The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, May 20th, 2020
Happy Valley Wednesday May 20
RACE 1 SHAN PUI RIVER HANDICAP HK $967,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:10.02 Standard Time: 1:10.10 Course/Class Record: 1:08.92
Winner: HERE COMES TED (NZ 3yo g Per Incanto – Princess Annaliese) gets his breakthrough win in Hong Kong in his 10th start and seventh of 2020 for former South African trainer David Ferraris. His last four at 1000m at Sha Tin, steps up in trip here to 1200m around Happy Valley and that seemed to do the trick. Wide with cover in front of midfield, the Per Incanto gelding was off the bit coming to the turn but responded very strongly running up the Valley straight to get the win under newlywed jockey Karis Teetan. A $A220,000 yearling.
Runner-up: GOODLUCK GOODLUCK was a tad unlucky not to win. He was travelling very sweetly three-deep on the rail and in cramped room, then angled out across heels off the home turn, losing some momentum that could have made the difference in the end. A 15lb differential between first and second also a factor. This his first run in Class 4 since winning in the grade in June 2018. He’ll quickly quit the grade again.
Run Of The Race: FARM BUMPER and SWEETLY BABY got out wide from the rear and were dashing home, just had too many lengths to make up. Deserved better reward.
Disappointment: Favourite HAPPY GOOD GUYS took a rails run in the straight then leader MANAGEMENT SUPREME ducked in and took his line. Having to take evasive action it was race over for him there but did nice work to grab third. GINTOKI was well backed with Zac Purton up but after sitting on the pace quickly folded (bled, second time).
Comparison: A smidgen under standard on a track that has seen some rainfall, but only light drizzle to date.
Market Mover: SKY TREASURE $19.70 to $13.00, HERE COMES TED $15.90 to $11.00
Bled: GINTOKI (second time)
RACE 2 TAN SHAN RIVER HANDICAP HK $967,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1800m – Track Good
Time: 1:48.59 Standard Time: 1:50.10 Course/Class Record: 1:48.10
Winner: DIONYSUS COLLIN (AUS 4yo g Dream Ahead – Charlety Star) had been nothing but consistent and off four placings from five previous starts in 2020 he breaks through for win one at start 20 for trainer Francis Lui. And how about that man Zac Purton, another victory aboard a horse he throws a leg over for the first time. He’s got that magic touch on horses he’s never ridden before. A $A110,000 yearling, the Dream Ahead gelding is a half-brother to a former flyer in Najoom, a Northern Meteor filly with Gai Waterhourse who won five from just seven career starts and two at Group 3 at Rosehill and Doomben.
Runner-up: PRETTY BAUHINIA had a nice cosy run behind the leading few under Karis Teetan and finished off strongly over 1800m. The Danzero gelding has been well tried in Hong Kong winning three from 38 starts. He was unbeaten in Australia, winning two-from-two at 1400m and 1600m for Mike Moroney as ‘Karpacz’.
Run Of The Race: Huge run from DRAGON COMMANDER from the rear, very wide at the 300m and powerful to the line. Winless in now 18 HK starts he should have a better record based on this performance. A two-time winner in Italy. Stick with him.
Disappointment: SALTO OLIMPICO was well favoured under Moreira but after trailing was out to extreme pressure 700m out and faded out very quickly. Irregular heartbeat on return. And after a tote plunge PERFECT TO PLAY didn’t deliver the goods. Vetted, no findings.
Comparison: Very quick, a long way under standard thanks to a free-running SHADOW BREAKER who raced keenly and just wouldn’t settle into a nice rhythm. Stewards update the track from ‘Good’ to ‘Good To Firm’
Market Mover: PERFECT TO PLAY $12.30 to $4.80
RACE 3 TAI SHING STREAM HANDICAP HK $967,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1650m – Track Good TF
Time: 1:39.23 Standard Time: 1:40.45 Course/Class Record: 1:38.83
Winner: LIGHTNING STEED (AUS 5yo g California Dane – Deal Or No Deal) was the big mover on the tote and looked the winner some way from home after leading for champion rider Joao Moreira. The heavily-backed commodity had the field in pieces well before the turn and only FOCUS on his back any threat. The positivity in the market well-founded as he dashed away to secure win three from start 27 for Casper Fownes. He’s never been out of Class 4 in Hong Kong in that time, and remains there having contested this on a rating of 49. Fownes has concentrated on the 1600-1650m races this year after the horse was earlier a 1000m or 1200m type.
