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Friday, May 8: Sha Tin (Hong Kong) Picks

by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)

May 7, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020
First Post: 1:00AM ET on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Race 1: #1 Xponential, #2 Hard Promise, #12 Shining On, #3 Breeze Of Spring
Race 2: #4 Clear Choice, #8 Touch Of Luck, #1 Ping Hai Treasure, #6 California Argent
Race 3: #10 General Trump, #2 Decisive Twelve, #1 Flying Bonus, #8 Universal Crown
Race 4: #9 Red Brick Fighter, #2 Joy Master, #10 Golden General, #4 Humble Steed
Race 5: #8 Gorgeous Inheritor, #11 Invaluable, #3 Leading Fortune, #14 Shinealot
Race 6: #9 Ka Fortune, #2 Jade Fortune, #11 Party Everyday, #4 This One’s For You
Race 7: #4 Relentless Me, #1 Fantasy, #8 Glenealy Generals, #5 Wind N Grass
Race 8: #7 Multimillion, #9 Loving A Boom, #5 Hong Kong Win, #11 Massive Pocket
Race 9: #2 Time To Celebrate, #1 Beauty Legacy, #12 Ballistic King, #4 Decrypt
Race 10: #10 Farhh Above, #11 Star Of Yuen Long, #4 Right Choice, #6 Assimilate

Race 1: Peridot Handicap (2nd Section) (1:00AM ET)

#1 Xponential has recaptured his form after wavering a touch following his debut win and if he can continue on an upward trajectory, then he is the one to beat. He’s drawn to get the right run for Chad Schofield who from gate four can ensure minimal energy is expensed in the run. #2 Hard Promise hasn’t won for over a year but his return to Class 4 has seen sharp improvement. He draws a much better gate here than his last two runs and with conditions to suit he can figure. #12 Shining On gets in light with only 117lb on his back, as well as the services of Joao Moreira. He’s consistent and off this mark it wouldn’t surprise to see him go on with it. #3 Breeze Of Spring is racing honestly and should be around the mark again.

Race 2: Jasper Handicap (1:30AM ET)

#4 Clear Choice loves the course and distance as a two-time winner already this term and he looks capable of adding a third here. The wide alley isn’t a concern in the small field and if he gets a clean run throughout, he should every chance to be hanging around at the finish. #8 Touch of Luck is looking to recapture his best. He’s raced consistently over this course and distance and with the inside draw, he should be able to contest the finish. #1 Ping Hai Treasure is proven over this course and distance as a winner last campaign. He returned admirably first-up and with that run under his belt, further improvement can be expected. #6 California Argent is next best. 

Race 3: Peridot Handicap (1st Section) (2:00AM ET)

#10 General Trump was blocked in the straight for a run last start and although he was too far back, it did clearly cost him in the finish which could have easily seen him cross the line better than 10th. He can atone for that performance here as he appears to have held his consistency and as a course and distance winner, he is a proven customer. #2 Decisive Twelve has hit the ground running in Hong Kong with two competitive placings next to his name from just two outings. He has the wide gate to contend with but he appears to be on an upward spiral. #1 Flying Bonus receives a welcome drop to Class 4. This could be what he needs to be competitive and the booking of Zac Purton who is, fresh off a five-timer warrants plenty of respect. #8 Universal Crown can turn his form around with that run under his belt as his trials prior were sound. 

Race 4: Topaz Handicap (2:30AM ET)

#9 Red Brick Fighter has taken his time to acclimatise but then penny does appear now to finally be dropping. He’s be consistent this term and he now looks ready to go on with the job, especially with Zac Purton taking the reins for the first time. #2 Joy Master has gate 13 to contend with but if he gets an ounce of luck at the start he can finish around the mark again. #10 Golden General has raced fairly over 1800m his last two starts. Key step to the mile here which should suit and gate seven is also favourable. #4 Humble Steed is looking for back-to-back wins. He can finish thereabouts, though, this is tougher than last time.

