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Saturday, April 4: Sha Tin (Hong Kong) Picks

by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)

April 2, 2020


Saturday April 4, 2020
First Post: 12:45AM ET on Sunday, April 5 (9:45PM PT on Saturday, April 4)

Race 1: #4 Decisive Twelve, #5 Dream Team, #1 Trust Me, #11 Regency Poet
Race 2: #11 Unique Treasure, #2 Take What You Need, #3 Victoriam, #9 Little Wise Man
Race 3: #2 Waikuku, #1 Beauty Generation, #7 Flying Thunder, #3 Ka Ying Star
Race 4: #5 Ka Ying Excellent, #2 Chairman Lo, #8 Casimiro, #4 Loriz
Race 5: #1 Dark Dream, #6 Chefano, #10 Butterfield, #2 Eagle Way
Race 6: #6 King Dragon, #13 Plikclone, #5 Defining Moment, #9 Party Everday
Race 7: #8 Aethero, #2 Thanks Forever, #1 Hot King Prawn, #6 Big Party
Race 8: #4 Dublin Star, #5 So We Joy, #3 El Jefe, #8 This Is Charisma
Race 9: #4 Ping Hai Bravo, #6 Big Fortune, #8 Star Luck, #11 Magic Supreme
Race 10: #3 Glorious Lover, #8 Ultimate Glory, #1 Farhh Above, #13 Emerald Spur

Race 1: Peel Handicap (12:45AM ET)

#4 Decisive Twelve was well supported on debut and ran well for a close-up third. He returns here with that performance under his belt and if his condition’s improved from that run, he’s going to prove difficult to catch. #5 Dream Team tried to make all on debut but faded to finish fourth. He can challenge with further improvement from that performance. #1 Trust Me is searching for his third win from his last four starts. He’s getting up in the ratings now but does get Zac Purton aboard and he might have another win left under his belt in Class 4. #11 Regency Poet is next best for the in-form Manfred Man who has nabbed two doubles at the last two meetings.

Race 2: Homestead Handicap (2nd Section) (1:15AM ET)

#11 Unique Treasure is nearing a win, especially off his narrow defeat last start and with no weight on his back here, it could well come. He’s drawn to get a soft run in transit and this appears to be his race to lose. #2 Take What You Need is unlucky not to have already won in Hong Kong having finished runner-up on three occasions from eight appearances. Zac Purton takes the reins for this and he commands plenty of respect. #3 Victoriam mixes his form but his best is up to this. Whether he finds it here is a query but on natural ability he remains a leading player. #9 Little Wise Man looked ordinary first-up but from the gate with Victor Wong’s claim, he’s going to get his chance to improve off that performance.

Race 3: G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1:45AM ET)

Small but competitive G2 field assembled here. #2 Waikuku slots in for first off his last-start G1 Stewards’ Cup victory ahead of Beauty Generation. Suspect Waikuku can continue on an upward trajectory and take out this contest, especially off the back of an impressive trial. His best is still yet to come. #1 Beauty Generation comes into this following success in the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup. Though that was an excellent win, he didn’t exactly beat a top notch group which primarily consisted of sprinters who were stretching out to 1400m. Suspect he’s vulnerable here and Waikuku is the one who can defeat him. #7 Flying Thunder has been racing out of his skin this season and with the right run he’s a chance. He’s likely to settle at the tail of the field which isn’t a concern in this field and if he gets a race run to suit, he’s capable of finishing inside the top three. #3 Ka Ying Star mixes his form but was second two starts ago to Beauty Generation. He’ll be thereabouts.

Race 4: Pollock Handicap (2:15AM ET)

#5 Ka Ying Excellent caught the eye last start finishing a narrow second over this course, beaten by only a nose. He appears ready to finally go on with it here and from the good gate with Zac Purton up, he’s going to take plenty of beating. #2 Chairman Lo is unlucky not to already be a winner having finished runner-up on five occasions from 13 starts. He’s trialled well leading into this and although he’s become a costly conveyance for supporters, he still has the raw ability to get the job done and he commands plenty of respect here. #8 Casimiro got off the mark impressively two start ago. This is well within his reach especially from the good gate. #4 Loriz is next best.

