Brett Davis - Selections - Sha Tin - 19/11/23
BOCHK RACE DAY
Final lead up events for local Hong Kong International horses prior to HKIR/December 10th.
R7 - Jockey Club Sprint - 1200m
(5.35 Million HKD)
R8 - Jockey Club Mile - 1600m
($5.35 Million HKD)
R9 - Jockey Club Cup - 2000m
($5.35 Million HKD)
Rail - B+2 Course
R1 - 10,7,8,1,3
R2 - 4,7,2,3,1
R3 - 8,4,10,11,12
R4 - 8,9,2,5,3
R5 - 12,6,3,4,10
R6 - 8,4,7,9,10
JOCKEY CLUB SPRINT (Gp2 - Set Weights - 1200m)
#1 LUCKY SWEYNESSE was given 10 days off during the off season break but it has been business as usual ever since for Hong Kong’s highest rated sprinter. Admittedly, he was worked in a conservative manner leading in to his seasonal reappearance where he was unable to cut back VICTOR THE WINNER on a yielding track. He then tasted a narrow defeat second up behind SIGHT SUCCESS, in a tactical encounter, when starting the short price elect at 1.40 favourite. He will not peak until the December International Sprint which is in three weeks time, but he’s definitely the one to beat now they race under the set weights scale. The 5lbs penalty for winning a Gp 1 in the last twelve months may appear the negative, but I do not envisage it being the reason for his defeat.
#3 SIGHT SUCCESS needs no introduction with over 25million HKD in the bank and is a class and established member of the Gp 1 club. His campaign got off to a slow start first up where he uncharacteristically just plodded to the line before atoning in the recent Gp2 Premiere Bowl. The inside draw, additional fitness and heady ride from Brendon Avdulla got him over the line on that occasion and they will be a force to reckon with again. The wider draw however, and swing around at the weights, suggest LUCKY SWEYNESSE shall gain his revenge, unless Purton is out ridden again.
#6 VICTOR THE WINNER shall meet LUCKY SWEYNESSE worse off at the weights for his victory in the Chief Executive’s Cup but remains the horse to collar once they turn for home. Trainer Danny Shum left nothing to chance by giving his charger a thorough and rigorous preparation for the season’s opening event, and it paid off. With no opposition for pace drawn underneath today he will find the lead and rail comfortably. With that in mind, and the second up syndrome now out of play, he should produce another big bold front running display.
#2 WELLINGTON has not won since his memorable victory in the Gp1 Hong Kong Sprint last year when cutting down SIGHT SUCCESS to score.
It was his fourth Gp1 victory that day, under the guidance of Ryan Moore, and the highlight of his career when he rated a 128.
LUCKY SWEYNESSE had the better of him at there following four encounters before he travelled to England, and Royal Ascot, earlier this year. He now returns to racing under the care of Jamie Richards and is creating plenty of chatter. He has been defeated just once first up in the past and from what I am hearing he is extremely well.
#4 DUKE WAI is entering the veteran status arena but someone forgot to tell him that he is supposed to be slowing down. He ran a blinder in the Gp2 Premiere Bowl, after a quick trip to Korea, and on that performance should realistically be entertained. However, he does not win out of turn and an unfamiliar jockey takes the ride so there are reasons to sway.
Selections : 1,3,6,2,4
JOCKEY CLUB MILE (Gp2 - Set Weights - 1600m)
#5 BEAUTY ETERNAL following his seven wins last season was the talk of the town leading into the Gp2 Sha Tin Trophy, but was turned over by the front running power of CALIFORNIA SPANGLE. The 5yo son of STARSPANGLEDBANNER weighed in at 1205lbs on that occasion, which was as heavy as he has ever been, but has since trimmed himself back to 1193lbs. He will be absolutely spot on for the big day in December, following another satisfactory performance today, but might just win anyway after a fabulous first up run.
