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The Davis Files - Sha Tin

Brett Davis - Selections - Sha Tin - 26/05/24

Rail - A Course

Race 1

#1 THUNDER BLINK was rather impressive on debut when he gave LA FORZA a start and a betting over the straight 1000m. He now transitions to the 1200m and a circle race for the first time, carries a 7lb penalty for the win and must endure a track that shall more than likely be wet underfoot.
Nevertheless, if he rocks up in the same frame of mind and makes minimal mistakes, as he did on debut, then his sectional data over the final 400m should have him winning again.

#2 LA FORZA was beaten as the $1.4 favourite on debut by THUNDER BLINK but he still performed well to finish second in one of the main form reference to this event.  Zac Purton stuck with him and the pair went on to win their next start on a yielding track with cheek pieces applied for the first time. With rain around for most of the week there is going to be some cushion in the track, so look for him to go forward and prove hard to run down.

#7 SANTORINI finished third behind THUNDER BLINK and LA FORZA on debut before chasing the later home to finish third, on a rain affected track, at his second and most recent start. He is prepared by a leading trainer in Frankie Lor and will be ridden once again by one of Hong Kong's very successful jockeys in Karis Teetan. He should also be nicely suited by the rise in distance to 1200m and has a pull in the weights against the first two griffin winners.

#6 MEANINGFUL DRAGON has been in training since June 2023 and has the pedigree to support the rise in distance. He will no doubt be better suited over 1600m and beyond as he physically matures but mentally he appears sharp and tractably wise. His debut was encouraging when he found the line well and that was after he blundered badly out the starting gates. He could be the surprise improver.

#14 WORLD HERO has drawn poorly for his debut over 1200m but has his fare share of pace. He led his most recent of two preparatory trials in Conghua, before being overhauled, but wasn’t beaten a great deal at the end. He is a well bred 2yo colt trained by David Hayes and it will not be a surprise to see him feature, but what they do from the outside draw with speed drawn underneath is a concerning factor.

Selections - 1,2,7,6,14

R2 - 10,14,13,3,8

R3 - 2,5,9,1,7

R4 - 1,2,4,3,11

R5 - 1,4,7,11,13

R6 - 1,4,11,14,9

Race 7

CHAMPIONS AND CHATER CUP Group 1 - 2400m - Set Weights

#1 REBEL’S ROMANCE carries the Godolphin blue for trainer Charlie Appleby and following recent wins in the United Kingdom, Qatar and United Arab Emirates arrives the horse to defeat. His performance in the Gp1 Dubai Sheema Classic was both outstanding and electrifying where he trailed the speed before bounding away down the stretch for an awesome win. He has pretty much travelled the world during the past 12 months so you would not imagine many excuses around that sector of his performance to stand in the way, however, it is never an easy task winning a group one contest particularly in the far east region of Hong Kong.

#7 MASSIVE SOVEREIGN was quite spectacular when winning on debut before taking out the time honoured Hong Kong Derby in similar fashion. He has all the makings of a top line galloper and was denied the best possible journey in the recent Gp1 QE11 Cup. He is without doubt the X-Factory component for the final Gp1 of the season and Zac Purton is well aware of what is required to win. The 2400m is yet to be tried by this handsome and talented 4yo son of NO NAY NEVER, but his relaxed and held up racing style grants him ever opportunity to run it out, and possibly even win.

#4 RUSSIAN EMPEROR is the best 2400m horse in Hong Kong, having won the past two editions of the coveted group 1 event, but many a good judge are suggesting he will not make it three. Although I tend to agree, because of his below average performances across the board this preparation, he is likely to receive the rain and cushion in the track that he thoroughly adores. Trainer Douglas Whyte is hopeful more so than confident that he can recapture his best, so I get the feeling it might be a case of horses for courses kicking in hard at the end.

#3 FIVE G PATCH brings one of the strongest recent form lines into this race, as he has not been far off champion middle distance galloper ROMANTIC WARRIOR on a couple of occasions. The latest of those was at Sha Tin in April, where he finished sixth in the Gp1 QEII Cup over 2000m. He got to the line strongly in that race, whilst also proving that he handles the type of rain affected going that he will probably encounter on Sunday. He is suited by the draw and consistently displayed a liking for the 2400m, however, his class at set weights is going to be stretched.

#5 LA CITY BLANCHE cut his teeth in Argentina before relocating to Hong Kong where he was a group 1 winner over 2000m. It did not take long to acclimatise and within four months of his Hong Kong debut he racked up a win in class 3 over 1800m. He continued progressing and thereafter competed in the Gp1 Hong Kong Vase but was ridden upside down and took the lead. His last start victory at Gp3 level further enhanced his reputation and if ridden cold from the very start then he will be running well again.

Selections - 1,7,4,3,5

R8 - 7,2,11,8,3

R9 - 3,9,1,13,5

Race 10

#2 GALAXY WITNESS has not won a race since May 2022 but has gone close on numerous occasions since in quality events. With a recent drop into Class 3 company and a return to the Sha Tin 1400m he becomes attractive, particularly after drawing barrier 5. Throw into the mix the likes of Vincent Ho to ride, blinkers going back on for just the second time, and a likely softish track surface, then there are plenty of big ticks alongside his name.

#1 BLUE MARLIN has won four races this season which highlights his exceptional talent, strength and passion to win. With 134lbs to carry and barrier 13 to exit from there are however justifiable reasons to consider taking him on for a win. Conversely, he is rarely beaten far, weighs in at a massive 1300lbs and is a course and distance specialist over 1400m at Sha Tin. Hugh Bowman also sits behind the steering wheel which makes him rather difficult to leave out.

#10 RUBYLOT remains a 3yo for just a little while longer but is beginning to furnish into a more than handy individual. He absolutely toyed with the opposition during his recent Class 4 win which was primarily due to a rise in distance and yielding track. He will be given a similar recipe on this occasion but it’s the rise in grade that is the ultimate test. He will require another faultless performance if he is to go back to back but whatever the case he shouldn’t be faraway.

#7 SUPERB KID draws wide but continues to race with consistency and desire. Zac Purton has been aboard his past couple but opts to go elsewhere which shall see him run around at a much higher price. He has gives the impression he wants further with his closing 400m splits a little slower than standard time over 1400m. The application of blinkers nevertheless could completely swing things around, so I’m inclined to sit on the fence.

#8 TOURBILLON PRINCE dished out a high quality performance to win his last event when he sat outside the leader throughout. It should be an easier assignment today with a better gate to leave from, plus, he stays in the grade and has less weight on board. Conversely, the depth of opposition reads far stronger to that of his last start romp so he will need a decent lift if he is to continue on his way.

Selections - 2,1,10,7,8

Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The 10 race broadcast commences at 2.45pm AEST, 12.45pm HKT, on Sky Racing2, from 5.10pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 6.10pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.

ThoroughbredNEWS has live streaming of the complete Hong Kong Jockey Club broadcast commencing at 2.15pm AEST - go to LIVE STREAMING.

Form includes Racing And Sports complete form service from basic field details to useful tools such as Ratings, Neurals, Time Report Tables and Worksheets.

Click on the HKJC form guide banner for Racingandsports.com form and select race.

Superb Capitalist and Matthew Chadwick winning at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club


 

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