Runner-up: FOCUS had the leaders back and the chance to run him down but could not reel in the necessary ground tonight. He’s in great form, a win and two second placings his last threes starts, all at 1650m around Happy Valley. The Kiwi-bred is another thriving in the lift from 1200m to the ‘mile’.
Run Of The Race: V CHEVALIERS flew from fourth-to-last on the inner, taking a wee shortcut around the home turn then angling back towards centre track to make his run. Looks a next upper. The veteran of just eight starts in Hong Kong his last two runs have been very positive. Stepping from 1200m and 1400m to 1650m. His 22.77 from 400m to winning post superior to the field.
Disappointment: AMAZING LUCK was over from a wide gate to sit outside the leader but under heavy pressure some way out.
Comparison: Over a second under standard and again proves they’re running on a very slick track tonight.
Market Mover: LIGHTNING STEED $4.60 to $2.60
RACE 4 KAM TIN RIVER HANDICAP HK $1,450,000
Class 3 – Rating 80-60 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1000m – Track Good TF
Time: 0:56.38 Standard Time: 0:57.00 Course/Class Record: 0:56.11
Winner: CLASSIC UNICORN (NZ 4yog Per Incanto – Grace And Eva) was quite brilliant tonight, finding the form that saw him blitz a Class 4 field on debut, then a Class 3 event second up in mid-2019. He’s been seen just four times since, and not in the top three, but primed and ready to run here, leading all the way in a rapidly run affair. Rider Derek Leung was a passenger as sire Per Incanto registered his second win of the night after earlier success with Here Comes Ted. Two trials in New Zealand before he was sold to the Chris So stable. Half brother EXCEPTIONAL DESIRE (by Darci Brahma) has won four from 35 in Hong Kong and last victorious on March 18 in a Class 4 1200m race, also for Chris So
Runner-up: BE READY got a nice trip behind a torrid speed and rallied strongly to take second money some four-lengths in arrears of the winner. Never a bad run from this Love Conquers All gelding, a four-time Australian winner for Matthew Dunn as ‘We Concur’. Winning form imminent in Hong Kong.
Run Of The Race: By a stretch the winner a class above them here. He’ll be winning again at 1000m next time.
Disappointment: EXPLOSIVE WITNESS was favoured to run very well but he was trapped three-wide and working on the speed and found wanting when the gas went on again on the corner. ALLIED AGILITY disappointing and returned with blood in the trachea.
Comparison: Really slick again worrying class record time. Leading or trailing on this hot track a great place to be tonight.
Market Mover: ALLIED AGILITY $10.00 to $6.40
Classic Unicorn and Derek Leung, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
RACE 5 SHAN PUI RIVER HANDICAP HK $967,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1200m – Track Good TF
Time: 1:09.95 Standard Time: 1:10.10 Course/Class Record: 1:08.92
Winner: BULLISH BROTHER (AUS 4yo g Reward For Effort – Stream Royale) was smashed in betting off gate one and punters knew what they were doing. He’d not drawn inside gate six in his past half-dozen starts so being on the rail on this hot track the ideal place to be. After leading out he trailed mid-race and kicked away strongly to gain win two from start 20. Only fourth up in 2020 so he’s on the up and should continue to race well through to seasons end. His lone win previously was secured in Class 5 also at 1200m.
Runner-up: LUCKY QUALITY runs a brave second from a low draw in two, so close to rail is the place to be. He provided a solid sprint to loom as a winning hope, fighting very strongly. Only five starts in Hong Kong and placed in three of them, all at 1200m at Happy Valley. Went through the Inglis Easter Sale in 2018 for $A100,000.