#1 CALIFORNIA SPANGLE enjoyed two strong trials leading into his seasonal return where he ran the opposition completely into the ground. He worked early from the wide draw, carried the big weight and was still tenacious enough to win. He is better drawn here with a handy pull in the weights, plus under the guidance of one of the best front running jockeys going around. If he improves off what he achieved first up, which he all most certainly should, then it will take an emerging super star to eventually cut him down.
#2 BEAUTY JOY is an established and respected high class galloper and his mere presence in any contest makes him worthy of respect.
The weight swing of 12lbs from his first up fourth in the Gp3 Celebration Cup is of note, because he raced much better than it appears last start. A poor beginning in the Gp2 Sha Tin trophy put and end to his winning prospects, however, his last 800m was terrific considering the race shape. He has got an extra run up his sleeve on every opponent here, so if he jumps it is not beyond him.
#4 VOYAGE BUBBLE is the enigmatic addition to a fascinating battle and to be honest I am rather perplexed as to where he fits in.
He achieved exactly what ROMANTIC WARRIOR achieved, during their respective 4yo classic series, and we all know know that he’s world class. His final preparations appear faultless but there is no doubt he’ll be better for the run.
#3 HEALTHY HAPPY did exactly as we anticipated first up in the Gp3 Celebration Cup and shall be brimming with confidence after that win. The issues he faces today are the rise to 1600m plus the quality of opposition. The inside draw shall allow him to do his thing, for a while, but a lift in output is required to win particularly over a mile.
Selections : 5,1,2,4,3
JOCKEY CLUB CUP (Gp2 - Set Weights - 2000m)
#6 STRAIGHT AARON is partaking in a long term assignment towards this year's Gp1 Hong Kong Vase, and if he is any hope of being involved that day he will need to win this race. The overseas invaders have always dominated the Hong Kong stayers and this year, looking at the potential visitors list, will not be any different. Nevertheless, a faultless preparation from trainer Casper Fownes has him fit and ready to fire following three excellent lead up runs. Outstanding local rider Vincent Ho now jumps back aboard so I would be disappointed if he did not go close.
#3 MONEY CATCHER is a proven competitor at the elite level and noted front runner at the same time. He has the power to push hard from the wide draw, and eventually cross the field, as they run out of the home stretch. That is precisely what he achieved in this exact race last year before ROMANTIC WARRIOR and company cut him down.
#4 FIVE G PATCH has an enormous amount of talent and looks in very good shape this campaign. Alexis Badel jumps back aboard, with High Bowman now on the injured list, and the pair have enjoy some minor success in the past. There was plenty to like about his recent return after a wide draw cost him multiple lengths in the run. He will be better suited by the 2400m of the Gp1 Hong Kong Vase but to get there must run well.
#1 RUSSIAN EMPEROR took along time to get going last season and made no impression on the score board until the second half of his campaign. He then won twice at Gp1 level over 2400m before another long spell during the off season break. He is trimmer around the belly this year, compared to last, so a stronger closing performance is expected here today second up.
#5 GLORIOUS DRAGON returns to racing following a seven month break and is definitely made of the right kind of stuff. A tendon injury is to blame for the long absence so there is every chance he is on his final parade. Trainer Pierre Ng has prepared him tremendously well over the past three months with morning track work and trial’s seemingly right up to scratch.
Selections : 6,3,4,1,5
R10 - 10,5,8,13,4
R11 - 4,7,10,2,5
Form for the Hong Kong Jockey Club's meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 11 race broadcast commences at 3.30pm AEST, 12.30pm HKT, on Sky Racing2, from 6.00pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and from 7.05pm AEST on Sky Racing1 and Thoroughbred Central.
ThoroughbredNEWS has live streaming of the complete Hong Kong Jockey Club broadcast commencing at 3.00pm AEST - go to LIVE STREAMING.
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Click on the HKJC form guide banner for Racingandsports.com form and select race.
Vincent Ho back in winning for at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club