The Davis Files - the comprehensive review of the meeting at Sha Tin on Saturday, June 25th, 2022
Race 1 – Chai Wan Road Handicap, HK $780,000
Class 5 – Turf – Distance 1200m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:09.55 Standard Time: 1:09.70 Course/Class record: 1:08.64 Iron King
Winner: GOLDEN MISSION (NZ 6yo g Rock ‘N’ Pop – Aimee’s Idol) got away on terms and was roused along by Matthew Chadwick as soon as the gates flung open, going forward from barrier 7 to eventually settle outside the leader. He travelled comfortably through the middle stages, racing between horses around the turn as Chadwick allowed the leader to extend his margin ever so slightly with 500m to run. Chadwick held the gelding together until they straightened, where he went full bore aboard the six-year-old, shortening the margin with every stride. He ranged up to the leader with 100m to run and had enough fuel in the tank to hit the front and pull away inside the final 50m, going on to win by three-quarters of a length.
Runner-Up: MOON PEAKS jumped well and was another who was urged along from a middle draw, showing good pace under Alex Lai to stroll forward and hold the lead early on, before crossing down to the rail with about 900m remaining. Lai kept the field running around the turn and had extended his margin slightly through the middle stages to lead comfortably as they turned for home. Lai began to ramp up the pressure as they entered the home straight, with the gelding sticking on gamely down the stretch. He just began to tire with 100m to run, where the winner ranged up and took the lead, but he kept on brilliantly to hold down second position.
Run Of The Race: MOON PEAKS showed plenty of tenacity in the home straight and has the racing style that makes me want to follow him. Sure, he’s at the bottom of Class 5, but if they can continue to lead and the gelding continues to fight, he can bring up a win.
Disappointment: SALUTATION was a touch slow into stride and had to be ridden up to get to a midfield position under Karis Teetan, settling three-wide with cover. He travelled nicely in the run and was presented at the top of the straight with an unobstructed run, but the gelding weakened inside the final furlong and finished 10-1/4 lengths back in last position. A veterinary examination post-race failed to find any abnormality.
Comparison: Inside the standard time.
Market Mover: SALUTATION and ERNEST FELING were both tried, as was FORTUNE HAPPINESS at longer odds.
Race 2 – Ho Sheung Heung Road Handicap, HK $1,040,000
Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:09.02 Standard Time: 1:09.10 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight
Winner: BUNDLE OF CHARM (AUS 3yo g All Too Hard – Dubleanny) got away on terms and showed good pace when ridden along by Zac Purton right after the jump, with the Australian hoop pushing forward from the awkward alley. Purton was made to work to find the rail, but was finally able to work his way over to the outright lead as they turned off the back straight. He led comfortably by a length as they travelled past the 600m point and was travelling much better than any of his rivals as they turned for home. He was still leading comfortably with 350m to run and the three-year-old shot away when Purton finally asked for an effort. He stretched his margin to some 5 lengths, maybe even more with 100m to run. Purton put the whip away over the final 100m and eased the gelding down over the final 50m, bolting in by a whopping 4-3/4 lengths.
Runner-Up: SCIENCE PATCH got away well off the inside and was able to use the draw to his advantage, settling midfield as the field sorted their order out. He travelled well under Karis Teetan, with the Mauritian sticking to the rail and improving his position as the passed the 600m pole. His rivals came away from the rail on straightening, giving Teetan a saloon passage right up the inside where he quickened nicely to run into second place with a furlong to run. The leader was miles ahead, but there was plenty of merit in his run as he stuck on brilliantly to hold down second position from some fast-finishing rivals.
Run Of The Race: BUNDLE OF CHARM obliterated his competitors today and looks a genuine galloper for the future. He was already hovering around the top of Class 4 today so a rise in grade will follow, but he was made to work, set the tempo and then kicked away in brilliant style. Put him in the ‘could be anything category’. He is very exciting.
Disappointment: UNTOLD RICHES highlights just how good the winner was. He strode forward from barrier 5 to sit in second position, about a length off the leader under Alfie Chan. He enjoyed a trail on the leader’s back around the turn and peeled off heels as they swung for home, but he simply didn’t have the motor to match. He tired over the closing stages to finish back in 10th place, beaten 10 lengths, but he was found to have blood in his throat post-race.
Comparison: Inside the standard time.
