Hong Kong


The Davis Files - Sha Tin review

The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Race 1 – Girrard-Perregaux Excellent Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 2000m – Track Good

Time: 2:02.37 Standard Time: 2:02.15 Course/Class record: 2:00.67 Full Power 

Winner: GOD OF DRAGON (AUS 7yo g Red Dazzler – Pardees) jumped about midfield from barrier five and crossed heels to sit three pairs back and along the fence as they entered the first turn. He settled well and got into a great rhythm as they turned into the back straight, with the speed good through the middle stages. He moved one off the rail around the home turn but was unable to improve his position with a bunch of runners in front of him and to his outside, with Jerry Chau only able to push the button as they passed the 400m pole. Chau was able to get clear galloping room with 250m to go as he hit top gear passing the 200m, gaining on the leading division, eventually taking the lead in the shadows of the post and going on to win by a neck.

Runner-Up: EZRA was quickly into stride and was initially sent forward by Karis Teetan, before easing the gelding back to settle near the tail of the field, sitting in the three-wide trail. Teetan started improving his position down the back straight, still staying in the three-wide trail but now sitting just worse than midfield with 1000m left to run. Teetan was asking the gelding to quicken around the turn as he continued to improve his position before going flat to the boards with 500m remaining. He stuck on well in the straight but was ultimately beaten by one who had a more comfortable position in running. 

Run Of The Race: JOYFUL HEART was caught three-wide the trip and was actually the one second-placed Ezra was following throughout the race. Despite the wide run, he was a big threat in the straight and was actually the leader with 150m left to run, but he felt the pinch late, eventually finishing in third position in a photo finish. A great run and he’s the one I want to follow out of this race.

Disappointment: Favoured runner DRAGON COMMANDER did not live up to his $4.30 quote, eventually finishing over 21 lengths from the winner in 10th position. After having a cosy run in the race, he came under pressure a long way from home and never responded to the riding of Joao Moreira. A veterinary examination after the race failed to find any abnormalities.

Comparison: Just outside the standard time.

Market Mover: The late money came for the Caspar Fownes-trained TAILOR MADE, shortening from $15 to $12 as they jumped.

Race 2 – IWC Schaffhausen Excellent Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good

Time: 1:21.75 Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair

Winner:  CHEERFUL DAYS (AUS 5yo g Smart Missile – Saint Minerva) jumped on terms but wasn’t bustled out of the gates, with Zac Purton sitting about midfield and one off the rail. The leader slowed the tempo through the middle stages, which suited Purton as the gap to the leader’s was shortened. Purton moved out to be four-wide as they straightened, and he sprinted well at the top of the straight. He was running in under pressure, but he was still able to take the lead with 200m to run and inched his way clear over the final 100m to win by half a length.

Runner-Up: HEARTY WISH jumped well but was eased back from his wide barrier, settling in second-last position, one off the rail. After settling well back, he found himself detached from the field as the pace went on in the early stages with Jerry Chau having to ride the gelding up to tack on to the back of the field, still 11 lengths off the lead with 800m left to run. He was able to catch a short breather as they pace came out of the race, but he was quickly under the urgings of Chau once again, with Chau stuck to the inside part of the track as they straightened. Chau was able to work his way through the field, with the gelding defying his $87 quote to run into second position.

Run Of The Race: HEARTY WISH was an enormous run at very long odds. He was well back as they entered the turn with 800m to go and was able to sustain a long effort to run into second position. Chau was very good in the saddle, keeping the gelding’s momentum up and avoiding traffic in the straight. 

Disappointment: KING OF THE COURT was a well-supported favourite in just his second career start. He enjoyed a beautiful run in transit but didn’t respond to Alex Badel’s riding early in the straight. Badel couldn’t offer any explanation for the disappointing performance, with nothing found by the vets after the race.

Comparison: Bang on the standard time.

Market Mover: INFINITE POWER was well backed, more than halving his quote into $13 at start time and there was plenty of money for VOYAGE STAR who jumped an $11 chance.

