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The Davis Files - Sha Tin review

The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday, September 12th, 2021:

Race 1 – Sau Mau Ping Handicap, HK $780,000

Class 5 – Turf – Distance 1600m – Track Good to Firm

Time: 1:34.46 Standard Time: 1:34.95 Course/Class record: 1:34.38 Le Panache

Winner:  LIGHT MY DAY (AUS 6yo g Dawn Approach – Clothilde) broke well from barrier twelve and pushed on to take up a leading role, finally crossing to the rail with 900m left to run. He settled well out in the lead, with Blake Shinn allowing his mount to catch a breather in the middle stages of the race. He turned a length in front and kicked away, leading by two lengths with 200m left to run. He began to tire late in the race, but he had built a big enough gap to get the win by half a length on the line.

Runner-Up: DAILY CHARM was under pressure immediately after jumping by Karis Teetan, but he didn’t pick up in the early stages with Teetan instead crossing to sit in the three wide trail and worse than midfield. He travelled well throughout the race, with Teetan pulling out four wide on the point of the turn and beginning to place the gelding under pressure. He really picked up passing the 200m mark and got within half a length of the winner despite carrying 3.5kgs more. 

Run Of The Race: DAILY CHARM was brave in defeat, making up many lengths over the final 500m to run within half a length of the winner. A great run with a big weight and under the standard time means I’m happy to follow him wherever he goes next.

Disappointment: JIMMU enjoyed a lovely run throughout the race after jumping as the favourite of the field. He sat three pairs back and along the rail throughout the race but was under pressure as they turned into the home straight. He was very plain in the straight and failed to make up ground on the leader, finishing 3.25 lengths away in fifth position.

Comparison: Inside the standard time.

Market Mover: JOLLY FOREVER was well backed, opening at $9 before jumping at $3.60.

Race 2 – Lam Tin Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:08.94 Standard Time: 1:09.05 Course/Class record: 1:08.14 Happy Tour

Winner: STEEL WIN (AUS 4yo g Press Statement – Lago Joy) jumped well with Joao Moreira in the saddle and took advantage of his low draw to settle on the leader’s back along the rail. He travelled well in the middle stages but was under pressure with 500m to go as the leader got clear on the turn. He got into the clear early in the straight, passing the leader but was challenged on his outside from the 200m pole. He dug deep over the last 50m to keep his rival at bay, winning by a short head.

Runner-Up: THE BEST HERO broke cleanly from an outside draw and Alex Lai was superb in finding him a position one off the rail and on the pace with 900m to go. He travelled well around the turn and Lai opted to go four wide into the home straight. He fought hard the entire straight but just couldn’t get his nose in front. A great performance though, with third place two lengths back.

Run Of The Race: STEEL WIN was brave in the straight, digging deep to get a narrow win. The decision by Joao Moreira to stick to the inside proved a winning one. A good return by the four-year-old.

Disappointment: LITTLE THUNDER was the second favourite at the jump but didn’t have the best of luck in running. Karis Teetan was caught wide throughout the race and gave the leaders too big of a head start after settling midfield. He was okay in the straight, finishing seventh and being eased down crossing the line. Although a disappointing performance today, I’m happy to see how he performs next start with a better draw before completely putting a line through him.

Comparison:  Inside the standard time.

Market Mover: LITTLE THUNDER opened at $9.50 and continued to be backed until jump time, starting at $5.30.

Race 3 – Lam Tin Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:08.94 Standard Time: 1:09.05 Course/Class record: 1:08.14 Happy Tour

Winner: LORD THUNDER (AUS 4yo g Night Of Thunder – Xanthippe) wasn’t the quickest out of the gates, but mustered well and utilised his inside draw to run along the rail and settle behind the leader. He travelled well throughout the race and was still held together as they turned for home. Blake Shinn was able to ease out three wide early in the straight and he began to work through his gears. He levelled up to the leader with 200m to go and pulled away over the final stages, winning by 0.75 lengths.