Market Mover: HAPPY TANGO was heavily backed, while CHARMING STEED and GLORIFIED FIRE were specked at double figures.
Race 3 – Tuen Mun Public Riding School Handicap, HK $1,040,000
Class 4 – All Weather – Distance 1650m - Track Good
Time: 1:38.21 Standard Time: 1:38.90 Course/Class record: 1:37.74 Mission Bravo
Winner: BLOTTING PAPER (AUS 6yo g Uncle Mo – Redtruth) jumped brilliantly from an inside barrier and showed good pace to be running up front turning out of the home straight. Zac Purton allowed his rivals to cross him from out wide around the first turn, settling on the leader’s back as they turned down the back stretch. The field had stretched out down the back straight, but Purton remained around a length off the leader with the pace being genuine through the middle stages. Purton continued to sit motionless aboard the six-year-old as they turned for home, whilst all of his rivals were under pressure rounding the final turn and he abled up to join the leader with 250m remaining. The Australian hoop finally shook the reins, and the response was immediate as Blotting Paper exploded away from the rest of the field. He continued to extend his margin right to the line, bringing up an early double for Purton with another dominant display, this time by 3-3/4 lengths.
Runner-Up: SUN OF MAKFI jumped well from a middle gate and Blake Shinn did well to work his way across from the awkward barrier to get one off the fence and just worse than midfield turning out of the home straight. The gelding was suited to the genuine pace set in front, but he found himself a whopping 8-1/2 lengths off the pace with 800m remaining. The gelding travelled well under Shinn though as the Australian jockey tracked into the race nicely, improving his position around the turn and getting into the open on straightening. He was no match for the winner, but he sustained his run brilliantly to keep up his good run of form to run into second position.
Run Of The Race: What a performance by BLOTTING PAPER. He soaked up the genuine pace in front and strode up to the leader ominously at the top of the straight. The way he quickened when Zac Purton pushed the button was electric as he bounded away for an impressive victory.
Disappointment: CHIRON was a touch slow into stride from barrier 3 and settled midfield and along the inside rail under Derek Leung. He appeared to be travelling well and in a good spot to strike if the leaders were to tire in the straight, but he was held up badly between the 600m and the 450m, just as Leung started to build momentum. He closed off the race fairly once he’d hit top gear once again, but he finished back in 9th place, beaten 7-1/2 lengths.
Comparison: Well inside the standard time.
Market Mover: ROYAL CAMPBELL was tried, while CROWN AVENUE had some support at long odds.
Race 4 – Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School Handicap, HK $1,040,000
Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:22.23 Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair
Winner: NUNCHUKS (NZ 7yo g O’Reilly – Mama’s Choice) got away well from barrier 10 and showed enough pace to cross and get one off the rail with 1000m left to run, doing it under his own steam. Blake Shinn put him in a beautiful position right behind the leaders as they turned off the back straight, with the pace quite good passing the 800m point, before slowing around the turn once the field sorted their order out. The gelding travelled brilliantly under Shinn right around the turn, with the Australian hoop staying covered up until straightening where he peeled off heels and into clear air. He quickened nicely to take the lead with 250m to run and was able to get a length clear with 150m remaining. He was strong right down to the line and never looked like getting passed, winning comfortably by three-quarters of a length.
Runner-Up: TYCOON JEWELLERY got away well from an inside draw and Antoine Hamelin wasn’t interested in the earl speed battle, easing back shortly after the start to settle midfield. He travelled comfortably through the middle stages as he was locked away along the inside rail, but Hamelin was able to shimmy his way off the fence when the pace came out of the race around the turn. He began to niggle at the gelding with 550m to go with the Frenchman slicing his way across the field to work his way to the outside down the home straight. He closed off the race brilliantly, storming home over the final 100m in eye-catching fashion, but he couldn’t reel in the leader.
Run Of The Race: TYCOON JEWELLERY is the one I want to follow out of this race. He’s lightly raced, only a three-year-old and being trained out of a premier barn. He looks set to rise to the 1600m journey where he looks ready to fire.
Disappointment: VOYAGE STAR jumped well and was initially on the back of the leader, but crossed to sit outside the leader as the pace came out of the race turning off the back. He strode up to eyeball the leader as they turned for home. He was beginning to weaken passing the 300m point, but did cop a bump with 200m to run which halted some of his momentum. He failed to pick himself up from that point onwards and was eased down over the concluding stages, finishing in 10th place and beaten 5 lengths.
