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The Davis Files - Sha Tin review

The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday, June 19th, 2022 

Race 1 – Ruby Handicap, HK $780,000

Class 5 – Turf – Distance 2000m - Track Good
Time: 2:03.79 Standard Time: 2:02.50 Course/Class record: 2:01.56 Gorgeous Again

Winner: TURF BRILLIANT (AUS 6yo g Manhattan Rain – Paradise Lost) jumped on terms and Matthew Chadwick used the inside draw to his advantage, landing just off the pace as they travelled around the first turn. The gelding was travelling kindly despite the slow pace in front, with the six-year-old drifting back to a more midfield position with 1000m to run. It was at this point that Chadwick began to improve his position once more, with runners in front of him moving three-wide down the back straight. He was locked away with nowhere to go as they turned for home, but Chadwick had plenty of horse beneath him and he was able to slice his way through the pack. The leader was still 3 lengths in front with 150m to run, with Turf Brilliant racing tight between runners, but he showed a devastating turn-of-foot to mow the leader down in the shadows of the post and get up by a neck.

Runner-Up: HYPERION TREE jumped well from a middle alley and Alex Badel elected to push forward from that draw. He was caught wide heading into the first turn, but the gelding was able to stride forward under his own steam to land on the outside of the leader. He left the leader alone out in front, with Badel seemingly happy with the slow tempo set through the opening stages of the race. He took the lead momentarily turning off the back straight and was eyeballing the leader with 600m remaining. He was travelling strongly as they turned for home and put in a big kick on straightening, pulling away from the field midway down the straight. He still held a big gap with 150m to run, but just began to paddle inside the final 100m, eventually being over run in the final few strides.

Run Of The Race: HYPERION TREE looked home with 150m to run but just couldn’t hold off the fast-finishing winner. He lugged a big weight in the process, so that may have had something to do with it, but he’s one to watch wherever he goes next.

Disappointment: EEVEE jumped on terms from a middle draw, but was snagged toward the rear of the field by Joao Moreira. The Brazilian got to the fence around the first turn, before attempting to improve between runners down the back straight. He was unsuited by the slow tempo set throughout the race, with Moreira starting to apply the pressure with 550m to run. He built into the race midway down the straight, but weakened with a furlong to run and finished in 11th place, beaten 8-3/4 lengths. The gelding was found to be lame post-race though, so it’ll be a ‘wait-and-see’ approach for his next outing.

Comparison: Outside standard with the slow tempo set early.
Market Mover: AMAZING BOY jumped a solid favourite at $4.00.

Race 2 – Spessartine Garnet Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m - Track Good
Time: 1:09.87 Standard Time: 1:09.10 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight

Winner: LUCKY EIGHT (AUS 3yo g Pride Of Dubai – Hussy Five Oh) was quickly into stride and showed good pace under Karis Teeta, crossing from barrier 7 to land just behind the leaders as they turned off the back straight. The field stretched out through the middle stages, with the first 3 horses in running racing in single file as they travelled past the 600m point. Teetan moved out three-wide as they turned into the straight, with the three-year-old ambling up to the leaders under a strong hold with 400m to run. The response was immediate when Teetan shook the reigns, extending quickly to be over a length in front with a furlong to run and widening that margin with every stride. The Mauritian eased him down over the final 50m for an emphatic win on debut, bolting in by 2-1/4 lengths.

Runner-Up: CHICKEN DANCE jumped well and showed good pace in the early stages, but Moreira decided to ease back from the draw, settling in a midfield position as they turned off the back. Moreira remained in that position through the middle stages and stayed with cover as they swung into the straight. He came off heels at the top of the straight and let down well when presented. He was no match for the winner who was in a league of his own, but he stuck on gamely to run into second position. 

Run Of The Race: It’s hard to go past the performance of LUCKY EIGHT who demolished his rivals on debut. He looks a very smart galloper and he’s worth following into next season.

Disappointment: BLISSFUL LIFE lost the race at the start when he reared as the gates opened. He was always well back and never featured in the race, being beaten 13 lengths into last position. 

Comparison: Outside standard time.
Market Mover: INFINITY WIN and LUCK STAR were both tried late in betting.