Run Of The Race: HERO TIME is well worth following. Slow out and back he never got the rub of the green and wasn’t far away as the co-topweight in the race. Big win April 22 at the same distance he’ll be a horse to follow next time out. AMAZING did a nice job late from last taking a shortcut on the inner around the turn to run fifth in dashing the fastest final two sectionals in the field (22.74, 23.13).
Disappointment: ARES didn’t look that happy in midfield between horses and then disappointed for a run. He finished off nicely with 133lb and decent under the circumstances. Punters not so happy backing him into $2.10.
Comparison: Not such a full throttle type of race, they jumped and settled before getting going again about the 600m. Just below the standard.
Market Mover: BULLISH BROTHER $9.60 to $5.00, DIAMOND RHYME $17.80 to $15.00
RACE 6 SHAN PUI RIVER HANDICAP HK $967,000
Class 4 – Rating 60-40 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1200m – Track Good TF
Time: 1:09.74 Standard Time: 1:10.10 Course/Class Record: 1:08.92
Winner: FLYING BONUS (AUS 5yo g Snitzel – Sabanci) a former $A525,000 yearling, bolted out of the gates to take command and was far too quick for them dashing away to secure his first win in Hong Kong in 16 starts. Just the two thirds in his six previous attempts in 2020, the Snitzel import had not shown this brilliance since his arrival, though he’d won twice in Victoria for the Hayes-Dabernig stable as ‘Bowerman’, a Moonee Valley winner in March 2018 before export. Alfred Chan claimed 7lb off his back which obviously helped. Having done the bulk of his racing in Class 3 he will return to that grade with a rise in rating points. A noted on-pace horse, the rail suited him ideally tonight.
Runner-up: INTERSTELLAR jumped fast to trial and followed the fast lane home to grab second. Hinted at a good run when previously strong on April 6. Still winless in Hong Kong after dual success in Victoria as ‘La Chambie’ for Wez Hunter.
Run Of The Race: Winner exemplary on the inside bias. Against the bias and widest on the turn HARRIER JET was wonderful, dashing home into third money and nearly snared second, his 22.73 the final 400m superior to the others.
Disappointment: JADE PHOENIX got a nice trip in transit fifth or sixth the outer and did not really run on. He was heavily backed. SIMPLY FLUKE opened favourite, drifted to second-elect, and was too far back though making handy ground into fourth.
Comparison: Under standard, well rated in front this horse and all the plaudits go to Alfie Chan.
Market Mover: JADE PHOENIX $5.00 to $2.30, FLYING BONUS $17.10 to $13.60
Fined & Suspended: H.T Mo (MULTIMAX) fined $7500 and suspended May 31 race meeting for careless riding at the 1100m mark.
RACE 7 NAM CHUNG RIVER HANDICAP HK $1,450,000
Class 3 – Rating 80-60 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1650m – Track Good TF
Time: 1:39.02 Standard Time: 1:40.00 Course/Class Record: 1:38.61
Winner: MAGNIFICENT (GB 5yo g Zebadee – Barathea Dancer) snaps a two-race result as runner-up going one better to win again at his favoured distance on his favourite track, all three lifetime successes in Hong Kong at the 1650m. In front or on the pace is his thing, tonight securing a beautiful run in the one-one under a stylish Dylan Mo ride and too swift after sweeping into it off the corner. It won’t get a lot easier for him at the top of the handicap in Class 3 and on the verge of Class 2.
Runner-up: FARSHAD followed the winner every step of the way and loomed large to make his challenge after turning for home. Denied in the straight he extended a handy 2020 record with a win and three placings from six starts. Zac Purton could not quite spread the magic dust on this one – his first ride on the horse – and we all know his record on those ones.
