Preview and form for the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday. Selections by Andrew Hawkins.
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday January 20, 2019)
RACE 1: #4 Guy Dragon, #1 Khaki, #7 Enjoy Life, #2 Picken
RACE 2: #4 I Do, #5 My Winner, #10 Majestic Endeavour, #13 Alcazar
RACE 3: #3 Helene Leadingstar, #5 Ho Ho Khan, #9 Nicconi Express, #2 Savvy Six
RACE 4: #9 Ezra, #5 Fabulous Eight, #2 Full Of Beauty, #4 Eptiwins
RACE 5: #2 D B Pin, #3 Beat The Clock, #1 Mr Stunning, #5 Little Giant
RACE 6: #10 Penang Hall, #5 Super Giant, #6 Famous Warrior, #8 Last Kingdom
RACE 7: #1 Beauty Generation, #2 Pakistan Star, #6 Conte, #4 Southern Legend
RACE 8: #3 California Archer, #6 Happy Victory, #8 Hair Trigger, #5 Explosive Witness
RACE 9: #2 Marzouq, #5 Noble Steed, #6 Not Usual Talent, #1 Kingsfield
RACE 10: #12 Glorious Spectrum, #11 Waikuku, #9 Mission Tycoon, #10 My Darling
RACE 1: BONHAM HANDICAP
#4 Guy Dragon ran on nicely for fourth behind Tornado Twist, a subsequent winner up in grade, last time out. He looks to have talent and this is not a tremendously difficult affair, so he’s worth a play. #1 Khaki has raced consistently since joining the Tony Millard yard. He has a wide gate to overcome, but he should relish the 1400m now and he’s a threat. #7 Enjoy Life has drawn well and is always capable in races like these. He’s in the mix. #2 Picken is likely to go off under the odds again. He’s a chance, no doubt, but if he’s too short, it’s worth looking for one to beat him.
RACE 2: HOLLYWOOD HANDICAP
#4 I Do ran OK on debut, well enough that he was supported heavily last time out before finishing third to Pearl Champion. The step up to a mile suits now and, even with the outside gate, he’s a leading player. #5 My Winner has put together a string of minor placings. He once again has to contend with a bad gate but he should be around the mark at the end. #10 Majestic Endeavour steps up from Class 5, having won nicely last time out. It looked like he was primed for that race so it’s possible he takes a step forward now back up in grade. #13 Alcazar, who was second on that occasion, can’t be dismissed with no weight on his back.
RACE 3: NEW STREET HANDICAP
#3 Helene Leadingstar steps up to 1800m at his third Hong Kong start. His last effort was better than it looks on paper, making up nice ground late after striking trouble in the middle stages. That race was dominated from the front, too. The South Australian Derby winner probably wants further than the 1800m already but this looks a suitable race and he’s right in contention. #5 Ho Ho Khan has won his last two starts in Class 3 to put him up into this grade. He needs to take another step forward now but he’s one to watch, with the Hong Kong Derby on his radar should he perform well. #9 Nicconi Express won nicely over a mile last time out after two placings over 1400m. The logical step is up to 1800m now, but there must be some query on him at this trip. He may be worth opposing. #2 Savvy Six has not raced since April. His pre-race antics became something of an attraction last season but he looks a little more switched on now after time spent at Conghua and he’s one to watch closely.
RACE 4: THE TUNG WAH GROUP OF HOSPITALS CHALLENGE CUP
#9 Ezra was forced wide last time out but made up some ground late to finish fourth to Invincible Missile at his racetrack debut. He has another awkward draw but he is a player in this spot. #5 Fabulous Eight has placed in both starts to date. He looks like he should relish the 1200m now, although his dam Coco Kerringle was a type who looked in need of further but struggled once up past 1100m. #2 Full Of Beauty just won at his first start – a shade luckily, too, as Lakeshore Eagle was gobbling him up. He has to overcome gate 11 but he should take improvement from that first start. #4 Eptiwins is improving all the time and his last-start second to Dancing Fighter was very good. The booking of Hugh Bowman is notable and he’s not without a chance.
