Preview and form for the meeting at Happy Valley on Thursday night. Selections by Andrew Hawkins.
HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Thursday October 18, 2018)
RACE 1: #6 Gracious Ryder, #2 Very Rich Man, #3 Pakistan Baby, #10 Jumbo Bus
RACE 2: #5 Split Of A Second, #7 Love Chunghwa, #1 Burst Away, #9 Dominator
RACE 3: #9 Chaparral Star, #4 Captain Boss, #1 Sichuan Boss, #7 Horse Prosperous
RACE 4: #1 Penzance, #8 Holy Unicorn, #2 Top Ace, #7 Sweet Bean
RACE 5: #3 Sparkling Sword, #4 Bundle Of Energy, #9 Fine With Me, #1 Mickey Rich
RACE 6: #5 Money Boy, #4 Dragon Pioneer, #11 Bulb Elite, #9 Storm Signal
RACE 7: #1 Red Warrior, #8 Top Laurels, #12 Amazing Satchmo, #6 Taking Aim
RACE 8: #8 Country Star, #9 Little Bird, #10 Grade One, #4 Top Score
RACE 1: ASTER HANDICAP
#6 Gracious Ryder returns to Happy Valley for the first time since January. He has run some terrific races here, including a win in June last year, and he maps to enjoy a perfect run in this spot. He’s a big chance here. #2 Very Rich Man should be out on the speed, leading the 10-runner field through solid sections. He is arguably better suited at 1000m, although he has won over this course and distance, and if he is able to just get a breather at the right time, he could win. #3 Pakistan Baby is another sure to be around the mark from a good draw. #10 Jumbo Bus is better than what he has shown on the racetrack so far. It will click for him at some point, it’s just a matter of when. He’s worth including underneath.
RACE 2: ASTER HANDICAP
#5 Split Of A Second gets into a more favourable draw here, with the inside gate potentially allowing the five-year-old to get the run of the race just behind the speed. With the weight break afforded by the booking of Matthew Poon, he looks dangerous in this spot. #7 Love Chunghwa ran well for second last start, albeit a long way behind Country Star. There is nothing of that calibre in this race and he’s a danger yet again. #1 Burst Away might need some weight relief but he continues to race well. He’s yet to run a strong race at Happy Valley but this might be his chance. #9 Dominator trialled well behind Saturday’s winner Ugly Warrior ahead of his return. He did enough in three starts last season to suggest that he can win quickly this term.
RACE 3: DANDELION HANDICAP
#9 Chaparral Star has won two of his last three starts since getting up in distance. He should appreciate even more getting up to the extended mile at Happy Valley and he can overcome the rise in grade to win once again. #4 Captain Boss has been racing consistently without winning. The booking of Zac Purton is a big push and he’s right in contention. #1 Sichuan Boss doesn’t win out of turn but he gets plenty of weight relief again. If he can get a nice trail behind the leaders, he could finish strongly. #7 Horse Prosperous has shown flashes of talent at times. He should be suited to this course and distance and he’s worth including.
RACE 4: HIBISCUS HANDICAP
#1 Penzance is an eye-catching galloper who is crying out for a softer track. He won’t find that here, but he was only given a four-point ratings rise for his end-of-season win and he should be a leading hope again if he’s taken any benefit from the summer. #8 Holy Unicorn won impressively from the front at his first start for Jimmy Ting last month. If he can get another soft lead here, then there is no reason he can’t win like that again. #2 Top Ace finally broke through last start at his 33rd Hong Kong start. The former Italian might have found the confidence he needs to continue on his way once more. #7 Sweet Bean is always worth including in exotics in these races.
RACE 5: THE AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB TROPHY
#3 Sparkling Sword has been racing well of late, winning to end his last season before proving too strong again second-up when leading at ridiculously slow fractions – his first sectional of 29.34s was, by some margin, the slowest in recent memory. He’s up in the weights now but, in this grade, he’s always a chance when he’s in form and able to dictate. #4 Bundle Of Energy was scratched at the gates two weeks ago. He looked set to run a big race on that occasion and there’s no reason he can’t do so again here. #9 Fine With Me can finish off strongly, while #1 Mickey Rich creates interest up to 1650m.
RACE 6: HYDRANGEA HANDICAP
#5 Money Boy didn’t show a lot first-up, but last season’s ironhorse clearly thrives on racing and he’s right in the mix second-up from a good draw with the in-form Karis Teetan taking the ride. #4 Dragon Pioneer should be able to jump out and lead here with even luck. He can stick on strongly. #11 Bulb Elite might find this a touch sharp but he will be closing off strongly late and he deserves consideration. #9 Storm Signal has been consistent for some time and he should perform well yet again.
RACE 7: ROSELLE HANDICAP
#1 Red Warrior looked a horse capable of heading higher with his second-up win in late September. He has the outside draw here, but in a race with little speed, he should be able to position handy. He will be hard to beat yet again. #8 Top Laurels hasn’t shown much since winning in November last year. However, he has trialled well for this and fresh might be the time to catch him. #12 Amazing Satchmo continues to race consistently and he is a chance yet again. #6 Taking Aim will one of these days, it’s just a matter of catching him at the right time. He will be around the mark.
RACE 8: WARATAH HANDICAP
#8 Country Star couldn’t have been any more impressive at his second start, racing clear for a three and a quarter length success. He steps up to Class 3 now and that’s never an easy hunting ground for an early-season three-year-old, but he should enjoy a nice run just behind the speed and this looks another good spot for him to continue his progression. #9 Little Bird scored his own big-margin triumph at Sha Tin in June, but was just fair a start later before struggling first-up over the straight 1000m. He has drawn awkwardly here but he should scoot across to lead. If he gets things his own way, he’s a chance again. #10 Grade One deserves respect off a Conghua stint, while #4 Top Score can continue to race well off his current rating.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Happy Valley on Thursday.
The eight race broadcast commences at 10.15pm AEST, 7.15pm HKST, on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service, neurals, worksheet and customised form guide.
Click on the HKJC form guide banner for Racingandsports.com.au form and select race.
Racing at Happy Valley on Thursday night, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club