Race 3 – H. Moser & CIE. Excellent Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:10.03 Standard Time: 1:09.10 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight

Winner: GRACYLOVE (NZ 5yo g Shooting To Win – Turf Cutter Girl) jumped with the field and pushed forward in the early stages under Zac Purton, with the gelding eventually able to slot in one off the rail in a midfield position. He settled well through the middle stages, with Purton got a beautiful cart into the race. The gelding let down beautifully at the top of the straight, going up to challenge for the lead with 200m to go, taking the lead inside the 100m pole and going on to win by a neck.

Runner-Up: AWESOME TREASURE jumped well and pushed on from barrier eight to take the lead in the early stages but wasn’t able to cross to the rail with horses on his inside kicking up to try and hold him out. He was finally able to cross to the rail with 850m remaining but had used plenty of energy to get there. He had set a good pace through the middle stages and was still under a strong hold by Keith Yeung in the early stages of the straight, before Yeung finally pushed the button with 300m remaining. He stuck on well and was tough in defeat, just running out of gas with 100m left to run. 

Run Of The Race: AWESOME TREASURE just had to work too hard in the early stages to take up the lead. He was brilliant in defeat and with a better draw or an easier time next start, he can go one better.

Disappointment: FALCON TURBO was sent out as favourite at $2.90 and appeared to be in a brilliant spot in running. He was sat on the leader’s back, stalking him wherever he went. He got into the clear early in the straight, but he never got close to the leader. You can’t sack him off one run, but more was expected out of him.

Comparison: Outside the standard time.

Market Mover: FALCON TURBO was well backed prior to the jump, shortening from $4.50 to jump as the $2.90 favourite.

Race 4 – Grand Seiko Excellent Handicap, , HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:09.43 Standard Time: 1:09.10 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight

Winner: SEASONS BLISS (NZ 4yo g Charm Spirit – Enchanted Melody) was a touch slow away and was ridden up shortly after the jump by Vincent Ho, who was able to find a position in midfield, sitting one off the rail. He travelled well throughout the event and got a beautiful trail into the race from the 500m mark, coming off heels with 400m to run and letting down strongly. He hit top gear with 200m to run and went woosh, charging down the leader and blowing right past him to win by 0.75 lengths.

Runner-Up: WHIZZ KID was quickly into stride and bounced straight to the lead under Karis Teetan. He was relatively left alone out in front and travelled well, setting a good pace out in front. He stuck on well in the straight and was still a clear leader with 200m left to run but was just gunned down by a runner out wide. A great run out in front and a win is close for the colt, with today just being his second start.

Run Of The Race: WHIZZ KID is the one I want to follow out of this. He was brilliant out in front in just his second start, with improvement still to come as he continues to gain experience.

Disappointment: VICTORY SCHOLARS settled in a midfield position and had clear running in the straight but hit a wall with 150m to run. He went to the line fairly, but not what you wanted to see more from the top weight who jumped as a $5.60 chance.

Comparison: Just outside the standard time.

Market Mover: GOOD NEWS and DR WINNING were both well backed late in betting.

Race 5 – Franck Muller Excellent Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1800m – Track Good

Time: 1:48.62 Standard Time: 1:47.25 Course/Class record: 1:46.18 Glorious Forever

Winner: CALIFORNIA TEN (IRE 4yo g Rock Of Gibraltar – Bulrushes) jumped well but wasn’t ridden up as they jumped with Karis Teetan crossing toward the back of the pack in the early stages. He was caught three-wide in the early stages and was racing quite ungenerously, pulling hard as Teetan attempted to restrain him. The four-year-old eventually pulled his way around the field to level up to the leaders as they straightened for the judge. He shot clear as they passed the 300m point and kept his rivals at bay to win comfortably by a length.

Runner-Up: PRECISE EXPRESS jumped fairly from the widest barrier but was eased back to sit in second last under Matthew Chadwick. He was caught out deep but gained cover with 900m to go, slotting into the three-wide trail and following the eventual winner into the race. Chadwick came off heels to be four-wide with 500m left to run and came under pressure shortly after. He stuck on well in the straight chasing hard but just couldn’t run down the winner, finishing half a length clear in second position.

Run Of The Race: CALIFORNIA TEN was massive in winning, pulling his way around the field before letting down beautifully to run clear and win in fine style. He’s still learning the caper, but when the penny drops, he’s sure to win many more races.

