The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday, June 13th, 2021:
Race 1 – Tung Wan Plate, HK $850,000
Griffin Race – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 55.33 Standard Time: 56.60 Course/Class record: 55.33 California Spangle
Winner: CALIFORNIA SPANGLE (IRE 3yo c Starspangledbanner – Pearlitas Passion) was fast away from the outside barrier and hugged the outside rail down the 1000m straight. The colt started to pull away at the 400m mark under Neil Callan, breaking away to a three-length lead. He ran home strongly to win comfortably by a length on debut.
Runner-Up: CORDYCEPS SIX was sat in behind the leading group of runners and was forced to change route to the middle of the track as the sprint went on. Jerry Chau through everything at him and he did make some good ground over the final stages of the race, but the winner was too good. He put a gap of 3.5 lengths on to the third placed horse.
Run Of The Race: CALIFORNIA SPANGLE put in a very impressive performance on debut, running a new course/class record. He looks like a very smart horse for the future.
Disappointment: MIRACLE VICTORY came across from his barrier to make a line of three leaders in the early going. He began to tire over the final 200m and finished in fourth position after being sent out as second favourite.
Comparison: New course and class record.
Market Mover: CALIFORNIA SPANGLE $20 into $2.
Race 2 – Ting Kau Handicap, HK $750,000
Class 5 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Wet Slow
Time: 1:10.36 Standard Time: 1:09.30 Course/Class record: 1:08.46 Trillion Treasure
Winner: FOR FUN’S SAKE (AUS 4yo g Manhattan Rain – Paradise Lost) wasn’t bustled out of the gates by Alex Badel, except he let the gelding sit where he was comfortable in midfield. The leader had broken away as they turned into the straight, but he came off their heels into a three wide position and charged down the straight. He took the lead with 100m to go and ran away to record a strong victory by 1.75 lengths.
Runner-Up: TELECOM MISSILE was slow away once again and was forced to settle at the rear of the field. His competitors fanned out as they turned for home, but Chad Schofield stuck toward the middle of the track. He ran on strongly, but the leader had already had a big enough lead.
Run Of The Race: TELECOM MISSILE ran on well down the centre of the track after blundering the start once again. He made significant ground over the final 400m and who knows what could have happened had he jumped with the rest of the pack.
Disappointment: DOLLAR REWARD was sent out as the $4.50 second favourite and tired down the straight to be well beaten. He was in a position to strike if he was good enough.
Comparison: A second outside of the standard time on the slow track.
Market Mover: WAYFOONG STAR $20 into $9.80.
Race 3 – Ting Kau Handicap, HK $750,000
Class 5 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Wet Slow
Time: 1:11.38 Standard Time: 1:09.30 Course/Class record: 1:08.46 Trillion Treasure
Winner: SKY TREASURE (NZ 7yo g Stravinksy – Inzabeel) broke well and was pushed along early by Jack Wong, even being hit with the whip to ensure the gelding sat in a forward position. He was caught wide without cover throughout the event but stuck on well down the centre of the track to win by 0.75 lengths.
Runner-Up: VEGA RHYTHM was in behind the speed battle in the early stages and looked as though he would be one to benefit from the hot early tempo. He was forced to change course with 200m to go as the horses in front of him were tiring. He produced a great turn of foot over the concluding stages to come close but would ultimately finish in second position.
Run Of The Race: It’s hard to go past SKY TREASURE as the run of the race. He sat four wide and without cover for the whole race and was still able to come away with a good win. It was an enormous effort.
Disappointment: DEMONS ROCK enjoyed a lovely run in transit after jumping from barrier four and was able to sit along the rail on the inside of the winner and second placegetter. He was tightened for room late in the race and forced to check his run, which caused him to finish in eighth position.
Comparison: A second slower than the class 5 1200m race on the all weather surface (race 2).
Market Mover: DEMONS ROCK $7.50 into $3.20.
Race 4 – Lido Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:08.59 Standard Time: 1:09.25 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight
Winner: BLAZE WARRIOR (AUS 3yo g Sebring – Liesele) wasn’t fast away and was caught three wide and without cover for the entire race. He exploded when Joao Moreira pushed the button to run away with a commanding victory on debut.
Runner-Up: FIRE BALL was in a great position on the leaders back during the running of the event. He stuck on well in the straight, but the winner was simply too good. He finished 0.75 lengths ahead of the third placed runner.