Runner-Up: FORTUNE HAPPINESS jumped well but was caught three wide in the early stages of the race, with Joao Moreira pushing forward to sit outside of the leader with 800m left to run. He fought hard when challenged by the eventual winner with 200m remaining, digging deep and not giving up, but just couldn’t go with him.

Run Of The Race: LORD THUNDER justified his short quote with a good win, albeit somewhat close. He’ll improve from that run and looks a nice horse going forward. 

Disappointment: INFINITE POWER was caught wide and without cover for the entire event after jumping from barrier six. The tough run showed in the straight, with easing up on the gelding passing the 200m pole. A veterinary examination after the race failed to find any abnormalities. 

Comparison: Inside the standard time.

Market Mover: LORD THUNDER was $2.10 into $1.40.

Race 4 – San Po Kong Handicap, HK $780,000

Class 5 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good to Firm

Time: 1:22.20 Standard Time: 1:21.95 Course/Class record: 1:21.53 Exponents

Winner: GOLDEN FOUR (AUS 7yo g Denman – Gingerbread) was eased back just after jumping with Blake Shinn able to cross to the rail, settling near the rear of the field. He settled well as Shinn improved his position around the turn, sliding along the rail to be 3-3/4 lengths away as they turned into the home straight. He found trouble passing the 300m pole, with Shinn changing course and the horse letting rip with 200m to go. He was some 3-4 lengths from the lead with 150m to run, but he leapt out of the ground over the final stages, shooting through the middle of the pack to win by a neck.

Runner-Up: EASY FORTUNE jumped with the pack and was eased back to settle toward the rear of the field in the opening part of the race. He settled well under Chad Schofield and travelled strongly around the turn with Schofield pulling him out four wide as they turned into the straight. He worked through his gears in the early part of the straight and really got going with 200m to go, looking the winner near the finish line, but was just edged out.

Run Of The Race: GOLDEN FOUR was a very eye catching winner. To get out of trouble and find the line the way he did was fantastic. With more luck and a better draw next start, expect him to be in the finish again.

Disappointment: FOX CHEUNGER jumped as the favourite and settled in a great position throughout the run. Vincent Ho got him into the clear upon straightening, but he just couldn’t finish off the race strongly. A veterinary exam post-race failed to find any abnormality, but Ho told stewards that he believed the gelding didn’t handle the back-up.

Comparison: Outside the standard time.

Market Mover: SUPER KIN was well backed, halving his quote just prior to the start, jumping as a $13 chance. 

Race 5 – Ngau Tau Kok Handicap, HK $780,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good to Firm

Time: 1:21.76 Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair

Winner: KING’S CAPITAL (AUS 5yo g Animal Kingdom – Dual Star) jumped well and was able to settle behind the leading pair with clear galloping room in fourth position. He settled well for Zac Purton around the turn, placing the gelding under pressure as they straightened for the run home. He took the lead with 150m to run, but had to fight for the win, not pulling away as he looked as though he would do. He dug deep over the final stages to cling on for a gritty win, giving 7.5kgs to the second-placed horse.

Runner-Up: SOLAR POWER wasn’t the quickest away but was urged along by Derek Leung to settle in the lead. He was keen travelling down the back straight, racing with his mouth open until Leung was able to get the gelding to relax with 700m left to run. Leung tried to keep the five-year-old together for as long as possible, only pushing the button with 350m remaining. He looked gone for all money when he was headed in the closing stages of the race, but he fought gamely right to the finish line, almost lifting himself off the canvas for an unlikely victory. But instead, he’ll have to settle for second. 

Run Of The Race: SOLAR POWER showed a tremendous will to win, never giving up after being passed with 150m to run. If he’s able to jump better and relax earlier in his run next time out, he should be able to go one better and win soon.

Disappointment: XIANG YIN drifted back after jumping from a wide barrier to sit in the second half of the field. He was under heavy pressure as they turned into the straight and although he made some good ground in the straight but gave himself too much work to do, finishing 4.75 lengths away in eighth.

Comparison: Almost right on the standard time.