Race 3 – Spessartine Garnet Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m - Track Good
Time: 1:10.23 Standard Time: 1:09.10 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight

Winner: CALIFORNIA VANES (AUS 3yo g Hinchinbrook – Miss Vandal) got away well from gate 7 and was able to slide forward under Zac Purton, with the Australian landing in the one-out-one-back position as they turned off the back straight. He remained wedged between runners around the home turn and just had to restrain his mount as they turned for home, being forced to go back and around to get into the clear. It worked through with the gelding letting down powerfully once into clear air, taking the lead with 100m to run. The favourite was bearing down on him late, but he couldn’t get past Purton and California Vanes, with the official margin a half-length.

Runner-Up: BEAUTY TYCOON was ridden along in the early stages by Moreira, but was eventually snagged back to settle midfield. He was racing keenly as they turned off the back straight, with Moreira taking him even further back to be near the tail of the field with 600m to run. He was three-wide, but did have cover around the turn, with the Brazilian coming out to be the widest runner on straightening. He stuck on brilliantly from down the outside, sustaining a long run to get within a half-length of the winner, but there was just too much ground to make up.

Run Of The Race: BEAUTY TYCOON is a smart galloper who stormed home over the final stages. He just got too far back, but with a more favourable draw next time out, he’ll go close to breaking his maiden.

Disappointment: EASY SNIP raced midfield with cover throughout the race and was cut off by Beauty Tycoon with 325m left to run. He wasn’t a real disappointment, but he had every opportunity to finish closer than he did from his position in running. He finished in 10th place, beaten 6 lengths.

Comparison: Well outside standard time and slower than the Class 4, 1200m event in race 2.
Market Mover: BEAUTY TYCOON was heavily backed, jumping a $1.70 favourite.

Race 4 – Topaz Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1600m - Track Good
Time: 1:35.66 Standard Time: 1:34.65 Course/Class record: 1:33.78 Morethanlucky

Winner: CHEVALIER PRINCE (AUS 5yo g Rock ‘N’ Pop – Zoe Spice) jumped on terms and Joao Moreira elected to slide back from a middle draw initially, but was left racing wide and without cover in the early going. Moreira crept forward down the back straight to be just off the pace with 800m remaining, still facing the breeze three-wide. Despite racing wide throughout the race, he still travelled well into the turn and took the lead with 350m to run when the Brazilian ramped up the pressure. He shot away to lead by a length with a furlong to run and held his rivals at bay over the concluding stages, winning comfortably by three-quarters of a length.

Runner-Up: LET’S DO IT jumped on terms off the inside and showed good pace early on to settle in behind the speed under Zac Purton. He was racing a touch keen through the middle stages, but relaxed better as he settled into stride near the 1000m mark. Purton sat comfortably between runners around the turn before pushing his way into the clear on straightening, coming off heels to lay down the gauntlet. He was always within striking distance of the winner, but he was unable to gun him down in the home straight, taking some ground off him late in the race but never really threatening.

Run Of The Race: It was a tough effort by CHEVALIER PRINCE who was caught wide and without cover throughout, but still had plenty of gas in the tank to kick away at the top of the straight. He appeared a class above his rivals and was able to sustain his run right to the line. A great win.

Disappointment: DECISIVE ACTION wasn’t the fastest into stride, but was able to cross to the inside shortly after the start, racing in the second half of the field under Vincent Ho. He had to be restrained off heels towards the end of the back straight, but settled quickly after to travel nicely around the turn. Ho was weaving his way through traffic on straightening, but he just didn’t have the horse underneath him to take him into the race. He was very plain in the straight, finishing in 10th place, beaten 6-1/4 lengths in just an average performance. 

Comparison: Way outside standard.
Market Mover: DECISIVE ACTION and TURQUOISE ALPHA were both supported late in betting.