Run Of The Race: VUKAN was slow away and settled a long last of the field. When he was starting to build momentum on the turn, he had to be steadied and change his route back to the inside of the course. He had the equal first 800m-400m sectional and the fastest 400m-finish sectional of the race.
Disappointment: FIRE BALL enjoyed a lovely run trailing the leaders and the race was his if he was good enough. He ran well, and the winner looks to have plenty of quality, but still a little disappointing.
Comparison: Just outside the course/class record in a great time.
Market Mover: HARMONY WIN WIN $25 into $6.50.
Race 5 – Pui O Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 –All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Wet Slow
Time: 1:09.42 Standard Time: 1:09.05 Course/Class record: 1:08.14 Happy Tour
Winner: DASHING FIT (NZ 4yo g Smart Missile – Plaque) was away well but tried not to get caught up in the early battle for the speed. In doing so, he found himself three wide on the track but did have cover. Blake Shinn got the gelding into the clear air early in the straight and he grinded his way to the lead, taking the lead in the shadows of the post to win by a neck.
Runner-Up: THE BEST HERO was sent forward under Alex Lai but was caught three wide and without cover, sitting on the pace throughout the event. He was tough and took the lead with 200m to run but was run down late.
Run Of The Race: It was a tough and gritty win for DASHING FIT. They also ran good time, making the run even better.
Disappointment: LUCKY RUBY settled out the back of the pack and did not play any part of the race after starting in the market at $4.50. A veterinary examination after the race found nothing.
Comparison: Not far outside the standard time in a quickly run race.
Market Mover: STEEL WIN $15 into $4.10
Race 6 – Silverstrand Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:21.20 Standard Time: 1:21.85 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair
Winner: CITY LEGEND (NZ 7yo g Red Giant – Show Exhibit) was only fairly away from barrier nine as Jerry Chau shifted him behind runners in the early stages of the race. He settled at the rear of the field. Chau weaved his way along the rail to sit closer to the lead as they straightened for the judge. He was shifted beyond the middle of the track and kept finding to snatch the lead late in the race and win by half a length.
Runner-Up: AWE was only one pair in front of City Legend in the early stages of the race as he too settled toward the rear of the field. He stuck to the inside upon straightening and snuck his way through a narrow gap with 250m left to run. He was a narrow leader at the 100m mark but was run down as the finish line loomed.
Run Of The Race: AWE carried 3kgs more than City Legend as was only half a length away on the finishing line after finding trouble down the straight. A great run.
Disappointment: SUPER MISSION decided to take the lead from barrier five and stayed there throughout the event, but in the straight he weakened badly. He finished 7.75 lengths off the lead in seventh position.
Comparison: Inside the standard time where they went hard early in the race.
Market Mover: PLIKCLONE $8 into $3.
Race 7 – Silverstrand Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:21.92 Standard Time: 1:21.85 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair
Winner: BLUB PALS (NZ 5yo g Rip Van Winkle – Many Dreams) missed the start by a couple of lengths and was forced to sit at the tail of the field in the running. Blake Shinn began to build some good momentum on the gelding as they straightened for home, getting him into the clear running although being very wide. He ran on strongly down the outside of the course to win by a head on the finish line.
Runner-Up: GRACYLOVE raced three wide and without cover for the whole race but dug deep to take the lead with 200m left to run. He just tired late after the wide run and was overrun by the winner in the shadows of the post.
Run Of The Race: GRACYLOVE was a superb effort from the position he was in. He just felt the wide run late in the race which cost him the win but a great performance.
Disappointment: PARTY GENIUS was sent out at $6.60 and settled toward the rear of the field and along the rails. He was unable to build into the race due to his position, with Alex. Badel deciding to try and run along the rails with him. He didn’t offer much in the straight and finished in twelfth spot.
Comparison: Slower than the Class 4 1400m event staged in race 6.
Market Mover: MASTER HERO $15 into $7.
Race 8 – Hap Mun Bay Handicap, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:08.61 Standard Time: 1:09.05 Course/Class record: 1:08.31 E Star
Winner: MASTER EIGHT (AUS 3yo g Oamaru Force – Curzon Dancer) jumped away well from barrier ten and Joao Moreira pushed forward to take the lead in the early stages of the race. He led throughout the race and was challenged in the early part of the straight. He fought off that challenger and broke away to win by three quarters of a length and seemed to have a bit more in the tank when he hit the line.