Race 5: Harlech Handicap (3:05AM ET)

Scattered showers throughout the week leading into Sunday suggest that the ground might be rain affected and the one who will benefit from this is #1 Dark Dream. His second Hong Kong win came on the softer surface with Zac Purton up, who hasn’t ridden him since that score last season. He’s proven over this course and distance as a two-time winner and with even luck, against this bunch, he can get another win. #6 Chefano has proven himself as a solid 10-furlong galloper. Grant van Niekerk takes the reins from gate three and with only 117lb on his back, he comes into this contest nicely. Brazilian import #10 Butterfield finished sixth in the BMW Hong Kong Derby last time out. Joao Moreira takes over and the inside draw will afford him every opportunity, also, in his favour is that he has been sparingly raced since his arrival to Hong Kong. #2 Eagle Way steps out again over his preferred distance. He’s next best.

Race 6: Severn Handicap (3:40AM ET)

#6 King Dragon has been consistent across his short career albeit without a win. He’s placed in three of his last four and the inside gate should afford him every opportunity to finally go on with it here. #13 Plikclone is another who is winless. He’s shown glimpses of ability and he now appears down to a competitive mark for Matthew Poon and David Hall. #5 Defining Moment is one of the veterans of the field with 26 starts under his belt. He’ll settle at the rear but with a race run to suit he can make his presence felt. #9 Party Everyday is somewhat of an enigma. He has the raw ability but he’s running out of chances and his task isn’t made easy from gate 13.

Race 7: G2 Sprint Cup (4:10AM ET)

#8 Aethero returns from a lengthy stint on the sidelines after finishing third in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint. He had a few niggling issues since then but his recent trial suggests that he’s put those behind him and with the right run, against this field he can bounce back to the winner’s stall. #2 Thanks Forever is by Duporth who will relish the prospect of a soft surface on Sunday thanks to the forecasted rain. Still, he’s G1 placed and has the ability to test his stablemate. #1 Hot King Prawn won a hot Class 1 contest last start. He’s proven at this level and he should get a charmed run throughout from gate one. #1 Big Party grabbed the G3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy two starts ago. He’s had leg issues throughout his career so the prospect of a soft surface on Sunday brings him right into contention here. 

Race 8: Plantation Handicap (4:40AM ET)

#4 Dublin Star comes into this off two third place efforts. He’s becoming a costly conveyance especially as a short priced favourite each time, but still, he’s shown plenty of ability and the inside gate will once again offer him every chance to deliver. #5 So We Joy turned his form around last start to grab third. This contest looks suitable and he’s worth keeping safe at only his third Hong Kong Start. #3 El Jefe is looking for back-to-back wins. He flashed home from the tail of the field to score that day and he appears to still have a number of ratings points in hand. #8 This Is Charisma narrowly missed last start. He switches to Sha Tin for the first time and if he can handle the track at his first attempt then he’s going to be in the thick of it.

Race 9: Homestead Handicap (1st Section) (5:15AM ET)

#4 Ping Hai Bravo is a serious talent on the rise who is looking for his third win from his last four starts. He can get that here, especially as he remains in Class 3 off his dominant score last start and this isn’t an overly strong contest for him to go back-to-back. #6 Big Fortune is the likely leader of this, especially with Alfred Chan’s 7lb claim in effect. He’ll run them along here and if he can dictate terms to suit himself, then he’s going to give them something to run down. #8 Star Luck has turned his form around his last two starts after failing to fire early on this season. Karis Teetan takes the reins here and this contest does appear suitable. #11 Magic Supreme is next best.

Race 10: Lugard Handicap (5:50AM ET)

#3 Glorious Lover was trapped at the rear of the field last start but to his credit still managed to make up ground to finish a competitive eighth. He’s drawn a touch awkward but if he can sit closer in the run here he should be able showcase his budding best. #8 Ultimate Glory is the veteran of the field with five wins 75 attempts. He’s currently in-form and his last two runs with Zac Purton aboard have seen him go close, so it wouldn’t shock to see him go on with it here. #1 Farhh Above is a serious talent though his last-start failure came across as a slight concern. He’s since trialled quietly and we know how good he is on his day, but if he comes up a short-priced favourite he might be worth opposing. #13 Emerald Spur is a consistent customer