by Jeremy Plonk
December 11, 2021
International handicapper Declan Schuster provides his full-card picks for Sha Tin Racecourse on Hong Kong International Races Day. You can bet the entire Sha Tin program with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET and enjoy not only 10X Xpressbet Wager Rewards points on each bet, but also a money-back special. Receive up to $10 money back on each race if your win bet finishes second or third.
First race post time Saturday will be 11:25 pm US ET.
Declan Schuster's Picks
Race 1: #3 Master Delight, #1 Fast Most Furious, #8 Cobhfield, #2 California Ten
Race 2: #6 Good Runner, #1 Marvel Dragon, #9 Lady First, #13 Moonluck
Race 3: #8 Helene Allibor, #3 Entrusted, #5 Champion Dragon, #2 Tempest Express
Race 4: #4 Stay Foolish, #1 Pyledriver, #2 Glory Vase, #8 Ebaiyra
Race 5: #12 Resistencia, #4 Wellington, #2 Pixie Knight, #8 Naboo Attack
Race 6: #11 California Spangle, #1 Trillion Win, #4 California Rad, #6 Fantastic Way
Race 7: #1 Golden Sixty, #2 Danon Kingly, #6 Salios, #3 Indy Champ
Race 8: #11 Lei Papale, #4 Hishi Iguazu, #8 Dubai Honour, #12 Loves Only You
Race 9: #6 War Weapon, #4 Excellent Daddy, #9 Star Brite, #13 Lucky With You
Race 10: #1 Packing Victory, #5 Sauvestre, #7 Parterre, #14 Toronado Phantom
Declan Schuster's Race-by-Race Commentary
Race 1: Maurice Handicap
#3 Master Delight is chasing back-to-back wins after scoring in style last time out. He finds a winnable contest even with the field pretty much at set weights barring the top-weight, who is #1 Fast Most Furious. That horse at the top might not be favoured by the hefty impost but still, he does boast a stack of class on this bunch which could well prove too much, especially as a 102-rater. #8 Cobhfield did well on debut to finish third. Expect improvement once more. #2 California Ten has claims.
Race 2: Beauty Generation Handicap
#6 Good Runner turned his form around to finish a game second last time out. He can improve off that effort here and with Zac Purton engaged he is the one to beat. #1 Marvel Dragon makes his second start in Class 4 this term. This is a suitable grade for him. #9 Lady First doesn’t win out of turn. However, he still has consistency on his side and this contest suits with Joao Moreira up. #13 Moonluck is open to taking another step forward here.
Race 3: Jim And Tonic Handicap
#8 Helene Allibor seems to have taken a liking to blinkers in Hong Kong. He’s racing in very good form and the nine furlongs looks his go. #3 Entrusted is racing well. He’s a two-time winner this campaign. #5 Champion Dragon closed rapidly last time out. Christophe Soumillon hops up here and the inside gate looks a plus. #2 Tempest Express has claims although the wide draw isn’t ideal. Zac Purton will see that he gets his chance regardless.
Race 4: G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase
#4 Stay Foolish is well-versed across his career as a solid performer over the staying distances. He slots in as a bit of a dark horse here, especially with some strong form in Japan behind the likes of Makahiki and Win Marilyn. He might be worth taking a chance on. #1 Pyledriver is a tough British on-pacer. Expect he runs a big race having been set for this contest a while ago. #2 Glory Vase won the 2019 edition of this race. He’s a big player. #8 Ebaiyra isn’t without a chance. Include.
Race 5: G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint
#12 Resistencia is a five-time winner in Japan who makes her first start overseas. She looks to have settled into Hong Kong nicely and from gate seven she should get every chance here. #4 Wellington is the best chance from Hong Kong. He won the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize last April in style and if he’s wound up this weekend then he is easily the best of the home team. #2 Pixie Knight won the G1 Sprinters Stakes last start. Gate eight is suitable. Expect a big performance from the eye-catching bay. #8 Naboo Attack can finish hard if they run along here. He has a powerful finish when required.
Race 6: Lord Kanaloa Handicap
Cracking sprint contest on the undercard. #11 California Spangle has turned a corner this term and he looks like an incredible talent. He slots in light here as he eyes back-to-back wins. Only concern is the sharp rise in grade. #1 Trillion Win is looking for his fourth consecutive win. He’s on the rise and he doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. #4 California Rad has claims. Expect he gets his chance with Zac Purton up. #6 Fantastic Way draws ideally. He’s a big player.
Race 7: G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile
This is #1 Golden Sixty’s toughest test to date but he does appear up to it. He’s looking for his 16th consecutive win and 19th overall, an incredible task but one he appears capable of. He’ll come from the back with a withering burst late. #2 Danon Kingly is a more than worthy competitor as this year’s G1 Yasuda Kinen winner in Japan. Form doesn’t get much better than that and he’s easily the main danger. #6 Salios is a bit of a wildcard. He boasts placings behind Contrail and a G1 score over the mile. Expect a big showing. #3 Indy Champ is next best. He might be getting on in age but he still has the class required to be ultra-competitive here.
Race 8: G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup
#11 Lei Papale is a classy little filly who should roll forward and make her own luck. Strong booking of Christophe Soumillon signals intent and her best could well see her remain undefeated over 10 furlongs. The step back from 11 furlongs is key to her chances here. #4 Hishi Iguazu brings solid enough form over. He’s run in a number of strong races and his handler – Noriyuki Hori – has an incredible record at the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races with three wins from nine runners. #8 Dubai Honour is a classy operator from Great Britain. He placed in the Champion Stakes at Ascot and that level of form holds him in good stead. #12 Loves Only You has become a globetrotting megastar. She won the QEII Cup in April in Hong Kong and a repeat of that run should see her prove ultra-competitive again, especially following her recent success at the Breeders’ Cup.
Race 9: Snow Fairy Handicap
#6 War Weapon is a super talent and he returns second-up this term after posting a blinder first-up last month. He can improve off that and has since looked very well between runs. Expect a big effort. #4 Excellent Daddy won nicely two starts ago. He has a touch of class and he wouldn’t surprise here. #9 Star Brite steps out for his Hong Kong debut. #13 Lucky With You has a stack of ability. Suspect he’s vulnerable first-up, however still, he must be respected.
Race 10: Highland Reel Handicap
#1 Packing Victory is a three-time winner from four starts. He placed in a quality contest last time out and his meteoric rise through the grades doesn’t look over. #5 Sauvestre grabbed a close-up second last start. Ryan Moore hops up now and he’s ensured every chance here. #7 Parterre has a bit of a quality and his latest run finally appeared as though he was coming to hand. Expect more improvement. #14 Toronado Phantom gets in light. Joao Moreira hops up and he has claims here.