by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)
April 9, 2020
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
Sunday, April 12, 2020
First Post: 12:30AM ET
Race 1: #4 Smiling Face, #6 Like That, #5 Sunny Star, #1 Chancheng Prince
Race 2: #3 Dragon Bolt, #6 Prawn Yeah Yeah, #12 Jimson The Dragon, #13 Whistle Up
Race 3: #1 Amazing Agility, #11 Reeve’s Muntjac, #3 Victorious Seeker, #2 Golden Kid
Race 4: #2 Good View Clarico, #4 Noble Desire, #7 Comfort Life, #11 Shining On
Race 5: #5 Party Genius, #14 Iron King, #12 Leading Fortune, #3 Circuit Hassler
Race 6: #5 Colonel, #2 Happily Friends, #1 President’s Choice, #10 Victory For All
Race 7: #4 Roman Impero, #3 Dream Warriors, #9 Galactic, #7 Jade Phoenix
Race 8: #8 Blastoise, #6 Super Elegance, #9 God Of Dragon, #10 Enzemble
Race 9: #1 Valiant Dream, #12 Kurpany, #2 Heart Conquered, #10 Corrienthes
Race 10: #11 Joyful Heart, #2 Beauty Smile, #9 Gift Of Lifeline, #13 Fantastic Show
Race 11: #1 Beauty Legacy, #3 Decrypt, #8 Star Shine, #13 All In Mind
Race 1: Yau Ma Tei Plate (12:30AM ET)
Difficult contest to begin with six debutantes doing battle in the first Griffin race of the season. Settled with #4 Smiling Face on top who showed a bit of ability in the trials and the booking of Joao Moreira for this contest warrants respect. #6 Like That is hard to get read on with just the one trial at Conghua under his belt. Blinkers on first time to sharpen him up and with Zac Purton taking the reins he’ll be worth keeping safe. #5 Sunny Star has been fair in his trial and gallops. He’s next best with #1 Chancheng Prince slotting in for fourth.
Race 2: Tai Kok Tsui Handicap (1:00AM ET)
#3 Dragon Bolt has done very little across his career so far in Hong Kong but perhaps stepping to Class 5 will spark sharp improvement in him and from the rail draw, with Alfred Chan’s seven pound claim in use, he is capable of trying to roll forward to pinch this. #6 Prawn Yeah Yeah gets the in-form Chad Schofield up. Fresh off a Wednesday double, Schofield is in supreme form at present and from the inside gate, he’s a leading player. #12 Jimson The Dragon is down to his mark. Zac Purton now hops on for the first time this season and if he can overcome the wide gate, he’s going to be in the finish. #13 Whistle Up is another who is down to his mark. He’ll likely be in the finish.
Race 3: Tsim Sha Tsui Handicap (1:30AM ET)
#1 Amazing Agility finished runner-up last start. He’s found his mark now in Class 5 and this is his chance to get over the line and win his way back into Class 4, especially with Zac Purton taking the reins. #11 Reeve’s Muntjac has gone unplaced since his win over this course and distance earlier this season. He’s drawn well for new boy Antoine Hamelin and the pair should get the gun run throughout. #3 Victorious Seeker has quality and has finished inside the top three at his last four outings. The booking of Joao Moreira signals intent and this contest appears suitable. #2 Golden Kid is a winner already this campaign. He has top weight duties to shoulder but this race isn’t overly strong.
Race 4: King’s Park Handicap (2nd Section) (2:00AM ET)
#2 Good View Clarico won well last start and shapes as the one to beat once again with Zac Purton sticking aboard. He’s drawn well and this appears his race to lose. #4 Noble Desire is lightly raced but has shown plenty of quality across his short four-start career. He’s drawn a touch awkward but shouldn’t be too far away in transit and with Joao Moreira taking over he warrants plenty of respect. #7 Comfort Life mixes his form but should get a charmed run throughout from gate one. #11 Shining On gets down with just 117lb to carry and as a Class 4 winner previously he rates strongly to get another.
Race 5: Mong Kok Handicap (2nd Section) (2:30AM ET)
#5 Party Genius is lightly raced with only two runs under his belt but has shown ability in both of those outings. He stepped out on debut as a heavy favourite but couldn’t manage to go on with it that day after putting together a number of impressive trials leading up to that run. Still, there’s no doubt he has ability and with even luck he’ll be able to showcase it. #14 Iron King slots in for second. He’s racing well and gets in with just 116lb to carry here as he searches for his first win. #12 Leading Fortune is winless but he has steadily improved with each start. He gets Joao Moreira on again now and the extra furlong on offer here could be exactly what he’s after. #3 Circuit Hassler is next best.