Comparison: Well outside the standard time.
Market Mover: VOYAGE STAR was backed into $5.90, with NUNCHUKS and KING OF THE COURT also being backed late.
Race 5 – Lei Yue Mun Public Riding School Handicap, HK $1,040,000
Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1800m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:48.55 Standard Time: 1:47.60 Course/Class record: 1:46.54 Crown Avenue
Winner: CORDYCEPS TWO (AUS 4yo g Kermadec – Seesawing) threw his head up on jumping, but mustered good pace under Ruan Maia to settle just behind the pace. He was a touch keen in the opening stages, but Maia was able to get the gelding to relax much better as they travelled past the 1400m point. He travelled comfortably through the middle stages, sitting along the inside until the 650m point where the Brazilian jockey came off the inside and began to improve between runners. He was held up slightly as they rounded the final turn, allowing the leader to kick nearly 2 lengths clear early in the straight, but Maia was able to get into the clear as they straightened for the judge. He responded well to the urgings of Maia to grind away at the leader’s margin, eventually sticking his nose in front with 50m to run and holding off a late challenger to get the job done by a neck.
Runner-Up: SUPER HONG KONG jumped on terms but wasn’t urged along in the opening stages, with Antoine Hamelin allowing the gelding to drift back to settle near the tail of the field. There wasn’t much movement through the middle stages by Hamelin, with the Frenchman just happy to sit near the tail of the field as they turned off the back. He wedged himself between runners passing the 600m point, and was given ample galloping room as they swung for home with the field fanning out as they turned for home. Hamelin did a great job in the straight to give his mount every chance, with the gelding closing off very strongly in the final stages. He couldn’t reel in the leader though and was forced to settle for second.
Run Of The Race: SUPER HONG KONG was probably unsuited by the slow tempo set from the 1200m point, with the sectionals showing the race as a sit-and-sprint affair. Despite that, he closed the race off stronger than any of his rivals. He’s the one to follow.
Disappointment: RIGHT AS RAIN jumped as the $2.70 favourite and settled in the second half of the field under Zac Purton. He was well back with 600m to run, but was getting a good cart into the race and had plenty of galloping room on straightening as he was the widest runner in the straight. He was very one-paced though and was doing his best work over the concluding stages. He’s another than was probably unsuited by the slow pace, but the 8th place finish, beaten 3 lengths was still disappointing.
Comparison: Nearly a second outside standard.
Market Mover: CHEERY, JOYFUL HEART and VUKAN were all backed late in betting.
Race 6 – The Hong Kong Riding For The Disabled Association Cup (Handicap), HK $1,040,000
Class 4 – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:22.13 Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair
Winner: INDIGENOUS REALM (GB 5yo g Brazen Beau – Samasana) was actually one of the last to leave the barriers, but did muster well under Derek Leung in the early stages. Leung crossed from barrier 5 down to the inside rail and improved along the paint to sit about midfield as the field turned out of the back straight with 800m remaining. Leung was happy to sit along the inside rail until the 600m point where he got off the inside and trucked into the race under his own steam turning for home. There was plenty of action in front of him as he had rivals cutting across him early in the straight, but Leung still hadn’t pushed the button until the 300m point. He quickened immediately and shot through between runners to take the lead with 150m to run and was far too strong over the final stages, holding off his rivals to win by a half-length.
Runner-Up: GOOD NEWS jumped well off the inside and used the rails draw to his advantage, making his rivals work to cross him in the early stages, with Matthew Poon eventually slotting in behind the leaders as they turned off the back. He travelled well through the middle stages and just needed some space as they turned for home with Poon sticking in behind the leader on straightening. He wound up well when Poon ramped up the pressure to run through the same gap as the winner. He challenged the winner over the final 100m, but just couldn’t get his nose in front.
Run Of The Race: INDIGENOUS REALM was travelling sweetly turning for home and just needed the gaps to appear when he needed. He got the breaks when required and Derek Leung rated him perfectly down the stretch. He quickened brilliantly when he was shaken up, storming home over the final 300m to get the win.
Disappointment: PROSECCO was left racing three-wide in a midfield position on settling down, but did have cover out there. Alex Badel put him into the race with 550m remaining, going around four-wide, but he just didn’t have anything left in the tank down the stretch. He finished back in 12th place, beaten 7-1/2 lengths.
