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Wednesday, May 20: Happy Valley (Hong Kong) Picks

by Declan Schuster (Hong Kong Jockey Club)

May 18, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
First Post: 6:45AM ET

Race 1: #8 Farm Bumper, #6 Gintoki, #4 Management Supreme, #2 Happy Good Guys
Race 2: #5 Dragon Commander, #9 Dionysus Collin, #7 Salto Olimpico, #3 Shadow Breaker
Race 3: #2 Amazing Luck, #6 Lightning Steed, #3 Focus, #5 Blooming Spirit
Race 4: #5 Flying Genius, #2 Explosive Witness, #3 Be Ready, #6 Very Sweet Orange
Race 5: #6 Golden Glory, #1 Ares, #3 Harmony N Home, #8 Lucky Quality
Race 6: #2 Simply Fluke, #6 Destine Jewellery, #4 Jade Phoenix, #8 Interstellar
Race 7: #1 Magnificent, #11 Chairman Lo, #12 Nordic Warrior, #3 Green Reign
Race 8: #2 Golden Dash, #7 California Rad, #6 Ping Hai Galaxy, #5 Beauty Spark
Race 9: #2 Shining Ace, #1 Amazing Star, #7 Shining Gem, #11 Winning Method


Race 1: Shan Pui River Handicap (3rd Section) (6:45AM ET)
#8 Farm Bumper won well three starts ago before finishing runner-up in both of his most recent two outings. He’s racing well and if he’s continued to hold his condition then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him rewarded with another win. #6 Gintoki gets the services of Zac Purton now after flashing home for a close-up fourth at his latest. He might be ready to piece it all together now having had 13 runs to acclimatise after arriving from Australia where he was a four-time winner. #2 Happy Good Guys has done well this campaign as a two-time winner. He can figure with the right run from the good draw.

Race 2: Tan Shan River Handicap (7:15AM ET)

#5 Dragon Commander hasn’t been too far away on occasions this term and stepping back in trip here might be just what he needs to finally go on with it. He’s done enough racing this term to suggest that the penny was going to drop soon and with conditions to suit here, it might just be his time. #9 Dionysus Collin is unlucky not to have already won this campaign having placed on six different occasions. Still, he’s honest and the booking of Zac Purton warrants respect. #7 Salto Olimpico gets the services of Joao Moreira here after turning his form around last start to finish third. This is suitable. #3 Shadow Breaker made all at 28/1 last time out. The awkward draw here makes life hard but no doubt he’ll be trying to attempt the same again.

Race 3: Tai Shing Stream Handicap (7:45AM ET)

The last time Zac Purton rode #2 Amazing Luck the horse won narrowly over this course and distance and now, back in Class 4 with the Australian ace hopping up, he is shaping up as the one they all have to beat. #6 Lightning Steed turned in an impressive performance last start to grab fourth. This is suitable from the soft gate with Joao Moreira up. #3 Focus is racing well and his last two starts have shown this, and also, he is a two-time winner already this term. He can figure with the right run from gate three. #5 Blooming Spirit is a two-time winner this season and although this is a tough contest, he is in-form and the soft gate should afford him every chance.

Race 4: Kam Tin River Handicap (8:15AM ET)

#5 Flying Genius is looking to snap a run of outs having finished second in three out of his last four outings. Still, he’s racing in supreme form and has taken a clear liking to this course and distance. #2 Explosive Witness is nearing his first Hong Kong win. He’s shown steady improvement with each run and this is suitable, though, they will run along at a reasonable pace here. #3 Be Ready has gone close on a number of occasions. He’s a talent on the rise and although this is difficult, he does still rate strongly. #6 Very Sweet Orange is the likely leader of this and does get a handy claim off Jack Wong. 

Race 5: Shan Pui River Handicap (1st Section) (8:45AM ET)

#6 Golden Glory mixes his form but does have the ability and race experience to win a contest such as this. Key to his chances is gate three, which should see him get a soft run throughout and from there, get every opportunity to win. #1 Ares won impressively at only his second start two back and since then, finished runner-up over this course and distance. Zac Purton sticks aboard and this contest is well within his grasp. #3 Harmony N Home gets seven pounds off thanks to Alfred Chan’s claim and if he can overcome the wide gate, then, he won’t be too far away. #8 Lucky Quality is lightly raced and he has shown a reasonable amount of ability.  He can figure from gate two under the in-form Karis Teetan.

Race 6: Shan Pui River Handicap (2nd Section) (9:15AM ET)

#2 Simply Fluke is searching for a hat-trick of wins since switching stables to the Douglas Whyte yard where he is unbeaten. Again, he’s been cruelled by the wide gate but he has overcome them before and this contest appears no different, especially as he remains in Class 4. #6 Destine Jewellery won well two starts ago and since then has held his condition well. The draw isn’t half bad and with the right run he can figure. #4 Jade Phoenix has gone close on a number of occasions across his short five-start career. He’s drawn well and it’s only a matter of time before he does break through. #8 Interstellar turned his form around last start to grab second. He can figure with that run under his belt. 

Race 7: Nam Chung River Handicap (9:45AM ET)

#1 Magnificent has placed in his last two and with those two performances under his belt, does look ready to bounce back to the winner’s stall. #11 Chairman Lo got his deserved win two starts ago before finishing a close-up fifth at his latest. He has the wide gate to contend with but this is a more than suitable contest for him. #12 Nordic Warrior gets in light as the bottom weight. He’s drawn well and is capable of testing these. #3 Green Reign has gone close on a number of occasions. He’s drawn awkwardly which makes life difficult but does have the ability to offset this, though, it may not be enough to win.

Race 8: Lam Tsuen River Handicap (10:15AM ET)

#2 Golden Dash returned from a lengthy spell first-up to finish a close second, and since then followed that run with a competitive fourth. He’s returned in excellent order and now with Zac Purton going aboard, rates as the one to beat. #7 California Rad is looking for his third consecutive win. He has the wide gate to contend with but as a Class 3 winner already, he is proven in this grade. #6 Ping Hai Galaxy rarely runs a bad race and did win over this course and distance earlier this season at 159/1. He can figure. #5 Beauty Spark’s consistency was rewarded with a win two starts ago. The wide gate makes life hard but he bears close watching.

Race 9: Ho Chung River Handicap (10:50AM ET)

#2 Shining Ace has taken his racing to a new level this term with three wins and seven minor placings to his name. He’s proven himself to be a versatile customer at both Sha Tin and the city circuit and from the inside gate, with Joao Moreira up, he could take a power of beating again. #1 Amazing Star is a winner of four from five this season. He’s now rated 100 which is impressive and he does appear to have another win under his belt, though, may soon be destined for Group racing as his rating continues to rise. #7 Shining Gem is looking for back-to-back wins. He’s a three-time winner this term and another success here, would not surprise. #11 Winning Method is next in line with next to no weight on his back.