Preview and form for the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday. Selections by Declan Schuster.
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Saturday, January 11, 2020)
Race 1: #9 Wayfoong Star, #6 Juneau Park, #10 Eight Trigrams, #2 Colorado High
Race 2: #9 Money Winner, #7 Big Bully, #2 Gold Velvet, #10 Sky Gem
Race 3: #1 Inner Flame, #4 Brave Baby, #7 Wonder Brahma, #6 Ping Hai Bravo
Race 4: #5 Lasting Friendship, #1 Best Alliance, #12 Foodie Princess, #2 Roman Impero
Race 5: #3 Take What You Need, #7 Farhh Above, #11 Glenealy Generals, #5 Baltic Success
Race 6: #2 King’s Race, #11 Adonis, #14 Casimiro, #5 My Winner
Race 7: #5 Xponential, #4 Triple Triple, #6 Shadow Breaker, #3 Splendid Timing
Race 8: #5 Last Kingdom, #6 Holy Heart, #3 Coby Oppa, #2 Bear Slam
Race 9: #4 Be Ready, #5 Craig’s Star, #6 Horsesain Bolt, #1 Super Star
Race 10: #5 Nicconi Express, #1 Private Secretary, #13 Columbus County, #8 Butterfield
Race 1: Carpenter Handicap
#9 Wayfoong Star did nothing but impress in his latest trial and if he can replicate that on race day, he’s going to prove tough to beat. Douglas Whyte and Karis Teetan have combined on five occasions from 15 pairings and another win here, would not surprise. #6 Juneau Park comes out of the same trial. He’s also shown talent and warrants plenty of respect on debut for John Size. #10 Eight Trigrams has race experience on his side. He’s drawn well for the in-form Grant van Niekerk. #2 Colorado High is racing well and only has to overcome the wide gate to be competitive here.
Race 2: Hau Wong Handicap
The Me Tsui stable appears to be hitting its straps and off his latest effort, #9 Money Winner rates as the one to beat. He’s drawn a touch awkward but he’ll more than likely settle worse than midfield for Neil Callan before rattling home late. #7 Big Bully is in-form. He’s drawn well and if he’s held his condition from last start, he’s going to test these. #2 Gold Velvet snatched second last start. He can progress further here although the gate makes things tricky. #10 Sky Gem is racing well and from the draw rates as a place chance for Alexis Badel.
Race 3: Carpenter Handicap
#1 Inner Flame couldn’t have been more impressive when winning on debut last start and he appears capable of repeating that effort here, especially against what appears to be a relatively mediocre Class 4 field. #4 Brave Baby rarely runs a bad race. He returns first-up here and his trials have been encouraging. #7 Wonder Brahma snared third on debut behind Inner Flame. He can progress further although that margin is unlikely to be bridged. #6 Ping Hai Bravo steps out on debut. He warrants respect.
Race 4: Nam Kok Handicap
#5 Lasting Friendship sat on the speed and won well over this course and distance last campaign. That’s more than likely not going to be the plan again with the booking of Alfred Chan who takes 10lb off his back. #1 Best Alliance is doing everything right except win. He’s been ultra-consistent all term and another bold run is expected, especially as he remains in Class 4. #12 Foodie Princess steps out for Chris So who hasn’t struck a winner since early December. Though, this galloper is racing well and shouldn’t be too far away for Joao Moreira. #2 Roman Impero is next best.
Race 5: Nga Tsin Wai Handicap
#3 Take What You Need has hit the ground running this season, tallying two placings from three outings. Blake Shinn retains the ride here and from the draw he is the one to beat. #7 Farhh Above was a winner against Griffin company last season. He’ll need to step up if he wants to be competitive here but he’s trialled well and warrants respect as he heads toward a possible Four-Year-Old Classic Series tilt. #11 Glenealy Generals is consistent and his best should see him feature here. #5 Baltic Success finished second last start. He turned his form around that day and further progress is expected.
Race 6: South Wall Handicap
Jimmy Ting bagged a treble on Wednesday at Happy Valley and his rich vein of form can continue here with #2 King’s Race, who was a winner two starts ago. He’s drawn a touch awkward but he’s been racing well this season and if he can cross the field here, he could take running down. #11 Adonis steps out once again for Douglas Whyte. He’s a two-time winner already this season who looks poised to snatch a third. #14 Casimiro makes the stable switch from Dennis Yip to Paul O’Sullivan. He’s unlucky to already not be a winner and with 114lb on his back here, he’s going to find himself in the finish. #5 My Winner has drawn well, it all depends on whether he gets a race run to suit or not.
Race 7: South Wall Handicap
#5 Xponential got off the mark on debut for Douglas Whyte. He was super impressive that day, displaying an electrifying turn of foot under Chad Schofield which saw him get the job done by a head. He remains in Class 4 which suits and another win is on the cards. #4 Triple Triple has shown plenty of talent since his debut and got the job done nicely last start, digging deep for Joao Moreira. The pair stick together here and from the good gate they’re expected to be in the finish. #6 Shadow Break steps out for the in-form Jimmy Ting. He’s racing well and this looks well within his grasp. #3 Splendid Timing is next best.
Race 8: The Lok Sin Tong 140th Anniversary Cup (Handicap)
#5 Last Kingdom made all last start to give Lyle Hewitson his first Hong Kong win. The pair look poised to try and make all again here and from the inside gate, they shouldn’t be doing too much work early if they plan to find the front. #6 Holy Heart was caught far too back in the field last start. Prior though, he tallied two minor placings and he’s expected to bounce back to that level of form here with a positive ride. #3 Coby Oppa is by proven dirt sire The Factor. He’s a three-time dirt winner who is more than likely not nearing a bounce back to form, which could easily come here. #2 Bear Slam is next best following his last start victory.
Race 9: Tak Ku Ling Handicap
#4 Be Ready has shown steady improvement across his three-start career, enough so to suggest that a win was nearing. Joao Moreira takes over now which warrants respect and this race looks well within his grasp. #5 Craig’s Star has the wide gate to contend with he’s been consistent all season, including a second-up win earlier on. Frenchman Tony Piccone takes the reins here and this looks an excellent chance for him to double his win tally. #6 Horsesain Bolt steps out on debut for Douglas Whyte. He’s trialled very well and from the good gate with Karis Teetan engaged, he’s going to be in the finish. #1 Super Star has only finished outside of the top three once from attempts, including four wins. He commands respect.
Race 10: Lung Kong Handicap
#5 Nicconi Express has done nothing but impress this season, including his win two starts ago. He’s in-form he’s shown that he can progress further in the ratings and he remains the one to beat here for Silvestre de Sousa. #1 Private Secretary made all impressively on debut last start at the Valley, which not many horse can do. He was a Listed Stakes winner at Goodwood who was bought for a Derby campaign, though, as impressive as that run was it’s going to be more difficult at Sha Tin and chances are he’ll be over bet. Joao Moreira hops aboard #13 Columbus County for the first time after the horse finished fourth on debut behind Golden Sixty. That was an encouraging debut and he commands respect, especially with that key jockey switch. #8 Butterfield turned his form around last start. He can make his presence felt.
The 10 race broadcast commences at 3.15pm AEST, 12.15pm HKT, on Sky Racing2, from 6.50pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 7.25pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
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Voyage Warrior winning at Sha Tin, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club