joao Moreira to add to his seasons tally as the Brazilian searches for his third local title.
Moreira’s mount Gunnison, an Australian import, has performed soundly in five Hong Kong starts and one could argue that his best run to date was his most recent effort when powering home over 1000m down the straight at Sha Tin. He was no match for the winner on that occasion, but he reeled off some highly respectable final sections and now looks close to a win.
This will be his first trip to the city circuit, but he is a tractable sort who has drawn nicely and Moreira should be able to grab the box seat.
It could prove an enthralling contest as far as the jockeys’ title is concerned, with key rival Zac Purton riding the main danger, Fortune Booth. This galloper drops back in trip and his Happy Valley form this season has been excellent.
Fortune Booth is likely to start a marginal favourite, but Gunnison brings in some solid form and a Win bet on him does appeal.
Trainer Tony Millard’s Gold Velvet is an interesting entrant in the fourth event on the back of his last victory, which was his first run for Millard since moving over from local trainer Benno Yung. Quite simply, Gold Velvet looked a different horse and won eased down by almost four lengths under Chad Schofield. It was a highly impressive performance and although he takes a rise in grade, he clearly looks up to this standard.
He was heavily backed when winning last time and no doubt the betting public will come for him again. Still, it is worth taking the short odds on a Win bet.
Earlier on the card, in Race 3, David Ferraris’ Raichu is another that can be followed. He has been a model of consistency this season, with a number of placings before he won in an easier grade last time. It was a brave effort under top weight and, with Dougie Whyte on board and a favourable draw, he is capable of landing back-to-back wins.
Given that his form is well exposed and his last winning margin was narrow, the market might disregard his chances and he looks incredible value in the double figures. He is a solid Eachway chance.
RACE 3 12 Eachway
RACE 4 8 Win
RACE 7 12 Win