Race 5 – The Premier Plate (Handicap), HK $3,700,000

Group Three – Turf - Distance 1800m - Track Good
Time: 1:48.27 Standard Time: 1:46.10 Course/Class record: 1:45.25 Southern Legend

Winner: TOURBILLON DIAMOND (AUS 5yo g Olympic Glory – Modave) wasn’t the quickest into stride, with Alex Badel taking him back toward the tail of the field on settling down. The pace was only moderate up front, but Badel was happy to settle near the back of the pack down the back straight, before the Frenchman commenced a move as they passed the 800m point. Badel cruised around the outside of the field three-wide building up the momentum under a good hold to go from being 6-3/4 lengths away, to just 1-1/4 as they turned for home. He stuck his nose in front with 300m remaining and extended his lead to be about a length with 100m left to run. Badel was throwing everything he had at the five-year-old who was vulnerable late in the race, but he had enough in the tank to just hold off some fast-finishing rivals to win in a photo finish, with the margin being a short head.

Runner-Up: TURIN REDSUN got away well from barrier 3 and was on the pace in the opening stages, before drifting back to settle just off the speed as they sorted their order out. He may have been travelling a touch keen with only a moderate pace set up front, being about midfield as they travelled past the 600m point. Matthew Poon found himself in a spot of bother when the eventual winner came up on his outside as he started looking to get out, being held in a pocket from the top of the straight, all the way to the 150m mark. Once he got clear air, he powered home, just missing out in the dying stages in a close photo finish. It was a tough watch for punters, but it shows he’s up to this level going forward.

Run Of The Race: TOURBILLON DIAMOND was ridden to perfection by Alex Badel. The five-year-old takes a while to wind up, and knowing that, Badel allowed the gelding to work through his gears around the turn so that he was at top gear when the entered the straight. He kicked clear, midway down the straight but was beginning to weaken a touch under the big weight in the closing stages. He fought on though to just hold on for the win in a great effort, accompanied by a brilliant ride.

Disappointment: EXCELLENT PROPOSAL has found himself in the ‘disappointment’ section more often than not this season. He found himself just a touch worse than midfield on settling down with Moreira moving across to the inside rail from barrier 6. The Brazilian stuck to the inside on straightening and had plenty of galloping room to quicken if he was good enough, but the gelding was only laboring despite Moreira’s best efforts. A post-race veterinary examination was unable to uncover any excuse for his 6-length defeat.

Comparison: Just outside standard.
Market Mover: KA YING STAR had support, as did CHAMPION’S WAY at double figures.

Race 6 – Emerald Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf - Distance 1200m - Track Good
Time: 1:09.50 Standard Time: 1:08.90 Course/Class record: 1:08.28 Reve Parisien 

Winner: EIGHT TRIGRAMS (AUS 6yo g Magnus – Demandehere) was one of the first out of the barriers under Dylan Mo, with the local hoop pushing forward from his wide draw to lead the field as they turned off the back straight. He was left all alone out in front and was travelling comfortably, despite setting a good pace through the middle stages of the race. He was still under a good hold as they turned for home, and kicked away when Mo pushed the button, extending his lead to nearly 2 lengths with a furlong to run. He was still a length in front with 50m to run, with the gap too big to bridge back, winning by a neck with the second placegetter closing right up in the final strides.

Runner-Up: JUMBO FORTUNE jumped on terms, but didn’t have the pace of some of his rivals in the early going, settling about midfield as they turned off the back straight. He appeared a touch keen under Joao Moreira through the middle stages, with Moreira just getting away from the rail passing the 600m point. He travelled into the straight nicely, but it took plenty of vigour for the gelding to hit top gear. The three-year-old really motored when he did though, really letting down over the final 100m, but he just couldn’t reel in the leader.

Run Of The Race: JUMBO FORTUNE appears to be trending the right way since joining the Caspar Fownes yard, showing plenty of improvement stepping back out to 1200m. He was a dominant winner as a two-year-old over 1400m, and he might be getting back to somewhere around that mark based on this effort. He’s worth keeping an eye on.

Disappointment: MIDORI BEAUTY was the last to leave the barriers from his wide draw, but didn’t settle near the rear. The gelding was fire up underneath Derek Leung, with the three-year-old racing wide and without cover for most of the event. He came under pressure as they swung into the straight, but he was disappointing in the run to the finish, ending up in last position, beaten 15-1/2 lengths. He was eased down over the final furlong, but a veterinary exam after the race failed to find any abnormality.

