The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s selections and race-by-race analysis for the meeting at Sha Tin on Saturday:
RACE 1: #8 Rock The Tree, #3 Holy Unicorn, #7 Sweet Bean, #4 Clement Legend
RACE 2: #3 Hard Promise, #1 Happy Tour, #4 Honest Way, #7 Gracious Ryder
RACE 3: #2 Royal Mojito, #4 Right Choice, #7 Startling Power, #9 Nice Kick
RACE 4: #7 Smart Patch, #10 Team Spirit, #6 Music Addition, #8 Endearing
RACE 5: #3 Super Fun, #12 Gouten Of Garo, #4 Witness Hunter, #5 City Legend
RACE 6: #2 McQueen, #9 Bundle Of Energy, #7 You Have My Word, #11 Romantic Journey
RACE 7: #4 Super Giant, #3 Last Kingdom, #13 Mr Picasso, #14 Lady First
RACE 8: #2 Jolly Banner, #7 Little Giant, #6 Doctor Geoff, #13 New Asia Sunrise
RACE 9: #4 Team Fortune, #9 Elite Boy, #12 Just Not Listening, #7 Speedy King
RACE 10: #11 Happy Sebring, #3 Marzouq, #7 Arcada, #1 Go Beauty Go
RACE 1: PANASONIC FRONT LOADING WASHING MACHINE HANDICAP
#8 Rock The Tree is a month and a half away from turning 10, but his last run over the Happy Valley 2200m was enough to suggest that he can win once more before his inevitable retirement. If he can take off at the right time, he will be right in the mix. #3 Holy Unicorn is sure to start favourite here after two wins. He might get a soft lead here and that makes him hard to beat. #7 Sweet Bean rarely runs a bad race over this course and distance. He’s a place chance. #4 Clement Legend can progress off a big win last time out.
RACE 2: PANASONIC HEAT-PUMP AIR CONDITIONER HANDICAP
#3 Hard Promise ran well enough from a bad gate at his first start for Benno Yung last time out. He drops in grade, gets a better draw and should be able to run a better race now. #1 Happy Tour won nicely last time out. He looks to have plenty of improvement still left in him as he develops and another big effort should be expected. #4 Honest Way is proving tough to catch but he should enjoy a nice run in transit here. He must be considered. #7 Gracious Ryder is a chance if he puts his best foot forward.
RACE 3: PANASONIC 4K TV HANDICAP
#2 Royal Mojito still hasn’t won after 21 Hong Kong starts, but he has been running well down in grade. It appears only a matter of time before he gets his win and he should enjoy every chance from the inside gate. #4 Right Choice makes his debut here. He’s trialled well enough and the booking of Zac Purton is a strong push. #7 Startling Power is always capable of running a big race over this course and distance. Don’t be surprised to see him bob up. #9 Nice Kick ran well at his last start and, in a similar race, he should be in the mix.
RACE 4: PANASONIC RF ULTRASONIC BEAUTY DEVICE HANDICAP
#7 Smart Patch was a big winner on debut at Matamata in New Zealand in January. He has trialled well and he looks a horse with plenty of potential. Expect a big effort at his first Hong Kong start. #10 Team Spirit is one of a number of horses who could potentially lead here. He didn’t do much fresh, but second-up, he should perform better. #6 Music Addition is another debutant here. He arrives with big wraps from his stable in Sydney and should be able to find form quickly. #8 Endearing looks a major place player.
RACE 5: PANASONIC IH WARM JAR HANDICAP
#3 Super Fun has been mixing his form, but his effort two runs back on the speed was good enough for him to race well here. He’s a leading player. #12 Gouten Of Garo has talent but does just enough wrong to prevent him from breaking through. It’s only a matter of time though and he could easily get that win here. #4 Witness Hunter showed dramatic improvement to win last time out. He’ll need to step forward again here, but it’s not out of the question. #5 City Legend is honest.
RACE 6: SHUN HING GROUP 65TH ANNIVERSARY HANDICAP
#2 McQueen gets down to Class 4 for the first time. Blinkers go on and he gets a race with limited pace, which should suit him. He looks hard to beat in this spot. #9 Bundle Of Energy returns to the Sha Tin turf for the first time since his second start. Getting up to this trip should suit him. #7 You Have My Word has impressed, at least in this grade, since getting up in trip. The half-brother to Lucia Valentina looks well-placed here and must be respected. #11 Romantic Journey can lead here in a race with few speed horses. If he does, he can stick on for a placing.
RACE 7: PANASONIC 100TH ANNIVERSARY HANDICAP
#4 Super Giant really caught the eye flashing home for third at his first Hong Kong start in July. He has trialled well leading into this and a repeat of that effort will see him go very close here. #3 Last Kingdom is a talented, but incredibly quirky, son of Frankel. He steps out for Paul O’Sullivan here and perhaps the change of stable might help him to settle down. If he can race tractably, he’s very hard to beat. #13 Mr Picasso is another quirky type who has found form again at his last couple of starts. He’s a chance yet again. #14 Lady First is the last Hong Kong runner for trainer Michael Freedman, who heads back to Australia after Saturday’s meeting. He is not without a hope.
RACE 8: THE PANASONIC CUP
#2 Jolly Banner gets blinkers on again as he returns to 1400m. He was beaten first-up in a small field but he should get everything his own way in this spot and he has trialled the house down in preparation for this. He’s right in the mix. #7 Little Giant has had his career restricted due to injury, but his first-up win was arrogant and enough to suggest he deserves his chance in this spot. He’s drawn awkwardly, but he’s the horse to beat in here. #6 Doctor Geoff is suited by the step up to 1400m. He may have to go back from the wide gate but he will be flying home late. #13 New Asia Sunrise is honest and, with no weight, he could figure at odds.
RACE 9: PANASONIC SYSTEM KITCHEN HANDICAP
#4 Team Fortune is a class better over this course and distance than he is on the turf. Getting back to the dirt at this rating should give him every chance to break through again. #9 Elite Boy bled as an odds-on favourite at his last start in May. He has trialled well and he has plenty of points in hand. A big effort should be expected. #12 Just Not Listening steps up to Class 3 for the first time, having won twice in Class 4. He is yet to run a bad race over 1200m on the Sha Tin dirt and deserves respect again. #7 Speedy King must be included.
RACE 10: PANASONIC JUSTFIT THERMO VENTILATOR HANDICAP
#11 Happy Sebring had been racing well at the top of Class 4, but had just struggled to break through – until last start. He finally got that win three weeks ago and he looks well-placed down in the weights here. #3 Marzouq improved with every start last preparation. If he continues his progression, he’s got another win in him very quickly. #7 Arcada ran better at his first start for Tony Millard last time out. He might be ready to improve quickly and he should be kept safe. #1 Go Beauty Go can run a strong race on the speed.
HKJC presenters’ selections:
Best Bet – R2 N1 Happy Tour
Longshot – R9 N8 All Best Friends
Best Play – R8 Q/Qp 7,8,9
Best Bet – R3 N4 Right Choice
Longshot – R10 N7 Arcada
Best Play – R3 qqp 2-4-6
Andrew le Jeune
Best bet – R6 N9 Bundle Of Energy
Longshot – R10 N4 Warm The Voice
Best Play – Q/QP R10 3-4-11