Brett Davis - Selections - Happy Valley - 18/11/20:
#2 For Fun’s Sake has now been in the stable of Casper Fownes for approximately six months and tonight he heads to the races at Happy Valley.
The return to the city circuit along with the drop back in trip from 1400m catches my attention. I was quite encouraged by his second placing in early October over 1200m where he was noticeably impeded in the home stretch, but continued closing strongly thereafter to the line. Unsurprisingly like most in this class, he did not back it up when stepping to 1400m at his next start, but in his defence the tempo was far from ideal. Like all in this class he is limited and needs everything to unfold perfectly to perform so the return to 1200m, along with a good solid tempo, can create a race environment he has responded to in the past. The man behind the wheel is also familiar and displaying unrivalled loyalty so he is worth an each way ticket.
#7 Master Galaxy has drawn the plum alley in gate one which is gold in any race, but particularly crucial at this tight turning track. The booking of Moreira also creates confidence as he has an exceptional record in all grades of racing, but particularly with these Class 5 non winners. He will race handy and with the rail in the C position it is likely to receive plenty of favours.
#6 Yee Cheong Lucky holds a solid record this course, distance and class with rider Karis Teetan undefeated from the one outing. His form when closing out last season was as good as you will get for a galloper in this grade but he has returned with two average runs over the minimum trip. He is capable and deserves his spot in the selections but I am not completely sold he has returned that well.
#10 One Step Ahead is only a pony but he has returned this season an improving type and looks a real contender on his two efforts thus far.
Mathew Chadwick is riding well and is extremely familiar with this horses capabilities, so the good draw should offer them no excuses. It is worth mentioning his overall record at The Valley is appalling, but I am prepared to take a chance on that, now he has actually found some form.
#5 Well Dragon has definitely improved since the beginning of the season and he will race at The Valley tonight for the first time. He has not been placed under race pressure on the turf for six months with all his recent starts on the dirt. I am eager to see what he delivers and shall be having something on if he gets out to a good each way price. I think he will run well.
Selections : 2,7,6,10,5
R2 - 6,9,2,8,10
R3 - 7,5,9,2,10
R4 - 4,6,1,7,9
R5 - 2,9,11,12,5
R6 - 5,11,8,3,2
#9 Hardly Swears won his first three races last season and has since been ultra consistent. This season he has returned with three minor placings from his first three outings and now looks primed and ready to strike. He is a 6yo that is only just entering his second full season of racing and I feel there is still more to be offered. He will meet a couple of decent challengers tonight, but his placement in this race looks superb. He has drawn perfectly, weighted to a nicety and likely to gain an excellent trail on the back of a solid tempo. His recent rider Alex Badel has chosen to stick with another runner and that is certainly an interesting call. Karis Teetan however takes over and he has proven himself in recent years to be a very worthy replacement.
#10 Keep You Warm is another runner that the aforementioned Alex Badel has removed himself from. Or has he been moved by someone else? The jockey bookings are often a confusing puzzle and on this occasion Moreira jumps aboard for the first time. It is a fair enough pick up if that is the way it has rolled as his form recently has been terrific. However, The Valley record reads ordinary to this point but in his defence he has hardly fully exposed.
#3 Meridian Genius is to be ridden by the aforementioned Alexis Badel, who as predicted, has again settled in swiftly to the intricacies of Hong Kong Racing gaining momentum rapidly, ride by ride. He has chosen a very talented horse who recently returned from a chip fracture and joint surgery earlier this year. The surgery was seemingly successful as he returned with a ripper run first up at Sha Tin. What he will produce second up tonight is still unknown but it could easily be good enough to win.
#1 Storm Warning ran a strong race first up and there is most likely better to come. He arrived highly rated last season and to his credit has been very competitive in each of his race so far. The wide draw and top weight do not look overly attractive on paper so he is going to need some luck. Looking forward, he is a nice stamp of a horse and I am keen to see more of him, but I would expect him to make further progress in time.
#5 Mig Energy showed real quality in a number of runs last season when ridden conservatively. I find it difficult to comprehend connections cannot see he is more effective as a hold up horse, not an on pace or leader. It is clearly defined in his form but yet they continue to gas him early, run after run. I believe he is a potential Class 2 horse ridden with patience, but I am dropping of completely if he leads and folds up again tonight. I shall happily wear egg on my face if I have got it wrong.
Selections : 9,10,3,1,5
R8 - 11,2,3,7,5
R9 - 6,1,7,2,12
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
The nine race broadcast commences at 9.45pm AEST, 7.15pm HKT, on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
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Buddies and Matthew Chadwick winning at Sha Tin on Sunday, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club