Disappointment: LEAP OF FAITH jumped well in the market at $8.60 and settled in a midfield position after jumping well from barrier five. He was held up upon straightening, but when Antoine Hamelin got into the clear, the gelding didn’t respond to his riding. A veterinary examination did not find any abnormalities.

Comparison: Well outside the standard time.

Market Mover: ABOVE was the one punters wanted to be with. 

Race 6 – The Premier Bowl (Handicap), HK $4,750,000

Group Two – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:07.95 Standard Time: 1:08.30 Course/Class record: 1:07.50 Sacred Kingdom

Winner: LUCKY PATCH (NZ 5yo g El Roca – Gould) jumped well from the outside barrier but wasn’t ridden along to go forward, instead Zac Purton elected to sit in the three-wide trail in a midfield position. He travelled well around the turn and came off heels with 400m to go and let down immediately, taking the lead with 200m left to go and being strong through to the line, holding off his rivals to win by a neck, giving Zac Purton a treble through six races. 

Runner-Up: SUPER WEALTHY was a touch slow into stride but was able to position himself midfield and along the rails. He was a touch keen, but eventually settled and was travelling well into the straight as a gap appeared along the running rail. He sprinted well in the straight, avoiding traffic and trying his heart out to run down the leader but ran out of time.

Run Of The Race: LUCKY PATCH was simply superb letting rip down the middle of the track to get the win in an exciting finish to The Premier Bowl. Zac Purton rated him a treat from the outside barrier, obtaining cover early on and getting a lovely run into the straight. 

Disappointment: NABOO ATTACK didn’t have much luck in running and which was a big contributing factor to his disappointing performance. A horse that definitely has more to show and I wouldn’t be completely off him after one run. 

Comparison: Well inside standard time. 

Market Mover: LUCKY PATCH, SUPER WEALTHY AND VOYAGE WARRIOR all had money for them prior to the jump.

Race 7 – Tsuen Fu Handicap, HK $2,400,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1800m – Track Good

Time: 1:48.24 Standard Time: 1:46.95 Course/Class record: 1:45.88 Solar Hei Hei

Winner: CELESTIAL POWER (AUS 5yo g Star Witness – Askari) jumped on terms but was allowed to find his feet under Matthew Poon, settling in the back half of the field and one off the rail. He settled well and got into a good rhythm down the back stretch and wasn’t fighting Poon despite the steady tempo out in front. He moved out into the three-wide trail with 800m left to travel and got a brilliant cart into the race. He came four-wide on straightening and trucked into the race under a strong hold, with Poon only dropping when they passed the 200m pole. He stormed up to the leader and got his head in front over the concluding stages, holding on to win by a short head in a photo finish.

Runner-Up: ZEBROWSKI jumped well and went forward with Alex Badel setting a moderate tempo out in front. He travelled well throughout the event and wasn’t challenged for the lead at any point. He put in a strong kick at the top of the straight and pinched a break on his rivals, charging hard toward the line and almost getting the win. He put in a big dive on the finish line to make things interesting, but he had to settle for second, with third place a further 1.5 lengths back.

Run Of The Race: CELESTIAL POWER was a great run, storming down the middle of the track to get the narrow win when the race favoured the leaders up front. A great ride by Matthew Poon and who knows what he can do if there’s a faster pace next time out.

Disappointment: C P BRAVE was only fair in his first outing at 1800m, as he jumped a well backed $1.90 favourite. He will benefit from the run and he should go close to winning a race like this very soon.

Comparison: Way outside the standard time.

Market Mover: C P BRAVE had been well backed since markets opened, jumping as the $1.90 favourite after opening as a $3 chance.

Race 8 – The Oriental Watch 60th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy (Handicap), HK $4,750,000

Group 2 – Turf – Distance 1600m – Track Good

Time: 1:34.40 Standard Time: 1:33.30 Course/Class record: 1:32.64 Beauty Generation

Winner: PANFIELD (CHI 5yo h Lookin At Lucky – Esterina II) was a touch slow into stride but mustered good speed to push through and settle midfield between horses. He got a bit keen through the middle stages, but Teetan was able to get him to relax before getting him into the race with 600m left to travel. He moved into clear galloping room as they straightened, with Teetan already hard at work on the stallion. He moved up to the leaders early in the straight and had a fight on his hands, but his staying ability was on display, proving too strong over the final stages to win by a neck.

