The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, June 9th, 2021:
Race 1 Yan Chau Tong Handicap, HK $750,000
Class 5 – Turf – Distance 2200m – Track Good
Time: 2:15.87 Standard Time: 2:17.85 Course/Class Record: 2:15.87 Sky Gem
Winner: SKY GEM (NZ 5yo g Niagra – Montjeu Way) wasn’t the fastest away from the outside barrier and Karis Teetan shifted behind runners in the early stages. The pace weakened during the middle stages of the race and Teetan sent his horse forward which proved to be the race winning manoeuvre. He was able to pinch a three-length gap immediately. He was miles in front in the straight, with Karis Teetan easing the gelding down over the final 125m to win by two lengths.
Runner-Up: WEALTHY EMPLOYEE settled in midfield and stayed there for the majority of the race. He was one of the horses to benefit from the mid-race move as he just continued to build momentum. He ran home strongly to finish second and had put a gap of three lengths back to the third placed horse.
Run Of The Race: SKY GEM’s was arrogant to say the least. To stand up in the irons and let the horse canter over the line from 125m out, and still run a new course/class record is outstanding.
Disappointment: APOLAR WARRIOR was out the back of the pack and should have benefitted from the pace going on when it did, but instead, he dropped back even further. He was sent out at $4.80, as he finished last and was beaten over 15 lengths.
Comparison: New course/class record.
Market Mover: APOLAR WARRIOR $11 into $4.80.
Race 2 – Port Shelter Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:09.30 Standard Time: 1:09.90 Course/Class Record: 1:08.92 Amazing Star
Winner: PACKING VICTORY (NZ 3yo g Reliable Man – Espresso Cavallo) was impressive in his debut victory. He had the luxury of the inside draw, with Purton urging the debutant along to sit in second position. He fought off his competitors early in the straight and powered his way to the line to win by 2.5 lengths.
Runner-Up: MELBOURNE HALL was steadied not long after the start to obtain some cover, settling in the back half of the field. He benefitted from the quick tempo mid-race, charging home down the outside of the track to finish in second position.
Run Of The Race: It was an impressive debut from PACKING AWARD, and as he continues to learn his race craft, he could be a serious horse for the future.
Disappointment: WINNING DELAGO shot around the field from barrier nine and was forced to work hard to take up the lead. It cost him in the end, weakening out of the race to finish in seventh position.
Comparison: Inside the standard time with some good speed on early.
Market Mover: HANDSOME REBEL $31 into $9.80
Race 3 – Port Shelter Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:10.05 Standard Time: 1:09.90 Course/Class Record: 1:08.92 Amazing Star
Winner: TELECOM SMART (AUS 4yo g Smart Missile – Ocelot) was a bit slow away from the barriers as Karis Teetan was able to find a position one off the rail in midfield. Teetan began to make his move with 600m left to go and was pushed wide on the turn by other horses to his inside. Once he got balanced up, he let down powerfully to take the lead with 100m to go and ran away with a 1.25 length victory, giving Karis Teetan a double through three races.
Runner-Up: ARES was fast away and took up a position on the outside of the leader under Jerry Chau. He hit the lead early in the straight but was mowed down by a fast-finishing Telecom Smart to finish second, 0.75 lengths ahead of third place.
Run Of The Race: TELECOM SMART was a great maiden winner, running on strongly down the outside of the track to score a comfortable victory.
Disappointment: ULTIMATE FOCUS was on debut and had Zac Purton in the saddle but failed to show the class of some of the others. After settling worse than midfield, he didn’t make any improvement in the straight and finished in ninth position, 5.25 lengths back from the winner.
Comparison: Outside the standard time.
Market Mover: ARES $6 into $3.80.
Race 4 – Port Shelter Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:09.76 Standard Time: 1:09.90 Course/Class Record: 1:08.92 Amazing Star
Winner: HAPPY TANGO (AUS 5yo g Eavesdropper – Red Dawn) jumped fast and was sent straight to the lead by Karis Teetan. He set a strong tempo and the two leaders had pinched a break on the rest of the field as they turned into the straight. He was in a ding-dong battle with Management Supreme down the entire straight but never gave in but came out on top to prevail by a short head in a photo finish. The win also bought up a treble for Karis Teetan.
Runner-Up: MANAGEMENT SUPREME jumped well and was pushed forward to sit outside the leader. Matthew Poon was able to get him into a nice rhythm and was sitting at the leader’s girth as they turned into the straight. Poon was trying his hardest to push Management Supreme into the lead but unfortunately, he couldn’t get past the winner. He was 1.5 lengths ahead of third position.
Run Of The Race: HAPPY TANGO put in a gutsy performance to hold his rivals at bay and come out on top for a tough victory.
Disappointment: SUMMIT CHEERS was positioned ready to strike as the field turned into the straight, but the $2.70 favourite had nothing to offer. He would weaken out of the leading group over the concluding stages of the race to hold onto sixth position.
Comparison: Inside the standard time and faster than the other class 4 1200m race earlier.
Market Mover: MANAGEMENT SUPREME $8 into $4.90.
Race 5 – Deep Bay Handicap, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Turf - Distance 1000m – Track Good
Time: 57.20 Standard Time: 56.85 Course/Class Record: 56.09 Dancing Fighter
Winner: HARMONY FIRE (AUS 3yo g Brazen Beau – Ms Mazetti) the start won the race for this horse and Jerry Chau. After jumping from barrier nine, Chau was able to cut across his competitors and slip into the one-one position. He pulled out three wide as they turned for home and sprinted well, drawing away from his competitors over the final stages of the race to score by 1.5 lengths.