Comparison: Outside the standard time.
Market Mover: PROSECCO had some support late in betting, while GOOD NEWS was also specked.
Race 7 – Lei Yun Mun Park Handicap, HK $1,570,000
Class 3 – Turf - Distance 2000m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 2:01.56 Standard Time: 2:01.75 Course/Class record: 2:00.37 Champion Supreme
Winner: SUPERBELLA (GB 6yo g Passing Glance – Lizzie Tudor) jumped well off the inside draw and was able to take up a nice position without having to work too hard, settling just forward of midfield under Zac Purton. He travelled comfortably through the middle stages with the pace quite good right down the back straight. Not much happened through the middle stages, with Purton getting off the rail with 600m to go, with the Australian hoop working his way right across to get into the clear as they straightened. He got to the lead with 150m to run but he was made to fight for the win with Copartner Elite ranging up on his outside as he hit the front. Purton threw everything he had at the gelding in the final 100m, with the six-year-old lifting under the pressure to inch clear and get the win by a head.
Runner-Up: COPARTNER ELITES got away on terms but didn’t show too much early pace in the beginning, settling midfield under Vincent Ho. Ho initially sat along the rail around the first turn, but popped off the inside down the back straight and had improved to be on the outside of the eventual winner with 600m remaining. He travelled into the race nicely turning for home and wound up brilliantly under the urgings of Ho, but he just couldn’t stick his head in front despite his best efforts.
Run Of The Race: SUPERBELLA was rated brilliantly by Zac Purton and the Australian jockey showed his strength to lift his mount over the line. He may have to rise in grade for his next start, but he can make it back-to-back next time out.
Disappointment: NATURAL STORM was one of the last out of the barriers and settled near the tail of the field under Matthew Chadwick. He travelled nicely at the back of the field, but was already under heavy pressure with 650m left to run as Chadwick tried to improve his position around the turn. He stuck on fairly in the straight, but he never looked a threat to the placings, finishing 11th and beaten 7-3/4 lengths.
Comparison: Inside standard.
Market Mover: No real market moves with COPARTNER ELITES jumping the $3.20 favourite.
Race 8 – Lung Mun Road Handicap, HK $1,570,000
Class 3 – All Weather - Distance 1650m - Track Good
Time: 1:38.04 Standard Time: 1:38.60 Course/Class record: 1:36.87 Hongkong Great
Winner: SO WE JOY (AUS 6yo g So You Think – Soho Secret) was away only fairly but Vincent Ho was able to work his way across to the inside rail around the first turn, settling midfield. The pace was good down the back straight which suited his racing pattern, but Ho was held up slightly around turn while his rivals began to improve into the race. Ho came away from the inside to get clear air turning into the straight, but that was to no avail as Ho was forced to drift back to the inside and work his way through traffic. He was still some 3 lengths off the leader with a furlong to run, but a gap appeared and the six-year-old shot through with a blistering burst of speed to mow down the front runner. It was a barnstorming finish, running over the top of the leader in the final 100m to get the win by a head in a brilliant finish.
Runner-Up: APACHE PASS showed good pace from barrier two to land in the one-out-one-back position as they turned down the back stretch. He travelled comfortably under Derek Leung down the back, enjoying a lovely run in behind the leaders right throughout the middle stages. Leung was wedged between runners around the home turn, but was able to get out into the clear on straightening as he began to eat into the leader’s margin once clear. He hit the front momentarily in the dying stages, but he couldn’t hold off the fast-finishing winner down on the inside.
Run Of The Race: The burst of speed SO WE JOY produced with a furlong to run was eye-catching. He weaved his way through traffic brilliantly and was far too strong over the final stages.
Disappointment: HELENE WISDOM STAR was a big eye-catcher last start over 1200m, but couldn’t finish off the race as he had done most recently. He raced at the tail of the field, but Luke Ferraris did improve his position three-wide down the back straight, but was shoved out four-wide around the turn. Ferraris tried to build up the revs turning for home, but the gelding had nothing left to offer and finished in 11th place, beaten 8-3/4 lengths.
Comparison: Well inside the standard.
Market Mover: FLYING DRAGON had some support at double figures.