Race 6: King’s Park Handicap (1st Section) (3:00AM ET)
#5 Colonel is unlucky not to already be a winner in Hong Kong. Still, his narrow defeats have had plenty of merit to them and this time, from gate three, with Zac Purton engaged, could well see him get over the line in first position. #2 Happily Friends was sound on debut to finish fifth at 42/1. He’s drawn to get the right run from gate one and with any further improvement, he’s going to be testing these. #1 President’s Choice won well last start. He has gate 10 to contend with now but he does appear to have a number of ratings points still in hand. #10 Victory For All grabbed third two starts ago. If he can recapture that form here he won’t be too far away.
Race 7: Mong Kok Handicap (1st Section) (3:35AM ET)
#4 Roman Impero gets the services of Alfred Chan and his seven-pound claim. He’s drawn to get the right run and if he’s capable of finding the front early, he could string them along here. #3 Dream Warriors has been nothing short of consistent, grabbing third at his last two outings. He’s drawn a touch awkward for Vincent Ho but if he can offset that minor hiccup then he’s in with a winning shot. #9 Galactic stepped out on debut for fifth. He didn’t exactly have the best run in transit that day and his trials prior to that run suggested that he was better than that. Still, he gets a chance to atone for that although against him is gate 14, which could see him settle too far back with too much work to do. #Jade Phoenix has been consistent across his four start career with three minor placings to his name. He won’t be too far away.
Race 8: Jordan Handicap (4:05AM ET)
#8 Blastoise is looking for back-to-back wins. He’s in-form and the inside gate will once again afford him every opportunity to win. He faces Class 3 now for the first time but he still appears to have a number of ratings points in hand. #6 Super Elegance has been a hard luck story all season, with four runner-up efforts in a row from his eight runs this term. Still, he’s held his form and condition all term and once again he does rate as a leading player in this. #9 God Of Dragon mixes his form but is a winner already this term. He gets the new boy Antoine Hamelin aboard and he should be thereabouts with his best performance. #10 Enzemble is running out of chances and has become a costly conveyance across his career with four minor placings next to his name this season. Still, he has ability and figure from the inside draw.
Race 9: Ho Man Tin Handicap (4:35AM ET)
#1 Valiant Dream is nothing short of consistent. He’s a two-time winner this term and although he’s been a touch unlucky at times, he’s held his condition and the inside gate should afford him every opportunity and he rates as the one to beat. #12 Kurpany caught the eye at the trials although his debut, didn’t exactly go to plan when grabbing ninth. Zac Purton now takes the reins which is a good push and the inside draw should give him every chance. #2 Heart Conquered gets the services of Joao Moreira. He was a talented sprinter in Australia and he appears to have acclimatised well to life in Hong Kong. He can continue his rise through the grades. #10 Corrienthes is next best with that run under his belt.
Race 10: Hung Hom Handicap (5:10AM ET)
#11 Joyful Heart is a winner of two of his last four starts. He’s drawn awkwardly but this is a very suitable outing, especially off his latest runner-up effort. The in-form Chad Schofield takes the reins and as a two-time course and distance winner already this term, he is the one to beat. #2 Beauty Smile steps out on debut after arriving from Ireland where he was a Listed Stakes winner pre-import. He’s caught the eye at the trials and it wouldn’t shock to see him win on debut. #9 Gift Of Lifeline is a winner already this term. Barrier seven is suitable and he appears well after being scratched last start due to becoming fractious in the gates. He’s in with an excellent shout. #13 Fantastic Show is looking for the hat-trick of wins. He rises in class here but the retention of Joao Moreira is a good push.
Race 11: Austin Handicap (5:45AM ET)
#1 Beauty Legacy became his own worst enemy in the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, pulling and fighting his rider throughout each run at the rear of the field which clearly cost him in the straight. Now, key to his chances this week is a recent trial which saw him bowling along in the lead and if they elect to do that on Sunday, he could prove difficult to catch in his favourite spot. #3 Decrypt might only be small but he’s a pretty talented horse having placed in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas pre-import. He drops back from 2000m to 1400m which suits and he’s a leading player in this, especially with Zac Purton on. #8 Star Shine has had soundness issues previously but he has shown that has finally put those behind him. This is a hot Class 2 but he’s drawn well and the inside gate should see him get every chance. #13 All In Mind is looking for back-to-back wins. He gets in light and remains a place chance.