by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)
May 21, 2020
SHA TIN SELECTIONS
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Race 1: #1 Sunny Star, #6 Smiling Face, #8 Super Ten, #7 Like That
Race 2: #6 So We Joy, #2 Leap of Faith, #3 Armor Star, #1 Lucky Puzzle
Race 3: #10 Enjoy Life, #2 Monster Kaka, #13 City Legend, #8 Bulletproof
Race 4: #2 Thanks Forever, #1 Hot King Prawn, #6 Jolly Banner, #4 Big Party
Race 5: #10 Good Luck Friend, #6 Biz Power, #1 Cruising, #4 Wind N Grass
Race 6: #9 Gallant Legacy, #10 Regency Poet, #3 Kinda Cool, #1 Sky Darci
Race 7: #5 Yee Cheong Pegasus, #7 Fast Pace, #10 Sparkling Star, #1 Xponential
Race 8: #1 Exultant, #2 Furore, #7 Savvy Nine, #3 Time Warp
Race 9: #1 World Famous, #8 Enzemble, #4 Charity Go, #2 Champion Supreme
Race 10: #2 Regency Bo Bo, #3 Beauty Smile, #9 Flying Victory, #1 Beauty Spirit
Race 11: #2 Glorious Spectrum, #3 Happy Fun, #14 Will Power, #12 Circuit Three
Race 1: Pakistan Star Plate
#1 Sunny Star scored on debut in impressive fashion and off that performance he rates as the one to beat here. He missed the kick and was badly squeezed at the start that day but to his credit let down nicely for a comfortable score. #6 Smiling Face comes out of the same race where he finished runner-up. He’s since done the same again and appears to be on an upward trajectory. #8 Super Ten finished a creditable fourth on debut. This is suitable and he gets in light with only 117lb on his back. #7 Like That won well last time out. He warrants respect with further improvement and the retention of Zac Purton’s services.
Race 2: Liberator Handicap
#6 So We Joy has shown steady improvement across his four-start career and he now appears ready to take that next step. This contest is suitable and with even luck he is the one to beat for the in-form Antoine Hamelin. #2 Leap Of Faith has twice finished runner-up this campaign. He has the ability and bears close watching in this contest. #3 Armor Star ran a blinder on debut to grab fourth. Zac Purton takes over now and this booking alone warrants respect. #1 Lucky Puzzle steps back into Class 4. He’ll relish racing in the weaker grade but the concern is the awkward draw.
Race 3: Mighty High Handicap
#10 Enjoy Life is looking to snap a streak of two runner-up efforts. He’s drawn to get the gun run for Joao Moreira and this race appears to be his for the taking. #2 Monster Kaka gets a handy ten pound claim thanks to apprentice jockey Jerry Chau. The wide gate is tricky but he should be competitive in this grade. #13 City Legend gets in light with only 118lb on his back. Karis Teetan takes the reins fresh off a winner on Wednesday and this horse does have the ability to take this out. #8 Bulletproof has drawn poorly once again. He’s lightly raced and has the ability to pick up some prize money here.
Race 4: G3 Sha Tin Vase (Handicap)
#2 Thanks Forever has been racing well this season and does have two G1 placings to his name, including last start’s Chairman Sprint Prize. He’s deserving of a win and with the good draw, he can take this out. #1 Hot King Prawn is in a similar boat with numerous G1 placings to his name also. He’s a model of consistency whose positive racing pattern will afford him every opportunity. #6 Jolly Banner gets in light and should be able to box on for some prize money. #4 Big Party will relish the sting out of the ground if it continues to rain. He can figure.
Race 5: Werther Handicap
#10 Good Luck Friend has hit the ground running in Hong Kong having won at only his second start two runs ago. He faces Class 3 for the first time now and with the soft gate he can put his best foot forward. #6 Biz Power is on the up. He closed strongly for a narrow fourth last time out and with further improvement, he can test these. #1 Cruising won’t be too far away. He gets a handy ten pound claim from Jerry Chau and this contest does appear suitable. #4 Wind N Grass rattled home for third last time out. He’s in-form and this is well within his grasp.