Race 9 – Pok Fu Lam Country Park Handicap, HK $2,400,000
Class 2 – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:21.46 Standard Time: 1:21.20 Course/Class record: 1:20.28 Fantastic Treasure
Winner: THE GOLDEN SCENERY (AUS 4yo g Deep Field – Saga’s Gift) jumped on terms but didn’t have much pace under Luke Ferraris, settling in the back half of the field as they settled into stride. He travelled comfortably through the middle stages with Ferraris pushing off the rail with 550m left to travel. He had a wall of runners in front of him turning for home and he needed plenty of luck, but the South African hoop was able to slide across the field and into the clear with 350m to run. He quickened brilliantly between runners and really began to motor once he hit top gear, hitting the front with 100m to run and prove too strong over the closing stages to win by a neck.
Runner-Up: BEAUTY FIT got away well off the inside and settled in behind the leaders in the opening stages, but was racing a touch keen under Alex Badel. He appeared to settle better as they turned off the back straight, with the gelding sitting pretty on the back of the leader. The position he was in though turned sour quickly, with Badel boxed in along the inside rail as they turned into the straight. The Frenchman was able to get across heels and into the clear with 300m remaining and he quickened brilliantly to take it right up to the winner in the closing stages. He tried his hardest, but he couldn’t get past the winner.
Run Of The Race: BEAUTY FIT appears to have returned to form based on today’s effort. He’d been a touch disappointing through this season, but he may be back on track after today’s effort. He didn’t have the best of luck but showed plenty of fight in the closing stages.
Disappointment: BUZZINGA was up in class today, but travelled sweetly sitting just off the pace under usual rider Karis Teetan. He looked to be travelling well through the middle stages and was presented at the top of the straight. The race was there to win if he was good enough, but he plateaued with a furlong to run and began to drift back through the field, finishing back in 8th place, beaten 4 lengths. Unfortunately, a veterinary examination post-race found the gelding to be a roarer.
Comparison: Just outside the standard.
Market Mover: WINNER METHOD and BEAUTY FIT were both specked at double figure odds.
Race 10 – Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap, HK $1,570,000
Class 3 – Turf - Distance 1400m - Track Good to Firm
Time: 1:21.78 Standard Time: 1:21.45 Course/Class record: 1:20.62 Preciousship
Winner: VOYAGE BUBBLE (AUS 3yo g Deep Field – Raheights) was one of the first into stride from his wide barrier and had to do plenty of work early on under Matthew Chadwick, eventually getting across to settle outside the leader as they turned off the back straight. The pace slowed around the turn, with Chadwick sitting about a length off the leader with 600m to run. The local hoop then began to stride closer to the lead from the 600m point, but didn’t appear to handle the turn into the straight all that well and was racing greenly early in the straight. He quickened nicely once Chadwick had him straightened up, kicking some 2 lengths clear with 100m to run. He was tiring late, but the gap was too great to bridge back, with the three-year-old winning comfortably by 1-1/4 lengths.
Runner-Up: MALDIVES was probably the least to leave the machine on jumping and settled toward the back of the field with Blake Shinn aboard today. Shinn had the gelding travelling comfortably through the middle stages and opted to ride for luck as they turned for home, sticking to the inside rail rather than fanning out toward the centre of the track. It’s a play that almost worked out for the Australian hoop, with the gelding quickening brilliantly at the top of the straight with a clear run right up the inside rail. He only had to work his way around one runner, but he stormed home in the closing stages to finish an eye-catching second.
Run Of The Race: VOYAGE BUBBLE is still a three-year-old who appears to be learning the craft, but he appears to have plenty of ability. He had to do a bit of work early on to get outside the lead, but he was able to quicken brilliantly at the top of the straight and pull away for an impressive victory. He’s worth following going forward.
Disappointment: IGNITING had to be roused along out of the barriers to hold a forward position in the one-out-one-back position under Matthew Poon. He travelled comfortably around the turn with Poon moving three-wide with 500m remaining to bring him into the race. The run was short-lived though, with the gelding beginning to weaken from the 300m point and drifting back to finish in 13th place, beaten 10-1/4 lengths.
Comparison: Outside standard.
Market Mover: VOYGAGE BUBBLE was tried late in betting, with EIGHT TRIGRAMS also having some support at double figures.
Golden Scenery and Luke Ferraris, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club