The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Happy Valley on Thursday night, April 8th, 2021:
RACE – 1 MORETON HANDICAP, HK $750,000
Class 5 – Rating 40-0 - Turf – Distance 1650m – Track Good
Time: 1:40.11 Standard Time: 1:40.30 Course/Class Record 1:39.11 Glory Star
Winner: MANNA FROM HEAVEN (IRE 6yo g Dragon Pulse – Salydora) jumped on terms from gate ten and tried to find some cover mid-field as they took the first turn. Was unable to and found himself posted three wide no cover in the middle stages. Was sent around them when they dropped anchor up front and sat three wide on the outside of the leaders turning for home. Claimed the lead with 200m to go and let down strongly to win going away from them. An incredibly tough effort after never being on the track.
Runner-Up: SPEED TO EXCEED left the machine cleanly from the inside barrier and settled fourth on the fence just behind the speed. Got off the rails when the early pacemaker dropped back through the field and set out after the leaders with 300m to go. Was no match for the winner but it was a much-improved performance on recent efforts and by far his best career run to date.
Run Of The Race: MANNA FROM HEAVEN had no favours in the run but still had the audacity to cruise around them and win with authority. Was well-found in betting and didn’t disappoint punters.
Disappointment: SHANGHAI POWER was well backed late into $7.6 but faded to finish 10th beaten over nine lengths. Favourite VEGA RHYTHM was also very plain finishing eighth beaten more than seven lengths.
Comparison: Slightly quicker than standard which adds plenty of merit to the win of Manna From Heaven.
Market Mover: MANNA FROM HEAVEN $16 to $11
RACE – 2 PRICE HANDICAP, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-35 – Turf – Distance 1800m – Track Good
Time: 1:48.55 Standard Time: 1:49.60 Course/Class Record: 1:48.10 Acclaimed Light
Winner: SUPERBELLA (GB 5yo g Passing Glance – Lizzie Tudor) was snagged back from the outside gate to get across and sit just worse than mid-field when they entered the back straight. Got into a nice rhythm for Moreira in the middle stages as they went at a fairly good clip up front. Revved up and got going three off the fence with 400m to go and darted to the lead a furlong from home. Put a gap in them quickly to win easily by just under five lengths. That brings up his first win in the region and there may be a few more in store judging by the widening margin.
Runner-Up: METHANE jumped cleanly but was taken across to the fence from gate eight and settled second last on the rails when they turned the first time. Travelled comfortably behind the eventual winner and tried to track him into the straight but got left flat footed by Superbella’s final sectionals. Grinded home for second and he has now had a win and six placings from 12 attempts at the track and trip.
Run Of The Race: How can you go past SUPERBELLA? Showed an electric turn of foot and put them to the sword in a twinkling of an eye.
Disappointment: RED ELYSEES jumped at $7.3 but was beaten 12 lengths.
Comparison: Over a second quicker than standard. The penny has finally dropped for Superbella.
Market Movers: PERFECT TO PLAY $9 to $6
RACE – 3 CLEMENTI HANDICAP, HK $2,200,000
Class 2 – Rating 100-80 – Turf – Distance 1000m – Track Good
Time: 56.47 Standard Time: 56.65 Course/Class Record: 56.25 Mr Lumieres
Winner: MASSIVE POCKET (AUS 7yo g Stratum – Sprung) could barely keep up with them early doors and balanced up second last on the fence. Stole a couple of positions along the rails before getting a lovely track into the straight on the back of Shining Ace. Got to the centre of the track in the lane and let down strongly to win going away from them. Goes well here at the Valley with that victory bringing up four wins from just eight starts.
Runner-Up: WIND N GRASS got out of the early speed battle to sit third last upon settling. Got stuck on the fence behind a tired horse at the 400m which allowed Massive Pocket to get on his bike a fraction earlier around his outside and put the decisive gap on him when they straightened. Let down on the inside of the winner but didn’t have the same acceleration and had to settle for second.
Run Of The Race: MASSIVE POCKET was scrubbed up to keep in touch early but was way too strong on the line. Ho has now had five wins on board and is developing a great association.