Market Mover: SPARKLING STAR was well found late in betting, jumping as a $13 chance after being as much as $26.

Race 6 – Kowloon Bay Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – All Weather – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:08.27 Standard Time: 1:08.60 Course/Class record: 1:07.40 Dehere’s The Love

Winner: FLYING BONUS (AUS 7yo g Snitzel – Sabanci) jumped well from barrier four and was pushed along by Alfred Chan to take up the lead shortly after the jump. The seven-year-old was a touch keen as the headed into the turn with 700m to travel, but Chan allowed the gelding to run along and set a solid tempo out front. He was travelling well into the home straight and kicked away when Chan pushed the button, pulling away down the straight for an all-the-way victory by 2-1/4 lengths.

Runner-Up: CANTSTOPTHEFEELING broke cleanly and was ridden up to sit outside of the leader throughout the 1200m journey. He travelled nicely for Alex Badel, as they ambled up to challenge the leader as they entered the home straight. He chased hard down the running, but just found one better on the day. 

Run Of The Race: It was a great front-running performance by FLYING BONUS and Alfred Chan at long odds. He was well inside the standard time and he looks set for a good season.

Disappointment: SPEEDY MOUSE jumped as the favourite at $4.30. He raced three wide and without cover for the entire 1200m journey and the tough run showed in the straight. Moreira eased up on the gelding with 150m left to run, finishing 6 lengths away in ninth position. 

Comparison: Inside the standard time.

Market Mover: CANTSTOPTHEFEELING was as much as $50 when markets first opened and was well found just prior to the start of race 6, being backed into $23.

Race 7 – Ngau Tau Kok Handicap, HK $780,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good to Firm

Time: 1:21.77 Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair

Winner: LAND POWER (GB 5yo g Siyouni – Vintage Red) jumped well and was ridden along in the early stages to try and find a position but was caught out four deep through the first 300m. He was able to slot in one off the fence with a good piece of riding by Alfred Chan. He settled well through the middle stages of the race, with Chan pulling out of the running line to improve his position with 500m to run. He travelled strongly into the straight and hit the front with 200m to go and was too strong over the concluding stages to win by 0.75 lengths.

Runner-Up: JOYFUL HEART wasn’t the fastest into stride, with Karis Teetan electing to go back from the wide barrier and settle in the second half of the field. Although he was aided by the hot tempo up front, he found himself over eight lengths off the lead passing the 800m and was still seven lengths away as they turned into the straight. He let down brilliantly in the straight and continued to take ground on the front runners, really knuckling down to only finish three quarters of a length away.

Run Of The Race: JOYFUL HEART was a tremendous run from the second half of the field, making up 6.25 lengths in the home straight. A better draw next time may see him able to sit closer and if he can reproduce that sprint down the home straight, he’s sure to go close. Keen to follow him up next time out.

Disappointment: BRILLIANT CHINA was eased right back at the start of the race and sat in last position throughout the race. He cut the corner to run along the inside upon turning into the home straight, but he didn’t finish off well, finishing in 11th. Not what you want to see from an $8 chance.

Comparison: Just outside the standard time and similar time to the Ngau Tau Kok Handicap (race 5) earlier in the meeting.

Market Mover: LAND POWER was $20 when markets first opened and was well backed throughout, jumping as a $9.70 chance.

Race 8 – Diamond Hill Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:08.39 Standard Time: 1:08.90 Course/Class record: 1:08.29 Dublin Star

Winner: GLUCK RACER (AUS 4yo g Super One – Keep The Filly) broke cleanly from barrier one and was able to use the inside draw to his advantage, settling on the leaders back in fourth position. He travelled nicely under Chad Schofield, who didn’t panic when the leaders put a couple of lengths on him in the middle stages. The four-year-old idled up to the leaders as they turned into the straight, with Schofield asking the gelding for an effort with 250m to run. He was already in the lead by this point and he extended his lead, running away with a 1-3/4 length victory.

