Luke Middlebrook, Hong Kong – Racing returns to Sha Tin on Sunday 29 March 2020 for a 10-race card with some nice betting on offer.
After a recent run of outs, Joao Moreira enters Sunday with a strong book of rides, and will be hoping to reclaim pole position in the jockeys’ premiership after Zac Purton overtook him on Wednesday night.
Purton now leads Moreira 90 to 89, however, Moreira has a commanding lead when it comes to runner-up spots, boasting 76 seconds to Purton’s 62 – should it come down to a countback at the end of the season.
In Race 1, a Class 5 over 1400m, Blazing Partners comes up a bet for jockey Neil Callan and trainer David Ferraris. Blazing Partners has his second run back in the cellar grade, where he is one-from-four, after a series of no shows in Class 4, however, his last start had good merit to it despite finishing eighth.
The six-year-old has been plagued by wide barriers, so has been ridden negatively out the back, but last start he flashed home the fastest in his race, suggesting a return to form is near. Now, Blazing Partners comes into barrier 6, where he can certainly sit handier to the speed based on prior form. With the likely favourite, Hurricane Hunter, a perennial backmarker, Blazing Partners looks a good chance to score.
In Race 3, Moreira’s mount, Fantasy, will be hard to beat in the Class 3 over 1200m. Fantasy had no luck when heavily backed into favourite at this track and distance 15 days ago; perhaps it was the weight of money that resulted in him failing to muster, before subsequently racing wide and without cover. Fantasy, however, did let down well only to be caught in the shadows of the post by debutant Transcendent, who now looks a smart type going forward.
Fantasy gets his chance to atone against weaker opposition this week and is a strong win bet. For those interested in all ups, roll him into Moreira’s mount Juneau Park in Race 6 – the four-year-old will be hard to beat again from his low draw this week after an impressive win in a fast run 1400m race at this track and distance 15 days ago.
Purton’s mount, Grateful Heart, looks a big improver in the Class 3 dash over 1000m in Race 7, after trialling impressively since his debut run 35 days ago. Under Grant Van Niekerk over 1200m that day, he led at a reasonable pace and only faded late in the piece, suggesting he would have come on well for the run.
Race 1: 1-3-6-4
Race 2: 3-5-4-6
Race 3: 9-3-2-8
Race 4: 8-13-5-12
Race 5: 5-2-7-6
Race 6: 1-2-3-8
Race 7: 13-6-7-2
Race 8: 1-12-14-13
Race 9: 4-13-7-10
Race 10: 5-3-10-7
Race 1: Hurricane Hunter has ability in this grade and last start suggests a win is near. Blazing Partners finished powerfully with fastest sectional time ranking last start. Spicy Really never far away from the winner and could sneak a place. Liverbird Star faded late last start, chance to improve under right race shape. Golden Cannon old timer who is always capable of surprising.
Race 2: Above finished powerfully with fastest sectional time ranking last start. Gala Night racing in career-best form and must be rated a good chance. Defining Moment needs a fast early speed to produce a big finish. Cheerful Star ran the third fastest sectional time last start. Dragon Commander place chance at value in a race like this.
Race 3: Fantasy had no luck last start and hard to beat in this race. Handsome Bo Bo a fast beginner who can run well if he finds an easy lead. Good Beauty video replay showed last run was very good. Biz Power change of trainer recently and watch betting. Team Spirit go on the win two starts ago and give a chance here.
Race 4: Incanto Prepared narrowly beaten last start and goes close here. Iron King looks a solid chance based on last start. Better Choice ran the third fastest sectional time last start. City Legend remains a maiden galloper but clearly gets a chance to win here. Regency Master big jockey change and expect improvement.
Race 5: Jade Phoenix last run suggested a win was very near, hardest to beat. Grade One looks ready to run a big race in Class 4, could be hard to hold out if pace eventuates. Hero Star fair trial, watch the betting, can improve. Team Power showed improvement at a recent trial. Victory Mastery ran well two back but disappointed last start.
Race 6: Juneau Park was an easy last start winner and must be respected. Sam’s Love generally gets back in the running but dashes strongly home. The Runner best run to date was last start and appears to be improving. Destin never far away from the winner and could sneak a place. Telecom Rocket turned in a good run last start and should run well here.
Race 7: War Of Courage narrowly beaten last start and goes close here drawn to get the rails run. Valiant Dream a fast beginner who can run well if he finds an easy lead. Grateful Heart showed improvement at a recent trial, consider. Heart Conquered place chance at value in a race like this. Allied Agility last start winner who retains good form and can run well again.
Race 8: Superich a bit erratic and hard to follow but has ability and can surprise. Barrier trialled strongly ahead of this race. Picken finished powerfully with fastest sectional time ranking last start. Zhan Jiang Rocks has had no luck recently and could run a cheeky race. Beauty Icon good performance when returning to form last start. Hardly Swears well-placed and looks a chance in race like this.
Race 9: Band Of Brothers last run was better than it reads and do not dismiss. Enzemble consistent form lately and can score here. Monica racing consistently of late and expect another big run. Smart Patch finished powerfully with fastest sectional time ranking last start. High Rev backing up quickly from last week, can run well.
Race 10: Duke Wai a five-time winner that is well placed at this level. Hard to hold out. Perfect Match talented galloper who is resuming from a break. Must consider. Transcendent very impressive debut performance and looks to have plenty of talent. Computer Patch last start winner who retains good form and can run well again. Shining Ace looks a chance if you go on previous consistent form.