Comparison: Outside standard time.
Market Mover: No real market moves with BRILLIANT WAY jumping the favourite at $2.80.

Race 7 – The Premier Cup (Handicap), HK $3,700,000

Group Three – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good
Time: 1:21.55 Standard Time: 1:21.00 Course/Class record: 1:20.05 Beauty Generation

Winner: BEAUTY JOY (AUS 5yo g Sebring – Impressive Jeuney) was bumped on and found himself at the tail of the field under Zac Purton. The Australian Hoop was looking down at the gelding’s legs on a number of occasions down the back straight as the five-year-old became detached from the field with 1000m to travel. Purton continued to ride Beauty Joy along, but he wouldn’t pick up and improve his position until they began turning off the back straight. Although he’d picked up some ground, he was still 8-1/4 lengths off the leader with 800m remaining, with Purton still niggling at his mount around the turn. The Australian jockey had his mount under the pump a long way from home, being the first horse under the whip with 500m remaining, with Purton swinging out toward the centre of the course on straightening. He was still 4-1/2 lengths last with 400m to run, but the gelding began to motor home over the final 300m. He rounded up the field with 50m to run and was far too strong over the final stages, winning comfortably by a length on the line in a miraculous victory.

Runner-Up: LUCKY EXPRESS was also a touch slow to leave the barriers, settling near the tail of the field under Antoine Hamelin. He travelled comfortably throughout the race, but Hamelin decided to stick toward the inside of the course on straightening and weave his way through, rather than go out wider on the course. Hamelin was able to cross off heels with 250m to run and be in with a chance of winning with 100m to run. He was no match for the winner who ran over the top of him late, but he finished 1-1/4 lengths clear in second position.

Run Of The Race: Punters who backed BEAUTY JOY would’ve been throwing their tickets in the bin after the first 200m of the race, with the gelding a long, long way off the leader after being bumped at the start. He showed the qualities of a genuine horse though, picking himself up off the canvas and mowing down a solid field of horses to win easily. He continues to improve, and he’ll be a big threat in many of the feature races next season.

Disappointment: LUCKY PATCH jumped on terms but was hard ridden in the early stages to try and hold a forward position, before being caught three-wide and without cover for the race. He travelled well into the straight, but he didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to finish off the race in the final stages, finishing in 6th place and beaten 2-3/4 lengths.

Comparison: Outside standard.
Market Mover: BLAZE WARRIOR had some fans just prior to the start.

Race 8 – Lapis Lazuli Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good
Time: 1:22.06 Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair

Winner: TUCHEL (NZ 3yo g Redwood – Trista Rossa) jumped well from barrier three and was running on the pace in the opening stages, before Zac Purton just eased out of that position to settle midfield. He was racing between runners as they turned off the back, but was racing comfortably through the middle stages. Purton had a lapful of horse as they turned for home and copped a huge bump on straightening as he tried to get the three-year-old into the clear at the top of the straight. The contact didn’t phase him though as he pushed his way into the clear and took the lead with 250m remaining. He shot away as he hit top gear, putting a big space back on his rivals for a dominant 2-1/4 length victory.

Runner-Up: ROCKPAPERSCISSORS got away on terms but couldn’t muster as much pace as his rivals, settling near the back of the field under Joao Moreira. The Brazilian was able to work his way down to the rail before getting to a position just worse than midfield as they turned off the back. He was able to get away from the rail with 500m to run and continue his way into the clear at the top of the straight, with the big chestnut letting down well with 300m to run. He couldn’t match it with the winner who was in a league of his own, but it was a very good performance to run into second position, beating third by 2-1/4 lengths.

Run Of The Race: TUCHEL has put together two impressive victories and looks a very, very promising galloper heading into the end of this season, and into the next. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him next, with the four-year-old series a huge possibility after his two recent victories. He’ll continue on his winning ways. ROCKPAPERSCISSORS must be kept safe moving forward as well. He gapped third position and looks a nice horse also.

Disappointment: The race went according to script for the most part, but LOVE ME MORE was a touch disappointing in the run home. He looked to be travelling in a great spot as they turned for the finish, but was very plain in the straight and weakened out of the race inside the final furlong. He finished back in 7th, beaten 9-1/4 lengths.