Runner-Up: IMA SINGLE MAN wasn’t the fastest away, and after not responding to Karis Teetan’s riding in the early stages, he drifted back to settle near the back of the field in the three wide trail. Teetan began asking for an effort with 500m to run and began to make good ground early in the straight. He dug deep and really exploded over the final 150m to get into second position in the shadows of the post. 

Run Of The Race: GLUCK RACER looks set for a great season after a dominant first-up win. Schofield rode the four-year-old very well and he was only 0.1 away from the course/class record and it looked like he did it easily. One to watch going forward. 

Disappointment: ABLE REIGN was a Group Three winner in Australia prior to making the journey to Hong Kong. He hadn’t raced since that victory, which was in May 2020, but has obvious ability and had trialled well leading in. He settled midfield and was under pressure as they straightened. He didn’t respond to urgings of Blake Shinn, falling out to finish in 12th position, 8.5 lengths away. 

Comparison: Close to the course/class record and well inside the standard time.

Market Mover: GLUCK RACER $3.60 into $2.90.

Race 9 – Choi Hung Handicap, HK $2,400,000

Class 2 – Turf – Distance 1000m – Track Good to Firm 

Time: 55.70 Standard Time: 56.10 Course/Class record: 54.68 Valiant Dream

Winner: SUPER WEALTHY (AUS 6yo g Epaulette – Well Hidden) wasn’t the fastest into stride and settled in the middle of the pack. Blake Shinn got into the clear with 400m to travel and began asking for an effort from the six-year-old. The gelding really let rip from the 200m mark and stormed down the middle of the track to snatch the win in the dying stages to win by a neck. The win gave Blake Shinn his fourth on the day.

Runner-Up: HONG KONG WIN jumped well from the widest barrier and allowed to find his feet early in the race. Joao Moreira was just asking the gelding to keep in touch in the middle stages and fully placed him under pressure with 450m left to run. He was able to slide along the outside rail as he continued to work home well, taking the lead momentarily before the eventual winner ran over the top of him. 

Run Of The Race: SUPER WEALTHY showed a tremendous sprint over the final 350m to claim victory in the dying stages. The fast pace suited and Shinn ensured that he had clear running all the way to the finish line.

Disappointment: LUCKY MORE was fast away and got to the lead with ease in the early stages and appeared to be travelling well throughout the event. Purton didn’t push the button until there was 250m left to run, but the gelding failed to respond, instead he was overrun late in the race.

Comparison: Well inside the standard time.

Market Mover: SUPER WEALTHY $21 into $8.80.

Race 10 – Kwung Ton Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good to Firm 

Time: 1:21.26 Standard Time: 1:21.45 Course/Class record: 1:20.62 Preciousship

Winner: MY SUGAR (AUS 5yo g Deep Field – Kerimba) was away fairly but was revved up by Zac Purton shortly after the start to settle in fifth position, behind the leading pair. The six-year-old was able to settle through the middle stages of the race and was in a brilliant spot as they turned into the home straight. Purton got to work on the gelding as they straightened and he chased hard, catching and passing the breakaway leader to go on and win by 1-1/2 lengths.

Runner-Up: GORYTUS began well and was able to find a position behind the leading division and along the rails shortly after jumping. He travelled well under Harry Bentley, who placed him under pressure as they turned for home. He continued along the rails up the straight and didn’t seem to be making ground until he really knuckled down passing the 200m mark. He drove through the centre of two runners to hit the line strongly and get his nose down to finish second in a photo finish.

Run Of The Race: MY SUGAR was a great winner of the last and in good time as well. He has an attractive racing style and if he can continue to produce runs like that, he should be winning more races in the future.

Disappointment: SUPER TEN was well in the market at $6.60 but failed to have any impact on the race. He settled in the back half of the field and appeared to be travelling well, with Jerry Chau placing him under pressure as they entered the home straight. He was very plain in the straight, finishing 12th and beaten 6.5 lengths. A veterinary exam after the race failed to find any abnormalities.

Comparison: Inside the standard time.

Market Mover: MY SUGAR $5 into $4.30.

Four winners for Blake Shinn, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club

 

 

                  
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