Run Of The Race: BRAVE KING deserved a better result, he was one of the few travelling on the home turn but with little space. Found the line nicely once through. A two-time winner in Ireland at 1400m and 1636m it seems he’ll get to 2000m and find his best form. Only five starts in Hong Kong so far for Douglas Whyte.
Disappointment: GREEN REIGN was heavily supported but was back and wide from barrier 12 and never in the race under Moreira. Vet and trial before resuming. CHAIRMAN LO was a long way below his best, too.
Comparison: A quickly run affair exemplified by the two leaders actually puncturing to run second last and last.
Market Mover: GREEN REIGN $5.00 to $3.80
Golden Dash and Zac Purton, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
RACE 8 LAM TSUEN RIVER HANDICAP HK $1,450,000
Class 3 – Rating 80-60 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1200m – Track Good TF
Time: 1:09.26 Standard Time: 1:09.85 Course/Class Record: 1:08.68
Winner: GOLDEN DASH (AUS 5yo g Snitzel – Aussie Christmas) has been very sparingly raced by Danny Shum but when he turns up he’s ready to rumble. In just start three for the year it was all systems go with Purton up, quickly out from gate one and into the lead, a position he’d never surrender. That’s win four from start 12 in Hong Kong, a career that began in January 2018 so he’s not being taxed. Unraced dam Aussie Christmas hails from a very strong family through both North America and the UK. Prepared by David Pfieffer to trial before his import to Hong Kong.
Runner-up: CALIFORNIA RAD was three-deep then into one-off and fifth spot under Karis Teetan, producing a strong finish to do his best and win three on end. But the margin could not be reeled in this time. Encouraging signs, Class 3 not bothering this horse since breaking out of Class 4.
Run Of The Race: CALIFORNIADEEPSHOT was very slick late, slow start and rear inner, in fact last at the turn, he dashed home along the rail under Moreira who went for the shortcut on the turn. Clocked in 22.76 the final 400m and clearly ahead of the field in that regard. Two Kembla Grange wins for Peter and Paul Snowden before export, he’s on a tough mark early in Hong Kong but a horse good enough to counter that.
Disappointment: No notable one here.
Comparison: Tonight they’ve scooted along on a perfect surface, this one no exception versus the standard.
Market Mover: GOLDEN DASH $3.20 to $2.40
RACE 9 HO CHUNG RIVER HANDICAP HK $2,100,000
Class 2 Rating 100-80 – Turf ‘C + 3’ Course – Distance 1200m – Track Good TF
Time: 1:08.78 Standard Time: 1:09.55 Course/Class Record: 1:08.52
Winner: SHINING ACE (AUS 4yo g Testa Rossa – Dance Idol) is one really good horse, a record to prove that with now six wins from 22 starts and four of those in Class 3. He rockets through the ratings, a Rating 55 horse in June 2019, now rated 92. Joao Moreira capped a good night in the saddle with a winning double and drew square again with premiership rival Zac Purton with this win. A cool head early when finding the rail first, Moreira allowed the speed to come out of it mid-race before taking full control in front. Too much speed for them off the corner this horse – he’s a beauty. Danehill Dancer dam Dance Idol was a four race winner up to 1640m and SHINING ACE is her first foal.
Runner-up: WINNING METHOD had to get back from gate 10 but rushed home over the top of them all bar the winner in the stretch, a fine run from this excellent performer in the Danny Shum yard, a winner of four from 14 starts and just getting warmed up. The son of Holy Roman Emperor will get 1400m no trouble.
Run Of The Race: WINNING METHOD capitalised on a strong pace up front to get home strongly from the rear in 22.78 the fastest final split. TORNADO TWIST did some nice work late from the rear.
Disappointment: Favourite AMAZING STAR very disappointing and vetted, no obvious abnormalities. To be vetted and trialled before racing. LARSON was off his game tonight, into fifth and one-off the fence he lacked the superior gate speed this time, and the finish. Found lame upon returning.
Comparison: Just outside the class record in a shower of rain. None better than the winner running this sort of time.
Market Mover: SHINING ACE $8.40 to $6.90