Runner-Up: THE GOLDEN SCENERY positioned himself along the rails behind the leading pair in the running of the event. In the straight he was forced to cross to the outside of Master Eight as the leader worked his way to the rail. He charged hard over the final 100m, but he couldn’t bridge the gap to the leader. There was a gap of 2.25 lengths back to the horse in third.
Run Of The Race: MASTER EIGHT is still learning his race craft but put in another great performance to make it two wins from two starts in Hong Kong.
Disappointment: SUPER DOBBIN sat midfield in the running and got clear running at the top of the straight to run into the money. But he tired badly with 150m to run and finished in ninth spot.
Comparison: Not far outside the course/class record.
Market Mover: MASTER EIGHT $1.40 into $1.20.
Race 9 – Hoi Mei Wan Handicap, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Wet Slow
Time: 1:09.80 Standard Time: 1:08.65 Course/Class record: 1:07.40 Dehere’s The Love
Winner: MAN STAR (AUS 4yo g Shooting To Win – Across The Moon) was caught up in a battle for the lead early and was cast four wide and without cover for the entire 1200m of the event. He sprinted well in the straight and won by a comfortable 0.5 length margin.
Runner-Up: GUNNISON was also caught wide in the run but had cover behind eventual winner Man Star. Matthew Poon took him out into the middle of the track, and he let down well. He continued to find and hit the line strongly, having a gap of 1.75 lengths back to third position.
Run Of The Race: It was a tough performance by MAN STAR after being caught wide and without cover for the entirety of the race.
Disappointment: HARMONY SPIRIT started as a $4.90 second favourite and settled at the rear of the field. He made little ground once clear and finished in eighth position.
Comparison: Way outside the standard time on the wet surface.
Market Mover: HARMONY SPIRIT $10 into $4.90.
Race 10 – Cheung Sha Handicap, HK $2,200,000
Class 2 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Wet Slow
Time: 1:09.51 Standard Time: 1:08.15 Course/Class record: 1:07.27 Winner Supreme
Winner: WILL POWER (NZ 5yo g Power – Lilahjay) jumped with the rest of the field but didn’t muster much pace, finding himself at the rear of the field. He was 7.25 lengths off the leader with 800m left to run. Jerry Chau built up momentum on the turn and was beyond the half-way point of the track upon straightening. He continued to get through his gears down the outside of the track and took the lead with 200m to go, running away for an easy 1.25 length win.
Runner-Up: CZARSON found himself toward the rear of the field and wide but did have cover throughout the event. He put in a tough performance, not giving in down the straight to finish second in a photo finish.
Run Of The Race: WILL POWER was a long way off the leaders as they began the turn and powered home over the top of the opposition to win easily.
Disappointment: KURPANY was sent out as favourite at $4.10 and finished in tenth position, 10 lengths off the lead. Jockey Joao Moreira told stewards that Kurpany resented the kickback.
Comparison: Way outside the standard time on the very wet surface.
Market Mover: CZARSON $20 into $7.80.
Race 11 – Kiu Tsui Handicap, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1600m – Track Good to Firm.
Time: 1:33.73 Standard Time: 1:34.50 Course/Class record: 1:33.27 Mr Aldan
Winner: ULTRA EXPRESS (NZ 4yo g Power – Court In The Park) jumped with the rest of the field and sat in the midfield, three wide and with cover. Joao Moreira pulled him to the outside upon straightening and he sprinted well, running away to win very well by 1.75 lengths.
Runner-Up: SERIOUS LIAISON was sitting on the back of the eventual winner Ultra Express in the running, but just didn’t show the same turn of foot when asked to sprint by Neil Callan. He grinded away down the straight and put his nose down on the finish line to grab second position in a photo finish.
Run Of The Race: ULTRA EXPRESS showed plenty of class in winning.
Disappointment: BEAUTY FIT seemed to find himself in a little bit of trouble early in the straight and was forced to come across heels to the outside with 300m left to run. He didn’t let down very well after that though, being only fair to the line and finishing 3.75 lengths off the leader in seventh position.
Comparison: Inside the standard time in a fast-run race.
Market Mover: BEAUTY FIT $4 into $3.90.
Neil Callan signals the win with California Spangle, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club