The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s selections and race-by-race analysis for the meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday 22 May:
Race 1: #10 Bonito, #11 Little Fantasy, #5 Megatron, #2 Wicker
Race 2: #5 Lucky Thought, #4 Cheer Win, #8 Takingufurther, #9 Blooming Spirit
Race 3: #8 Last Kingdom, #10 Win Win, #7 Big Bang Bong, #5 Magnificent
Race 4: #10 Curling Luxury, #1 Jumbo Prize, #3 The Show, #6 High Rev
Race 5: #11 Mister Monte, #1 Happy Warrior, #3 Acclaimed Light, #9 Gentry
Race 6: #11 Mighty Maverick, #6 Loving A Boom, #4 Planet Star, #1 Starlight
Race 7: #1 Telecom Puma, #3 Endearing, #4 Mr Genuine, #5 Sparkling Dragon
Race 8: #6 Yee Cheong Baby, #5 Tornado Twist, #3 High Five, #11 Fat Turtle
Race 1: Cornwall Handicap
#10 Bonito led and won well last start. He’s capable of doing the same again in Class 5 against a field devoid of early speed. #11 Little Fantasy doesn’t win out of turn – he’s only one from 16 in Hong Kong – but he’s dangerous off his current mark. He’ll be in the mix and there’s every chance he breaks through for a second win here. #5 Megatron has found form his last runs, placing third in his latest. He’ll need to overcome the wide draw but he should be thereabouts. #2 Wicker remains a big watch in Class 5.
Race 2: Dorset Handicap
#5 Lucky Thought has returned two placings from his last two runs. He was narrowly run down last start to finish second by a neck. He’s expected to employ the same front running tactics as last time and from there, prove difficult to catch. #4 Cheer Win has mixed his form but he appears to have returned a winning mark. He’ll be running on strongly. #8 Takingufurther improved considerably last start to grab third. He’ll roll forward from the draw and be in front for a long way. #9 Blooming Spirit is steadily improving and he’s capable of running into the placings.
Race 3: Lancashire Handicap
#8 Last Kingdom is winless across 16 starts, but his recent form suggests that he is nearing a maiden Hong Kong success. Strong booking of Joao Moreira signals intent from the stable. #10 Win Win got off the mark with an excellent win two starts ago. He found himself trapped at the back of the field last start and from there he struggled to get into the race. He’s drawn much better this time in gate 2 and with Zac Purton hopping aboard; he shapes as the main danger. #7 Big Bang Bong is the veteran of the field having raced 48 times for four wins. He has the race-experience and another win would not surprise. #5 Magnificent is the likely leader under Dylan Mo. He’ll be thereabouts.
Race 4: Dorset Handicap
#10 Curling Luxury is a four-time winner at Happy Valley over 1650m. He’s been competitive all season especially when he’s been allowed to roll forward and he should be able to do this again with ease from barrier 2. #1 Jumbo Prize ran to within half a length of Le Terroir last start over this course and distance. He’s capable of progressing further at only his third outing. #3 The Show has been in career-best form this season. He’s racing well and he gets a handy claim from Dylan Mo (-3lb) who drove him to victory two starts ago. #6 High Rev is next best.
Race 5: The St George’s Challenge Cup (Handicap)
Predicted fast pace could play into #11 Mister Monte’s favour. Michael Chang’s galloper finally draws a good gate and if he can stalk the leaders, he may find himself in the right spot. He’s worth a small play here at the big price. #1 Happy Warrior has placed in his last three runs. He’s drawn wide which is a slight concern as he likes to lead, but if he can get into a nice rhythm close to the speed, he’s in with a chance. #3 Acclaimed Light rarely runs a bad race and he should be somewhere in the mix again. #9 Gentry dashed clear to score impressively last start. He remains in Class 4 which is suitable and he remains a contender.
Race 6: Norfolk Handicap
#11 Mighty Maverick’s last three starts have been very good and the return to 1200m suits. He’ll roll forward to lead under Chad Schofield and make his own luck from there. #6 Loving A Boom has placed in two of his last three. Strong booking of Zac Purton warrants respect and he’s a contender in an open race. #4 Planet Star is another who enjoys the lead. He gets in well at the weights with Victor Wong’s claim and back-to-back wins wouldn’t surprise. #1 Starlight receives a welcome return to Class 3. He’s a two-time winner already in Class 3 this season and a third wouldn’t shock.
Race 7: Norfolk Handicap
#1 Telecom Puma was a G2 winner in New Zealand pre-import and since his arrival in Hong Kong he’s hit the ground running. Jimmy Ting’s galloper has put together three very competitive performances and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through. Strong push with Purton aboard. #3 Endearing has spaced his wins this season but his most recent success two starts ago was impressive. He’s hit a purple patch of form and he has to be considered. #4 Mr Genuine hasn’t returned a winner since early 2017, however he has been racing well lately and he’s not without a hope. #5 Sparkling Dragon was beaten by a neck at his most recent outing and he deserves respect off that run.
Race 8: Suffolk Handicap
Competitive Class 2 to round out the card at Happy Valley. Australian import #6 Yee Cheong Baby was an impressive debut winner last start and although he rises to Class 2, he appears capable if he’s taken natural improvement. #5 Tornado Twist won three of his first four starts and since then he’s continued to race in excellent form without winning. He’s a talent and his race-experience this season holds him in good stead. #3 High Five is a three-time winner this season. He’s the value of the race and he deserves a chance from the good gate. #11 Fat Turtle placed behind Planet Star in his latest. He’s yet to finish outside of the placings and another bold showing is expected.