Disappointment: GRATEFUL HEART jumped at $2.6 but folded up to finish second last.
Comparison: Slightly quicker than standard with the leaders going too hard in the initial stages. The early tempo set it up for the backmarkers.
Market Mover: VALIANT DREAM $10 to $4.6
RACE – 4 COOPER HANDICAP, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Rating 80-60 - Turf – Distance 1000m – Track Good
Time: 56.41 Standard Time: 56.85 Course/Class Record: 56.11 Stronger
Winner: KEEP YOU WARM (IRE 4yo g No Nay Never – Dacio) was given a good squeeze out of the machine and revved up early to eventually get one off the fence sitting second at the first turn. Stole a slight breather before being kicked up again when they straightened and let down with arrogance to put a big margin in them over the last furlong. Really pinned the ears back late as Teetan sat up on the line. Had been thereabouts in recent runs with three consecutive thirds at Sha Tin but that was a dominant display to finally break through in the region.
Runner-Up: MOMENTUM GALAXY jumped cleanly from gate four but settled in the back third of the field on the fence. Poked along the rails to pinch a few positions before darting along the inside and letting down for one final effort in the straight. Go into clear air over the final stages but couldn’t match the winner who showed a devastating sprint. That brings up his fifth top four run in his past six starts and he is nearing another victory shortly.
Run Of The Race: KEEP YOU WARM had to burn the candle at both ends but won with a leg in the air.
Disappointment: SAUL’S SPECIAL jumped favourite but could only manage seventh beaten five lengths.
Comparison: Quicker than standard with the winner on the pace the entire trip.
Market Movers: FABULOUS EIGHT $8 to $5.4
RACE – 5 MOORSOM HANDICAP, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:09.50 Standard Time: 1:09.90 Course/Class Record 1:08.92 Amazing Star
Winner: VIGOR CHAMP (AUS 5yo g Mossman – Eve Angelene) wasn’t the best away but got across one off the fence just beyond mid-field upon settling. Travelled underneath the rider in the middle stages and got going 400m from home while getting to the middle of the track on straightening. Really got into his work late and roared down the outside to win on his ear and bring up the third win on the card for Karis Teetan. Was well found in betting late and rewarded supporters with a fairly easy watch.
Runner-Up: TELECOM SMART was last to exit the barriers and settled second last one off the fence. Tracked the eventual winner the entire trip taking the same gaps as they presented but couldn’t go with him and finished off for second. Clearly the best performance of his Hong Kong career to date.
Run Of The Race: VIGOR CHAMP was very impressive late in a well-balanced ride. Will take plenty of confidence from that dominant victory going forward.
Disappointment: SEA ELITE was well backed but faded to finish tenth beaten over five lengths.
Comparison: Quicker than standard with the winner making up plenty of ground over the final 400m.
Market Mover: VIGOR CHAMP $8 to $5.9
RACE – 6 MOORSOM HANDICAP, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:10.00 Standard Time: 1:09.90 Course/Class Record 1:08.92 Amazing Star
Winner: GOODLUCK GOODLUCK (AUS 6yo g Magic Albert – Luminous Harmony) jumped well from the inside barrier and managed to take advantage of the draw and kick up along the fence to take the early lead. Stole a couple of quiet sectionals without being pestered in front and had many of them off the bit at the 400m mark. Travelled kindly at the bend and gave a good kick when they straightened to put three lengths on them 200m from home. Got a little tired in the shadows of the post but the bird had flown. A perfectly rated ride by Leung who has had two wins and four placings from 14 steers.
Runner-Up: STAR OF WUYI jumped mid-field but had to the jagged back from the wide draw to try and find some cover as they settled. Slightly over raced in the middle stages before getting into a three wide trail as they turned 500m from home. Eventually got into clear air 300m to go and let down with a withering burst but the winner had pinched it a long way out. Has finished second at his past two starts and only needs a lower draw to break the maiden status.
Run Of The Race: STAR OF WUYI was given no favours from the draw and is knocking on the door with a bit of luck from the barrier gods.
Disappointment: No real disappointments with the trifecta filled by the main ones in the betting.
Comparison: Just outside standard with a great ride leading all the way.