Runner-Up: HEART CONQUERED was away fast and was able to position himself on the outside of the leader shortly after jumping. He hit the front momentarily, before being overtaken by the eventual winner. He finished comfortably in second spot, 1.25 lengths ahead of third.
Run Of The Race: LIKE THAT looked to be hitting the line as hard as anyone. It took him a while to hit top gear, but he flew home over the final 100m to grab third position.
Disappointment: LARSON was in a great position in third spot behind the leading pair but couldn’t sprint with them. He eventually weakened and finished in sixth position.
Comparison: Inside the standard time and not far away from the course/class record either.
Market Mover: TRADER $8 into $4.20
Race 6 – Silver Mine Bay Handicap, HK $1,000,000
Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1650m – Track Good
Time: 1:40.72 Standard Time: 1:40.10 Course/Class Record: 1:38.83 Flying Elite
Winner: RED MAJESTY (NZ 4yo g Ferlax – Little tee) Jumped fast from barrier eight and was sent straight to the lead under Karis Teetan. He dictated the race up front, running them along at a steady pace before sprinting away in the straight to win by 0.75 lengths and give Teetan his fourth win of the night, and three wins in a row for the David Hayes-trained gelding.
Runner-Up: SAVVY KINGMAN wasn’t the fastest away from the inside barrier and ended up sitting midfield along the fence. Joao Moreira cut the corner and stuck to the inside rail, sprinting well but was unable catch the breakaway leader. He was two lengths in front of third position.
Run Of The Race: ALL YOU KNOW finished off the race strongly from the back of the pack to run into third position. What makes this run better, is that he wasn’t suited by the slow tempo set and was still able to run on well. Great run.
Disappointment: GOOD BUDDY was sat midfield and one off the fence but ended up being four horses wide on the turn. He tired shortly after and finished in 10th position, nearly eight lengths off the leader.
Comparison: Outside the standard time in a sit and sprint style race.
Market Mover: RED MAJESTY $7.50 into $4.
Race 7 – Mirs Bay Handicap, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1650m – Track Good
Time: 1:41.40 Standard Time: 1:39.80 Course/Class Record: 1:38.55 Telecom Fighters
Winner: EVERYONE’S DELIGHT (NZ 4yo g El Roca – Catch Your Idol) jumped well and was sent forward by Alexis Badel to take up the lead as they headed into the first turn. He ran them along at an even tempo before sprinting away in the straight to run away with a 2.5 length win.
Runner-Up: KA YING EXCELLENT was caught three wide for the entire journey after jumping from a wide barrier. He stuck on well for second position but was no match for the leader.
Run Of The Race: KAY YING EXCELLENT was aided by the slow tempo but it was still a phenomenal run to finish in second position after being caught wide for the entire race. It is hard to say he would have won if he had gained cover, but he certainly would’ve finished closer.
Disappointment: GIFT OF LIFELINE had no chance to run on with the slow tempo of the race after settling at the rear of the field.
Comparison: Almost two seconds outside of the standard time.
Market Mover: GIFT OF LIFELINE $7 into $5.40.
Race 8 – Castle Peak Bay Handicap, HK $2,200,000
Class 2 – Turf – Distance 1000m – Track Good
Time: 56.66 Standard Time: 56.65 Course/Class Record: 56.25 Mr Lumieres
Winner: HARMONY AND RICH (AUS 4yo g I Am Invincible – Express Power) was ridden hard to take up the lead. He relaxed well under Matthew Chadwick when he got to the front and steadied the pace slightly as they turned for home. He kicked away in the straight and went on to win strongly by 1.5 lengths.
Runner-Up: SHINING ACE was caught up in the speed battle and was able to settle behind the leading group. he headed towards the middle of the track upon straightening but couldn’t run down the leader, having to settle for second position.
Run Of The Race: EXPLOSIVE WITNESS exploded over the concluding stages of the race to run into third position. He was at the back of the field with 400m left to go and stormed home to only finish 1.75 lengths away from the winner.
Disappointment: There was plenty of money about for LUCKY MORE but he failed to make an impact in the race, finishing in ninth. Zac Purton told stewards that Lucky more didn’t handle the Happy Valley circuit.
Comparison: Right on standard time.
Market Mover: VALIANT DREAM $26 into $8.40.
Race 9 – Kat O Hoi Handicap, HK $1,500,000
Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good
Time: 1:09.95 Standard Time: 1:09.65 Course/Class Record: 1:06.68 Speed Vision
Winner: MCLUCKY (AUS 4yo g Snitzel – McHappy) was fast away for Jerry Chau, running straight into the lead as they rounded the first turn. He fought off the leader and took the lead before being challenged again. He dug deep and held on for a strong win by a neck.
Runner-Up: SIGHT SUCCESS settled behind the leaders in the running. He come off leaders heels in the straight to mount a challenge. Chad Schofield’s whip was knocked out of his hands by Jerry Chau with 150m to go, with Schofield having to ride hands and heals to the finish line. He tried his hardest, but he was unable to catch the leader, holding on to second spot in a photo finish.
Run Of The Race: MCLUCKY was there to be beaten if the others were good enough, but he never gave up and fought off his opponents to win.
Disappointment: IGNITING finished in fourth position as favourite but didn’t have much say in the run. He scooted along the rail to finish fourth, but it was just an okay run.
Comparison: Outside the standard time.
Market Mover: HARMONY N BLESSED $8.50 into $4.70.
Four winners for Karis Teetan, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club