Race 5: Sapphire Handicap (3:00AM ET)

#8 Gorgeous Inheritor closed strongly at Happy Valley last start at only his third Hong Kong start. He can improve further here and should be suited by the spacious straight that Sha Tin has to offer. #11 Invaluable has been consistent all term without winning. He should find a nice spot throughout to see him in the finish. #3 Leading Fortune has the awkward gate to contend with but is racing well. This suits remaining in Class 4 and he’s in with a decent shout as a last start victor. #14 Shinealot is next best. 

Race 6: Ruby Handicap (3:35AM ET)

#9 Ka Fortune turned in a solid performance last start for fourth and if he’s continued to improve off that performance he’s going to prove difficult to beat. Though, the wide ally on the dirt will make things difficult, but he still rates as a leading player. #2 Jade Fortune is the veteran of the field with 51 starts and four wins to his name. He warrants respect in this grade, especially with Zac Purton up. The Australian jockey is fresh off a five-timer last Wednesday at Happy Valley. #11 Party Everyday can be his own worst enemy at times, settling far too back in the field with too much work to do. Still, he is racing well and he’s likely to be trying to finish over the top of them again. #4 This One’s For You won’t be too far away.

Race 7: Crystal Handicap (4:05AM ET)

#4 Relentless Me is a very straightforward ride and if he finds the front here, he could take plenty of reeling in. He’s led and won previously and from the inside gate, with Jerry Chau taking 10 pounds off his back, he gets an excellent chance to go back-to-back. #1 Fantasy is looking for a hat-trick of wins. He has the big weight to lug this time against a number of key chances who get in light but still, he knows how to win and with race-experience on his side he’s set to be fighting out the finish. #10 Glenealy Generals is much better than his last start tenth suggests. He can figure in the small field. #5 Wind N Grass is next best.

Race 8: Amethyst Handicap (4:35AM ET)

#7 Multimillion is a five-time course and distance winner including first-up this season. He should relish racing over his favourite distance at Sha Tin and with conditions to suit, he’s a leading player for Karis Teetan who knows him well having won aboard him three times. #9 Loving A Boom flashed home to grab second in a strong Class 2 at the Valley last time out. He’s yet to race down the Sha Tin straight but, he has put together some high quality runs against strong company and if he can find his best here, he just might be able to threaten these. #5 Hong Kong Win has hit a purple patch of form having won two out of his last four starts. This suits and he bears close watching once again as the in-form on-the-up galloper. #11 Massive Pocket is not without a chance if he reproduce his course and distance score earlier this season. 
Race 9: Amber Handicap (5:10AM ET)

#2 Time To Celebrate ran a blinder last start to grab second, beaten only by a short-head. If he can recapture that run again here from gate two for Chad Schofield then he’s in with a shout to grab his first win since early 2019. #1 Beauty Legacy has a fiery temperament which he struggles to control but when he is free-rolling in a race, he does manage to find a nice rhythm which can be favourable for him. If he can find that here and not pull his head off in the run, then on raw ability he’s going to test this bunch. #12 Ballistic King won well last start after missing twice by a neck previously. He steps up to Class 1 here which is always tough but still, does appear to have a number of ratings points still in hand. 2019 Irish 2000 Guineas third #4 Decrypt is next best.

Race 10: Emerald Handicap (5:45AM ET)

#10 Farhh Above has all the ability in the world but just needs a few things to go his way. Say he gets this, and a clean run in the straight then he’s capable of going on with it here, as long as he doesn’t find himself trapped far too back with too much work to do. #11 Star Of Yuen Long has ability but appears to have tapered off his last three runs. Still, conditions suit here from the good gate and he should get every chance to showcase his best. #4 Right Choice was a close-up second last start. He rates highly, though, once again draws poorly which is a concern against this bunch. #6 Assimilate has quite the temper but on his day he is rather slick. He rates strongly if he can keep it all together here.