Race 6: Mr Medici Handicap
#9 Gallant Legacy turned his form around last start to score impressively. He remains in Class 4 following that performance and although this task appears more difficult, he does appear to now have finally figured out what it’s all about and with even luck could be able to go on with it again. #10 Regency Poet has been consistent across his short, yet competitive seven-start career. He’s racing well and looks well placed to go one better here for trainer Manfred Man who is having a brilliant season. #3 Kinda Cool has drawn poorly for his second start but off his debut second, he rates as a leading chance in this. Zac Purton hops up now and he has the ability, it’s just that life’s made hard exiting the stalls from that wide out. #1 Sky Darci is next best returning from a lengthy break for his first run of 2020.
Race 7: Helene Super Star Handicap
#5 Yee Cheong Pegasus doesn’t know how to run a bad race and his consistency deserves to be rewarded here. He’s finished inside the top two across five runs this term including a win, second-up from a break. He’s drawn to get the right run for Antoine Hamelin who is more than capable of getting the best out of him. #7 Fast Pace flashed home for fourth on debut. Zac Purton takes over now and the rail-draw should afford him every opportunity. #10 Sparkling Star has shown glimpses of ability. He can figure with the right run for Chad Schofield. #1 Xponential gets a key 10 pound claim from Jerry Chau, who also, breaks from gate four aboard the gelding. This is suitable and it wouldn’t surprise to see him take up the running.
Race 8: G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup
#1 Exultant is Hong Kong’s champion stayer for a reason and if he can repeat his QEII Cup victory here, over 2400m, then he is easily the one to beat. The added distance should suit him as he can grind this field into submission and as well, with even weights, he rates as the one to beat. #2 Furore rattled home for second last start behind Exultant. He’s a classy animal and that run showed that he was not only ready but visually capable of seeing out the 2400m on offer here. #7 Savvy Nine closed for second over this course and distance to Chefano last start. He can handle the trip and with even luck he should be thereabouts. #3 Time warp is the likely leader of this. He’ll need a soft lead if he is to pinch this but even still, he can stick on gamely for prize money.
Race 9: Blazing Speed Handicap
#1 World Famous kept on well first-up from a two month break last start to finish fifth, beaten by only a length. That was a game run and if he’s come on from that, he’s capable of running this bunch into the ground, as long as he is fit. #8 Enzemble got off the mark two starts ago and since then finished third at his latest. He has the wide gate to contend with but gets 10 pounds off thanks to Jerry Chau’s claim which should assist him in the finish. #4 Charity Go is more than capable and his last two performances have been excellent. He’s consistent and it won’t surprise to see it rewarded here. #2 Champion Supreme pieced it all together last start and he was racing well enough prior to warrant respect. He’ll be thereabouts in the same grade.
Race 10: California Memory Handicap
#2 Regency Bo Bo did well to finish where he did last time out from gate 14 and this time breaks favourably from gate three. Zac Purton sticks aboard which is a plus and as a five-time winner from 42 starts, his experience and consistency holds him in very good stead for a contest like this. #3 Beauty Smile has done well in both of his Hong Kong starts. He narrowly missed on debut before closing strongly from and awkward gate for fourth at his latest. He’s right in this. #9 Flying Victory is looking for back-to-back wins. He remains in Class 3 off that win which suits and with only 121lb on his back he is very well-weighted. #1 Beauty Spirit is next best.
Race 11: Viva Pataca Handicap
#2 Glorious Spectrum has returned in excellent order since his lengthy layoff and he looks capable of grabbing a first, Hong Kong win here. Antoine Hamelin sticks aboard after driving him to a close-up second last start and from the good gate, the pair rate to get a good run throughout. #3 Happy Fun can roll forward and make all for Zac Purton. He’s drawn to do no work and if he can dictate terms from the get-go, then he’s a chance of pinching this contest. #14 switches to the turf for the first time after winning three races from five runs on the dirt. He gets in light and expected to handle the grass. #12 Circuit Three is next best if he can recapture his best which saw him win three in a row.