RACE 5: G1 CENTENARY SPRINT CUP
The first four home in the Hong Kong Sprint look the ones to beat here, even with the emergence of three-year-old Styling City on the scene. #2 D B Pin is back to defend his title, having only raced twice since. He was disappointing first-up in the Jockey Club Sprint before running a game second in the Hong Kong Sprint last time out. He should be approaching full fitness now and he’s going to be the one to beat. #3 Beat The Clock is still yet to crack it at G1 level, having recorded two seconds and two thirds in this company. He is capable of matching these on his day though, as seen over the past year, and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through. That could come here. #1 Mr Stunning turned back the clock with back-to-back wins in the Hong Kong Sprint. He failed by a neck to beat his then-stablemate D B Pin 12 months ago and he should have every chance to turn the tables here. #5 Little Giant can run another bold race here, having finished fourth in the Hong Kong Sprint last time out.
RACE 6: PO HING HANDICAP
#10 Penang Hall was sent out at a ridiculous 134/1 last time out and was far from disgraced, finishing off into sixth. He looked in need of that run and now that he’s stepping out a little bit fitter, he’s a value proposition in this spot. #5 Super Giant has disappointed in two starts since running home powerfully on debut. He is often his own worst enemy but he steps out for his new trainer Caspar Fownes here and he must be given respect. #6 Famous Warrior seems to have forgotten how to win, often looming up but struggling to follow through. He’s a place chance. #8 Last Kingdom needs to settle, but if he does, he can get into the finish.
RACE 7: G1 STEWARDS' CUP
#1 Beauty Generation is likely to start the shortest-priced favourite of the season, and deservedly so. No horse has come close to matching him in the mile ranks this term, winning his four starts by a combined eight and three quarter lengths. Ambitious Dragon did finish fourth in this race as an odds-on favourite in 2013, having won the Hong Kong Mile the start before, but he was engaged in a tussle with Glorious Days to dominate that division and so it wasn’t a major shock. If Beauty Generation went under, it would be as big a shock as Hong Kong racing has seen in a top-level feature in recent years. #2 Pakistan Star is on trial for Dubai here. There’s little doubt that he hasn’t been the same horse in the early part of the season, but hopefully he’s freshened up well and, if so, he should be running second here. #6 Conte is the emerging force on the scene. He is still only a light-weight G3 handicap winner, though, so this is a significant step up. He can fight out second. #4 Southern Legend should enjoy getting back to a mile. He’ll be another in contention for second.
RACE 8: PO YEE HANDICAP
#3 California Archer has run well in both starts for Tony Cruz, including a last-start second to I Am Power. He should be hard to beat in this spot from a better draw. #6 Happy Victory comes through the same I Am Power race. He will be improved with a start under his belt. #8 Hair Trigger is always capable of rattling home with even luck over this track and trip. He’s not without claims. #5 Explosive Witness has had plenty of issues since arriving in Hong Kong 18 months ago. The winner of his only start at Moonee Valley in Australia almost two years ago, he’s worth including in all exotics fresh.
RACE 9: TAI PING SHAN HANDICAP
#2 Marzouq has only raced once this season, finishing seventh over a mile in November. Fresh here, he is worth a play. #5 Noble Steed ran on last start, although perhaps he wasn’t at his best at a mile. Coming back to 1400m looks a good move and he should enjoy the run of the race here. He’s a contender. #6 Not Usual Talent ran well enough on debut over 1200m. He has the outside gate to overcome, but the 1400m should suit and he’s capable of getting into the placings. #1 Kingsfield drops back into Class 3 and bears close watching.
RACE 10: PO YAN HANDICAP
#12 Glorious Spectrum has to contend with a wide gate yet again, but he’s a horse with plenty of talent who has run well in both starts to date. The former Italian looks to be heading in the right direction and is bound for the Four-Year-Old Classic Series after this. He can win, even from the draw. #11 Waikuku, another classic contender, looks to still have plenty of points in hand. He’s the one to beat, although he’s likely to be far shorter in betting than Glorious Spectrum. #9 Mission Tycoon steps up to 1400m for the first time. He’s sure to run a bold race. #10 My Darling was beaten as 3.8 second favourite in this race two years ago. He’s likely headed for Class 3, but he’s capable of getting into the placings at odds.
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 10 race broadcast commences at 4.00pm AEST, 1.00pm HKT, on Sky Racing2, from 5.30pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 7.05pm AEST 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 form and select race.
Racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club