SHA TIN SELECTIONS (Sunday February 10, 2019)
RACE 1: #4 Rockage, #11 Paddington, #12 Cour Valant, #2 Indigenous Star
RACE 2: #9 Mr Croissant, #4 Craig’s Star, #10 Prince Of Gems, #1 Marqula
RACE 3: #4 Packing Warrior, #6 Enrichment, #5 Savvy Six, #7 Giant Turtle
RACE 4: #6 Coby Oppa, #3 Generous Heart, #4 Bond Elegance, #10 AlcazarRACE 5: #2 Romantic Chef, #1 Sunny Power, #8 Empire Star, #9 Winwin Ruby
RACE 6: #4 Super Star, #2 Charizard, #7 Fortunate Runner, #6 Guy Dragon
RACE 7: #3 New Asia Sunrise, #4 Hinchinlove, #2 Raging Blitzkrieg, #7 Storm Signal
RACE 8: #3 Speedy King, #9 Special Stars, #2 Seven Heavens, #7 Hair Trigger
RACE 9: #10 Shimmer And Shine, #9 Goldie Flanker, #11 Amazing Star, #8 Noble De Love
RACE 10: #1 Bombay Blitz, #8 Right Choice, #14 Invincible Missile, #7 Uncle Steve
RACE 1: AZALEA HANDICAP
#4 Rockage hasn’t shown much in 10 starts to date. However, he should be better suited back to 1200m in this grade and the booking of Karis Teetan is a positive indicator. He’s right in contention here. #11 Paddington is yet to perform at this course and distance, but his last two straight course efforts are enough to suggest that he can’t be dismissed here, especially with blinkers on. Veteran #12 Cour Valant has his 60th start in this spot. He surely has one more win in him before the season is out. #2 Indigenous Star drops sharply in trip. However, he can finish off strongly under new recruit Martin Harley.
RACE 2: CINERARIA HANDICAP
This race features a number of debutants, including Circuit Three, the Holy Roman Emperor half-brother to 2017 Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles. However, the debutant to watch closest is #9 Mr Croissant, who has trialled very nicely ahead of his debut. This looks the best chance for Hong Kong legend Douglas Whyte to snare a winner at his final day of riding. #4 Craig’s Star has performed well in two starts to date. He’s the best of the raced brigade. #10 Prince Of Gems has to overcome a wide gate but the booking of Zac Purton is a significant factor. Another drawn wide is class-dropper #1 Marqula. He may need one more run, but he’s capable of finishing off strongly.
RACE 3: DAFFODIL HANDICAP
#4 Packing Warrior ran a better race than it appears on paper in the Classic Mile. He should love getting up to this trip now and, with blinkers applied for the first time, he can stamp himself as a legitimate BMW Hong Kong Derby contender. #6 Enrichment is another who should enjoy the 2000m. Joao Moreira arguably sat too pretty on the galloper last time out and left him vulnerable to Good Standing’s short, sharp surge. That’s unlikely to occur here again. #5 Savvy Six demonstrated last start that his past demons seems to be behind him. He’s on a very progressive mark if so and he can take a step forward. The honest #7 Giant Turtle can press forward and stick on for some minor money.
RACE 4: DAISY HANDICAP
#6 Coby Oppa creates plenty of interest heading to the dirt for the first time. By The Factor, a G1 winner on dirt, out of Amazing Tale, a black type winner on dirt, he should be able to handle this surface. Also, the way he stuck on at his debut on the turf behind Midnight Rattler was encouraging, both for the surface but also just in general as he looks to progress at start two. #3 Generous Heart is yet to win on the dirt but he’s performed well a number of times on the track. He was slightly unlucky last time out and he should get a chance to atone here. #4 Bond Elegance is consistent enough on this surface that he should be included. #10 Alcazar ran well over the 1650m last week and he’s not without claims.
RACE 5: LILY HANDICAP
#2 Romantic Chef demonstrated his ability with a big win over Sunny Power two starts back, before sticking on solidly for second last time out. He does meet Sunny Power eight pounds worse off for that November meeting, but he also looks to have more upside and he should be respected here. #1 Sunny Power is once again the danger. He rarely produces a poor effort and he should be given consideration. #8 Empire Star is yet to win from 20 Hong Kong starts. That said, he’s finished around the mark on so many occasions – with 12 first four results – that he’s a must-include for exotics. #9 Winwin Ruby has found form again at his last two and shouldn’t be underestimated.
RACE 6: ORCHID HANDICAP
#4 Super Star won nicely on debut and hasn’t been disgraced in two runs since. He finally draws a good gate in three, which should allow him to enjoy a charmed run for once, and he shapes as the one to beat here. #2 Charizard did beat Super Star by two lengths back in November over 1200m, when in receipt of six pounds. He is seven pounds worse off at the weights in this spot, but his last effort was enough to suggest he can get into the money here. #7 Fortunate Runner has been performing well this season, even though he only has one win to his name. He must be included underneath. #6 Guy Dragon can take another step forward from a more favourable gate.
RACE 7: THE HEUNG YEE KUK CUP
#3 New Asia Sunrise may not be the same horse he once was, but he’s still honest enough when he gets things his own way. That might be more possible here than it was last time out and, in what isn’t the strongest Class 2 of all time, he could take honours here with the right run. #4 Hinchinlove has run second at two of his last three starts in this grade. He’s the one to beat in here, especially back to 1200m. #2 Raging Blitzkrieg is racing so honestly currently that he can’t be left out. #7 Storm Signal is another in good form who must be included in all exotics.
RACE 8: PEACH BLOSSOM HANDICAP
#3 Speedy King has run well over this course and distance at his last two starts, including a win two outings back. He’s drawn to capitalise again and it won’t take much for him to win again. #9 Special Stars is likely to start a short-priced favourite after putting together two wins and a second at his last three starts at Happy Valley. He has to prove his aptitude for the straight, but if he takes to the course, he’s the one to beat. #2 Seven Heavens is always a threat in this grade and he can’t be discounted. #7 Hair Trigger can bounce back here after pulling up lame last time out.
RACE 9: PEONY HANDICAP
#10 Shimmer And Shine ran well at his first start for Caspar Fownes last time out. He should only take natural improvement from that outing and he will be suited back on the dirt. He’s the one to beat. #9 Goldie Flanker needs things to go his way, but he has an incredible turn of foot on his day. He can fly home here. #11 Amazing Star tries the dirt for the first time. His brother Cheerfuljet is a course and distance winner and Amazing Star deserves respect in this spot. #8 Noble De Love was a big victor at thi track and trip last time out. He rarely puts two together in a row but he can’t be dismissed.
RACE 10: ROSE HANDICAP
#1 Bombay Blitz has had plenty of issues, only racing three times in the last year. However, he was showing good signs in July before returning to Class 2 at his last couple of starts. He can perform strongly here. #8 Right Choice has won two of his last three starts. He can continue his rides through the grades. #14 Invincible Missile was beaten at start two last time out, but he made nice ground nonetheless. He’ll be flashing home, even if he does settle closer. #7 Uncle Steve represents the final ever ride of Douglas Whyte after an incredible Hong Kong career spanning more than 22 years in which the Durban Demon has won 13 jockeys’ premierships and over 1800 races. He will be aiming to join another local legend in Tony Cruz, who won at his final ride before becoming a trainer. It’s a tough task but it will be a fairytale result should he get the victory.