Comparison: Just outside standard.
Market Mover: TUCHEL was heavily backed, jumping a $1.70 favourite.

Race 9 – Sapphire Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good
Time: 1:21.50 Standard Time: 1:21.45 Course/Class record: 1:20.62 Preciousship

Winner: SAUVESTRE (AUS 4yo g Hinchinbrook – Dezign) got away on terms and went forward under Zac Purton, pushing on from the middle alley to get across and sit outside the leader with 900m remaining. The pace was good through the middle stages, but the four-year-old was still under a strong hold as he went up to eyeball the leader turning into the home straight. He quickly went on to take the lead as Purton pressed the button with 300m remaining. He broke away to lead by a length with 100m to run. He may have been tiring late in the race, but he was able to hold on for a comfortably victory by three-quarters of a length.

Runner-Up: KA YING EXCELLENT broke well and had good pace through the early going, but Harry Bentley drifted back to obtain cover, ending up just forward of midfield on settling down. He travelled well through the middle stages and enjoyed a lovely trail into the race, popping off heels at the top of the straight and sprinting well as Bentley ramped up the pressure with 300m to go. He stuck on well and took it up to the leader in the closing stages, but he was unable to stick his nose in front.

Run Of The Race: SAUVSTRE was very good under Zac Purton who bought up his fourth winner on the day. He broke well and had enough pace to cross from the wide draw to sit on the pace, before quickening nicely in the straight. He’ll go up to Class 2 now and will take plenty of beating down in the weights.

Disappointment: EN POINTE just wasn’t himself under Blake Shinn today. He landed in a great spot after jumping well from barrier 3, sitting just off the leaders throughout. He was on the back of the eventual winner as they turned for home, and had plenty of clear galloping room, but he just couldn’t take it up to the winners. he began to fade out of the race inside the final furlong, finishing in 9th place, beaten 5-1/4 lengths, with a veterinary exam failing to find any abnormality.

Comparison: Just outside the standard time.
Market Mover: SAUVESTRE had some support late in betting, along with SUPER TEN at double figures.

Race 10 – Amethyst Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf - Distance 1600m - Track Good
Time: 1:35.10 Standard Time: 1:34.35 Course/Class record: 1:33.19 Beauty Fit

Winner: SECRET VISION (IRE 4yo g Elzaam – Arakans Secret) jumped on terms but was taken back from the wide draw, with Harry Bentley settling worse than midfield once fully into stride. The pace was good through the opening stages, before the field closed up again heading out of the back straight. Bentley was able to get a nice trail into the race three-and-four-wide, remaining with cover right around the turn as he built his momentum. The Brit popped off heels on straightening and the gelding quickened beautifully to join the leader with 150m to run. He was just too strong in the closing stages, wrestling the lead in his favour and inching away in the shadows of the post to win well, with the margin being three-quarters of a length.

Runner-Up: POWERFUL WINGS was only fairly away from the barriers, but Vincent Ho was able to scoot up along the inside rail to settle just off the pace as the field sorted their order out. Ho came away from the inside rail with 600m to run and began niggling at his mount as he improved between runners, and had plenty of luck on straightening as he was afforded clear galloping room. The gelding wound up well under the urgings of Ho, but he was no match for the winner who ran right past him inside the final 100m.

Run Of The Race: ORIENTAL SMOKE had to do plenty of work from an awkward draw to get to the front of the pack in the early stages. Zac Purton was able to catch a breather through the middle stages, before quickening once more. He kicked clear at the top of the straight, but couldn’t hold off the fast finishing back markers. It was a great performance despite not winning, and he’ll go close wherever he heads next.

Disappointment: MASSIVE ACTION was away on terms, but showed good pace to find a spot near the front on settling down. He enjoyed a cosy run in transit on the back of the leader, but when Matthew Chadwick began to ramp up the pressure, he was laying in badly. He proved very difficult to ride down the straight, finishing in 9th position and beaten 6-1/2 lengths.
Comparison: Outside standard.
Market Mover: SECRET VISION was tried late in betting, with DARCI JOY also having some support at longer odds.

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