Runner-Up: PRECIOUSSHIP jumped fairly from the outside barrier and settled toward the back of the pack in the three-wide trail. He travelled well throughout and was in a lovely rhythm under Vagner Borges, who sat patiently at the tail of the field, before ending up the widest runner on straightening. He sprinted well down the centre of the track, staying on well and getting oh so close in the end, but he ran out of time. 

Run Of The Race: PANFIELD was simply too good in winning and a great training performance by Tony Millard. A Group 1 winner over 2400m prior to a spell, he returned in great fashion to in first-up over a mile. He looks in for a fantastic campaign.

Disappointment: SKY DARCI jumped from a wide barrier and found himself at the back of the pack in running. He sprinted well at the top of the straight, but he was never able to get a clear crack at the win, being stuck in traffic and going to the finish line relatively untested. A tough watch for punters who took the $2.70.

Comparison: Well outside the standard time.

Market Mover: COLOMBUS COUNTY, CHAMPIONS WAY and PRECIOUSSHIP were the ones punters were with late in betting.

Race 9 – Corum Excellent Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good

Time: 1:21.30 Standard Time: 1:21.45 Course/Class record: 1:20.62 Preciousship

Winner: MY SUGAR (AUS 5yo g Deep Field – Kerimba) jumped well and was pushed along in the early stages by Zac Purton. He was caught wide for some time, but he showed enough dash to go on and take the lead with 1000m remaining. Once he got to the front, Purton slowed the tempo down to grab a breather after burning some energy to take the lead. Purton came off the fence as they turned into the home straight, but he kicked away and put up a good gap on the rest of the field. He was well in front passing the 100m mark and Purton eased him down over the final stages, cruising over the line to win by 1-3/4 lengths.

Runner-Up: MASTER HERO jumped well and was a part of the initial speed battle in the early stages, but Joao Moreira decided to ease him back, slotting in one off the fence and just off the pace. Moreira came out three-wide with 500m to go and he built some good momentum going into the straight, he chased hard and turned in a great run as he finished second, he just found one better on the day.

Run Of The Race: MY SUGAR was three to four lengths in front with 100m to go and could have won by that margin had Purton not have eased him down. He ran good time, and he looks primed to make it three wins in-a-row next start.

Disappointment: PACKING FAMOUS just found himself too far back and gave himself too much work to do after settling toward the back of the pack. He ran on well to finish in a dead heat for sixth, but he’s going to lose more than he wins if he settles where he did today.

Comparison: Inside the standard time.

Market Mover: PACKING FAMOUS and JADE PHEONIX were the best backed runners before the start of Race 9.

Race 10 – Piaget Excellent Handicap, HK $2,400,000

Class 2 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:08.89 Standard Time: 1:08.55 Course/Class record: 1:07.89 Thanks Forever

Winner: TRILLION WIN (NZ 5yo g Proisir – One Swanstonstreet) jumped fairly and used the inside draw to his advantage to find sit on the leader’s back. He travelled a touch keen through the middle stages but settled well passing the 600m as Alex Badel followed the leader wherever he went. He sat right on the leader’s tail before coming off his heels with 250m to go where Badel finally asked for an effort. He dug deep and was never really in front, but he got his nose down where it mattered, winning by the barest of margins. 

Runner-Up: LUCKY MORE was quickly into stride as Zac Purton pushed on from barrier 10 to settle in the lead. He ran them along at a good pace as he was left alone out in front, travelling nicely under a strong hold as they turned for home. Purton held him together until passing the 300m where he kicked well, holding his rivals at bay, but he just began to tire late, going down in a photo finish.

Run Of The Race: FANTASTIC TREASURE was unable to keep his unbeaten streak alive, but he turned in a brilliant performance as he charged home from a midfield position. He flashed home late, just missing out on second place in a photo finish. He’ll be back in the winners’ stall in no time.

Disappointment: WINNING DREAMER was well in the market at $8.70 but couldn’t sustain his run after sitting outside the leader. He was under pressure as they straightened and he never responded to the riding of Vincent Ho, eventually finishing in tenth position.

Comparison: Outside the standard time.

Market Mover: Punters were with TRILLION WIN and CALIFORNIA RAD in the last race on the card.

Panfield and Karis Teetan, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club