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Saturday, April 18: Sha Tin (Hong Kong) Picks

by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)

April 16, 2020


Saturday, April 18, 2020
First Post: 12:45AM ET Saturday Night

Race 1: #2 Joy Master, #4 Liverbird Star, #1 Hurricane Hunter, #8 Supreme Plus
Race 2: #10 California Legend, #7 Full Power, #2 Defining Moment, #14 Plikclone
Race 3: #14 Super Red Dragon, #6 This One’s For You, #1 Jade Fortune, #7 Strathclyde
Race 4: #5 Cantstopthefeeling, #14 Foodie Princess, #8 Clear Choice, #2 Superich
Race 5: #1 Super Power Man, #6 Excel Delight, #9 General Trump, #12 Adonis
Race 6: #6 Telecom Rocket, #5 Heza Beauty, #4 Team Power, #13 Eptiwins
Race 7: #2 Handsome Bo Bo, #4 Fantasy, #9 Glenealy Generals, #8 Grade One
Race 8: #9 Star Luck, #2 Utopia Life, #1 Elite Patch, #4 Just Not Listening
Race 9: #12 Will Power, #4 Encore Boy, #2 Kings Shield, #1 Gunnison
Race 10: #2 Mighty Giant, #8 Juneau Park, #12 Triple Triple, #11 Sonic Fighter

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

#2 Joy Master receives a welcome step back to Class 5. His last run in this grade returned a win and with Zac Purton now taking over, he rates as the one to beat. #4 Liverbird Star won well three starts ago. He’s held his condition nicely and, in this grade, he is competitive, if he can offset the wide gate. #1 Hurricane Hunter mixes his form but appears to be another one who has returned to his mark. Joao Moreira retains the ride it’s just a question of how far back he will settle in the run because he can be his own worst enemy at times. #8 Supreme Plus has taken his time to acclimatise, but just might be ready to piece it all together now.

Race 2: Suffolk Handicap (1:15AM ET)

#10 California Legend struggled on the dirt last time out but a return to the turf here should spark sharp improvement. He’s a two-time winner already this season and from the good draw, with Karis Teetan aboard, he can dictate terms to suit and he might prove hard to reel in. #7 Full Power won well last start. Zac Purton jumps aboard and he appears to have a number of rating points still in hand. #2 Defining Moment is consistent. He has to contend with the wide gate though in his favour, is that he is likely to settle near the tail of the field, the concern is whether he gets a race run to suit as a fast tempo will favour him. #14 Plikclone is next best. He’s an ever-improving gelding from the David Hall yard who has ability and has shown that it’s only a matter of time before he does breakthrough.

Race 3: Somerset Handicap (1:45AM ET)

#14 Super Red Dragon is racing well having placed in his last three outings and gets in light here with only 116lb on his back. He’s shown he’s competitive in Class 4 and the soft gate should provide him with every chance. #6 This One’s For You loves the dirt as a course and distance winner already this term. Slight concern is how far back in the run he plans to get but with a race run to suit he can figure. #1 Jade Fortune returned to form last start at his first attempt in Class 4. He’s the class runner of the field and his best can’t be underestimated. #7 Strathclyde is next best, he just needs a fair bit to go his way as he is a tricky horse.

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

#5 Cantstopthefeeling has taken his time to acclimatise to life in Hong Kong but he has shown glimpses of ability. He scored nicely in a recent trial on the dirt and he just might be worth taking a chance on here, especially if he is a price. #14 Foodie Princess has gone from strength to strength this term, winning two out of his last three races. He has gate 13 to contend with here but does get in light with only 114lb on his back and championship leading jockey Joao Moreira up. #8 Clear Choice is another who relishes the surface. He rarely runs  bad race and is favoured by the inside gate here which should allow him to do next to no work in transit. #4 Superich is going to do a lot of work from the wide ally but his beginning to hit a purple patch of form. He’s worth respecting, especially with Zac Purton up.

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

#1 Super Power Man surprised when making all last time out at 23/1. Though surprising, he was ultra-impressive and he appears capable of doing similar again. He’s drawn to get the right run for the in-form Chad Schofield who can ensure he finds the front early from gate two. #6 Excel Delight is looking to snap a streak of two runner-up efforts. He’s racing well and as a winner already this term he commands respect, especially with Joao Moreira up again. #9 General Trump is regularly underestimated. He’s won two of his last four including two other minor placings and this race looks well within his grasp. #12 Adonis is next best as a two-time winner this term. Only concern is that it will be his first run on the dirt this campaign.

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

#6 Telecom Rocket is racing in easily career-best form. He got off the mark four starts ago and since then has been racing well. He came from well back in the field last start to miss narrowly over this course and distance. #5 Heza Beauty has shown steady improvement across his three starts in Hong Kong. He can figure again with the right run from gate three under Joao Moreira. #4 Team Power is a talent on the rise with two placings from his first three starts in Hong Kong. He’s well-weighted here and has proven that he is up to this level. He warrants respect. #13 Eptiwins is a costly conveyance but at his second start for David Hall, he bears close watching.

Race 7: Cumberland Handicap (4:10AM ET)

#2 Handsome Bo Bo has placed in his last two outings, the latest with three-time champion jockey Zac Purton who hops up again. He’s found his mark and with further improvement here, he can go on with it. #4 Fantasy has hit the ground running since commencing his career in Hong Kong as a two-time winner from six attempts, including his latest. He remains in Class 3 which suits and the favourable draw should see him contest the finish. #9 Glenealy Generals has gone close on a number of occasion this season without winning. His consistent best warrants respect. #8 Grade One is looking for back-to-back wins. The awkward gate makes life difficult but on his day he should be thereabouts. 

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

#9 Star Luck returns to the dirt where he is a two-time winner. He’s been a conundrum this season, mixing his form and the like but if he does manage to put his best foot forward on his preferred surface, then he is capable of taking this out. #2 Utopia Life scored an overdue win last time out and if he’s held his condition out of that run then he’s going to be thereabouts once again. He has some ability and the inside gate will allow him to showcase it. #1 Elite Patch loves the dirt. He steps back to Class 3 where he is a two-time winner and his best warrants respect, especially in this grade. #4 Just Not Listening was a three-time winner over this course and distance last season but has failed to get over the line this term. Still, he has those runs under his belt and the inside gate is to his favour. 

Race 9: Cornwall Handicap (5:15AM ET)

#12 Will Power is a three-time winner on the dirt from four career starts and since his debut has enjoyed an astonishing 29-point rise in the ratings. He faces Class 2 here for the first time which makes things difficult, but he does get a key weight relief with only 118lb on his back and his latest trial suggests that he’s right on track for this assignment. #4 Encore Boy loves the course and distance as a two-time winner. This is a suitable contest and although he might be at the ceiling of his ability, he does get a nice draw and maps to get the dream run throughout. #2 Kings Shield appears somewhat of a dirt specialist. He ran a bold race last time out and if he can further improve off that he’s going to be in the thick of things, especially a strong record on the dirt (2: 1-1-0). #1 Gunnison hasn’t won since 2018. Still, he’s been racing out of his grade and a return to this course and distance should spark improvement.

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

#2 Mighty Giant has enjoyed a rapid rise to success having won three out of his last four starts finishing second in the other. He won well at his Class 3 debut last start and three-time champion jockey Zac Purton also has an unblemished record aboard him. He can win again. #8 Juneau Park is looking for his third consecutive win. He’s another on the rise as a lightly raced galloper and he’s going to test Mighty Giant here. #12 Triple Triple mixes his form but has pieced together a number of nice runs. He gets in light and is capable of grabbing some prize money. #11 Sonic Fighter is next best.

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