Market Mover: STAR OF WUYI $3 to $2.5
RACE – 7 PERKINS HANDICAP, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 - Turf – Distance 1650m – Track Good
Time: 1:40.65 Standard Time: 1:40.10 Course/Class Record: 1:38.83 Flying Elite
Winner: FEARLESS FIRE (IRE 7yo g Acclamation – Pediment) was allowed to balance up after leaving the barriers to find himself three wide with cover in the back half of the field. Got a nice trail into the race on the three wide train before he took off around them when they dropped anchor in front. Sustained a long run entering the lane and let down well under heavy urgings in the final stages. The mid-race move proved the difference in a heady ride by Shinn who has now had six steers for two wins and a placing.
Runner-Up: RAINBOW LIGHT was given no option but to pull back from gate 12 and sit last on the fence when they hit the first turn. Travelled quietly at the back of the field before being revved up 400m from home and found the back of the eventual winner in the lane. Set out after them late but was no match for the winner over the closing stages. That’s two seconds from two races at Happy Valley and he surely finishes closer from a better marble. Pay to follow.
Run Of The Race: Renaming this Ride Of The Race as Shinn took some initiative in the run and read the tempo of the race to perfection. Special mention to RAINBOW LIGHT who made up plenty of lengths over the final sections.
Disappointment: GLORIOUS LOVER jumped favourite and only got out late but didn’t have the acceleration when he found clear air.
Comparison: Slower than standard as the leaders tried to slow them up a bit too much to their detriment.
Market Mover: FEARLESS FIRE $26 to $11
RACE – 8 CREASY HANDICAP, HK $1,500,000
Class 3– Rating 80-60 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:09.99 Standard Time: 1:09.65 Course/Class Record: 1:08.68 Speed Vision
Winner: WINE AND WINE (AUS 4yo g Snitzel – Gold Anthem) exploded out of the machine and crossed them easily from gate four after travelling 200m. Got into a steady rhythm straight away and managed to steal a couple of easy sectionals before quickening up with 500m to go and letting down when they hit the lane. Kept going under heavy riding to hold off all challenges in a perfectly rated ride by Maia. That brings up his first win from four starts and he can really go on with confidence now.
Runner-Up: CALIFORNIA CONCORD jumped with the winner from gate two but elected to take a sit in behind the speed on the fence. Tracked them into the straight and was given one last shot at them but couldn’t run down the winner. Was well supported late in betting but just found one better on the night.
Run Of The Race: AMAZING NEWS was the only horse to make ground into third with the top two sitting on pace.
Disappointment: KINDA COOL was heavily backed but got caught three wide no cover when they steadied in front and faded to finish seventh.
Comparison: Slightly slower than standard as Maia stole it in front.
Market Mover: AMAZING NEWS $21 to $14
RACE – 9 HENDERSON HANDICAP, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Rating 80-60 – Turf – Distance 1650m – Track Good
Time: 1:39.43 Standard Time: 1:39.80 Course/Class Record: 1:38.61 Solar Wai Wai
Winner: TELECOM FIGHTERS (AUS 4yo g The Brothers War – Moorings Capital) jumped straight to the lead and crossed to the fence as they left the straight the first time. Really backed off the tempo in the back straight and got away with some slow sectionals as they settled. Clicked up upon straightening and put two lengths on the field 200m from home. Victory never looked in doubt over the final stages and the win brings up Teetan’s fourth of the evening. The writing had been on the wall with placings at two of his past three and he finally breaks through for the maiden win.
Runner-Up: HELENE WISDOM STAR wasn’t the best away and ended up second last on the fence when they hit the back straight. Got some runs inside tired horses in the lane but never looked like running down the winner. Has now finished in the top four at his past four starts and a win is imminent.
Run Of The Race: HELENE WISDOM STAR was the only one to make considerable ground from the back half of the field after the winner got away with in front.
Disappointment: No real disappointments with the favoured runners all filling the frame.
Comparison: Leading all the way inside standard by a jockey riding with confidence.
Market Mover: TELECOME FIGHTERS $6.50 to $4
Four winners for Karis Teetan, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club