by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)
May 11, 2020
HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
First Post: 6:45AM ET
Race 1: #8 Junzi, #3 Galaxy Racer, #1 The Abraxas, #10 Jimson The Dragon
Race 2: #1 Charity Wings, #2 Home Made, #5 Star Majestic, #6 Sumstreetsumwhere
Race 3: #2 Aurora Steed, #8 Fox Cheunger, #10 Exponents, #1 Victorious Leader
Race 4: #9 Happy Tango, #3 Compassion Spirit, #2 Master Albert, #8 Thou Shall Sing
Race 5: #10 Dr Proactive, #2 We The South, #3 Winning Ways, #9 Daily Delight
Race 6: #11 Star Luck, #3 Smart Leader, #1 Beauty Amigo, #9 Namjong Sings
Race 7: #12 Split Of A Second, #1 Victoriam, #3 Telecom Puma, #7 Grade One
Race 8: #2 Cinquante Cinq, #3 Golden Spectrum, #7 Above, #8 Blastoise
Race 9: #3 Top Score, #6 Tangmere, #9 Happy Warrior, #2 Delightful Laos
Race 1: Siu Ma Shan Handicap (1st Section) (6:45AM ET)
#8 Junzi has proven to be a more than capable galloper on his day and now, in Class 5, he does appear to have found a suitable race. Neil Callan has won on him before and it wouldn’t surprise to see the duo combine again. #3 Galaxy Racer is consistent and has gone close on a number of occasions. He’s racing well down in Class 5 and from the draw he maps to get every chance. #1 The Abraxas steps down to Class 5 following two close-up runs in Class 4. His last run in this grade saw him miss by a short-head and if he can overcome the sticky draw then he’s capable of testing this bunch. #10 Jimson The Dragon draws favourably and has shown that he is ready to win.
Race 2: Pottinger Peak Handicap (7:15AM ET)
#1 Charity Wings won well two starts ago and remains in Class 4 following that success. He’s drawn to get the right run and is capable of winning his way back into Class 3 here. #2 Home Made is winless across 10 starts in Hong Kong after arriving from Australia where he was a two-time winner. Still, although he is yet to breakthrough for his new trainer, he has been racing competitively and he bears close watching in this contest. #5 Star Majestic is a grand old horse with 73 starts to his name and eight wins under his belt. He’s racing well for a nine-year-old and another win would not surprise. #6 Sumstreetsomewhere gets the services of Zac Purton. Chances are the Australian ace is hopping on at the right time but still, this isn’t an easy contest.
Race 3: Siu Ma Shan Handicap (2nd Section) (7:45AM ET)
#2 Aurora Steed has done enough across his short 10-start career in Hong Kong to suggest that a win was nearing. Joao Moreira takes over now for his main ally John Size and the favourable draw should ensure he gets every possible chance. #8 Fox Cheunger is capable and is a course and distance winner previously with Matthew Chadwick who retains riding duties on Wednesday. He draws a much better gate this time and he deserves respect in this grade. #10 Exponents has only won twice from 35 attempts but he rarely runs a bad race. He gets in with a light weight and he might be ready to jump out of the ground again. #1 Victorious Leader should relish the step back to Class 5 where he is a winner already this campaign.
Race 4: Mount Kellett Handicap (8:15AM ET)
#9 Happy Tango ran a blinder last start to finish a close-up second behind Hero Time. The draw makes life difficult here but if he can overcome it once again as he did last time, then he’s in with an excellent shout of grabbing a first Hong Kong win. #3 Compassion Spirit grinded to a tough first victory last start. He too, will have to overcome the tricky draw but does appear to still have a number of ratings points in hand. #2 Master Albert is a two-time course and distance winner this season. He rarely runs a bad race and this contest is within his grade. #8 Thou Shall Sing steps over to the turf after winning two starts ago on the dirt. He can make his presence felt with the right run.
Race 5: Mount Collinson Handicap (8:45AM ET)
#10 Dr Proactive is much better than his record suggests and now finally with a good gate he gets his chance to score an overdue, second win. Chad Schofield takes the reins for Jimmy Ting and with a go-forward, positive ride, this son of Denman can go on with things. #2 We The South is looking for back-to-back wins. He turned his form around to surprise at 28/1 and although he won’t be that price on Wednesday, he does still rate as a leading chance. #3 Winning Ways is consistent albeit with only win to his name. He can finish around the mark again. #9 Daily Delight has plenty of upside as a lightly raced galloper.
Race 6: Cheung Lin Shan Handicap (2nd Section) (9:15AM ET)
#11 Star Luck gets in light with Alfred Chan’s seven pound claim and from gate one, maps to find the front with relative ease. He could run them along here and it wouldn’t surprise to see him pinch this. #3 Smart Leader has found his mark. He won well at his first run this season and since then has only been fair, until two starts ago when he missed by under a length. He’s drawn well and the booking of Joao Moreira warrants respect. #1 Beauty Amigo struggled from the wide gate last time out as he was caught wide early on. He can atone for that performance here, though, will have to do so from out wide once again. #9 Namjong Sings is winless. He does get in light and the inside draw is favourable.
Race 7: Cheung Lin Shan Handicap (1st Section) (9:45AM ET)
#12 Split Of A Second gets in light at the bottom of the weights. He’s racing well and the soft gate should give Matthew Poon every chance to position up close to the speed and shoot for his third course and distance success. #1 Victoriam has mixed his form this season but his best is more than up to this level, especially with a stack of weight to carry. Zac Purton takes over now and this contest is well within his reach. #3 Telecom Puma is much better than his record suggests but at times finds himself becoming his own worst enemy. If he can turn his form around he’s in with a shot because he does have plenty of ability. #7 Grade One is next best as a winner already this term.
Race 8: Ma Kong Shan Handicap (10:15AM ET)
#2 Cinquante Cinq is unlucky not to have won more races than two, having finished runner-up five times across his 11-start career. He narrowly missed last start but in the finish gave the impression that the step up to 1800m on offer here would suit. The penny might be about to drop with #3 Golden Spectrum who finished a close-up fifth last start to drastically turn his form around. He bears close watching here, especially as his form prior to racing in Hong Kong saw him win a G2 at Doha in Qatar. #7 Above trounced his rivals two starts before coming unstuck at the Valley at his latest. He’s still on-the-up and this race is suitable. #8 Blastoise rarely runs a bad race and this should be no exception.
Race 9: D’Aguilar Peak Handicap (10:50AM ET)
#3 Top Score is racing well and is a two-time winner already this season. He’s proven himself in Class 3 and with even luck, he is capable of taking this out as his last run over this course and distance was solid. #6 Tangmere is shooting for a hat-trick of wins. He’s finally pieced it all together and he does appear to still have a number of ratings points in hand. #9 Happy Warrior is looking to go back-to-back. He steps back into Class 3 following that win and although this will be more difficult, he does appear to be holding his condition well. #2 Delightful Laos surprised at 59/1 on debut last start. That was a tough win and he rates as a chance off that performance.