12/21/2017 10:53AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Saturday, December 23, 2017

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS

(Saturday, December 23, 2017)

 

RACE 1: #6 Happy Rocky, #1 Top Act, #11 Amazing Gold, #5 Fancy Music

RACE 2: #2 Eighty Eighty, #10 Beaut Beaut, #6 Lucky Coin, #3 Cool Army

RACE 3: #4 Alcari, #6 Gallant Return, #1 Sparkling Dragon, #3 Win Beauty Win

RACE 4: #8 Rhode Assassin, #2 Five Stars Agent, #1 Diamond Friends, #5 Dragon Dance

RACE 5: #13 Remarkable, #1 Better Choice, #8 Brilliant Dream, #2 Care Free Prince

RACE 6: #5 Hot King Prawn, #1 Strathmore, #2 My Little Friend, #8 Big Time Baby

RACE 7: #5 Multi Facets, #10 Infinity Endeavour, #2 Hard Promise, #1 Turf Sprint

RACE 8: #7 Volitation, #10 Roman Impero, #8 Dollar Reward, #9 Silverfield

RACE 9: #4 Exultant, #2 Dinozzo, #14 Victory Boys, #6 Rocketeer

RACE 10: #3 Calculation, #2 Apollo's Choice, #13 Sacred Ibis, #9 Ultimate Glory

 

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RACE 1: WONG SHEK HANDICAP

#6 Happy Rocky is coming up on two years out of the winners’ circle. All of his wins have come at Happy Valley, but he goes fine at Sha Tin. He can score. #1 Top Act gets back to Class 4 for the first time in three years. He’s a shadow of the G3 winner he once was, but expect improvement down in grade. #11 Amazing Gold has horrible Sha Tin form, but he has improved of late at Happy Valley and he can win before he drops to Class 5. #5 Fancy Music is one for exotics.

 

RACE 2: TAI LONG TSUI HANDICAP

#2 Eighty Eighty was heavily backed on debut, but couldn’t overcome gate 12 in a race dominated from the front. The form out of the race has stood up and this looks a weaker affair. He’s drawn well, he’s trialled superbly and he looks one of the more certain winners of the season. #10 Beaut Beaut’s best efforts have come over the straight 1000m but he looks a place chance here. #6 Lucky Coin ran well up the straight on debut and should be suited up to 1200m. #3 Cool Army looks the best chance among the debutants.

 

RACE 3: THE GRIFFIN TROPHY

#4 Alcari is a promising horse. He looked terrific on debut, while he has had circumstances against at his last two starts. This is a class drop from last start, returning to his own age group, and he should be hard to beat. #6 Gallant Return is still a maiden but he has run well at each of his three starts. Last start, he should have finished closer and he can turn the tables on those who beat him home. #1 Sparkling Dragon has won his first two starts impressively. He’s a chance again. #3 Win Beauty Win is next best.

 

RACE 4: WONG YI CHAU HANDICAP

#8 Rhode Assassin has run well on the dirt, including a last-start third over 1800m. The drop back to 1650m probably isn’t ideal, but he’s drawn well again and he can score here. #2 Five Stars Agent is back down to Class 5 for the first time since a win in April. He hasn’t been disgraced at the bottom of Class 4 and he will be around the mark again. #1 Diamond Friends has won twice from two starts for Frankie Lor. He might find it tough to make it three in a row, but he deserves inclusion. #5 Dragon Dance is once to include at a price at his dirt debut.

 

RACE 5: TAI TAN HANDICAP

#13 Remarkable improved through three starts last season. He has not raced since July, but he has trialled well and he looks like he has improved for the time off. He ranks highly in this spot. #1 Better Choice improved off an eye-catching first run at Happy Valley to win strongly second-up over the Sha Tin 1200m. He steps up to 1400m now and he will be hard to beat. #8 Brilliant Dream is at a mark where he should be able to figure once again. #2 Care Free Prince has been woeful of late but can improve markedly down in Class 4.

 

RACE 6: CHEK KENG HANDICAP

#5 Hot King Prawn is one of Hong Kong’s most exciting prospects, having won four from four over this straight 1000m. It’s very rare for trainer John Size to tackle Class 2 with a three-year-old, especially this early in the season, but he looks a rare talent and it won’t take much for him to figure again. #1 Strathmore will be a good litmus test for the favourite. Only 18 months ago, he was third to Chautauqua and Lucky Bubbles in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize and he finished alongside Hong Kong Sprint winner Mr Stunning at his last course and distance run, although he was in receipt of 20 pounds. #2 My Little Friend and #8 Big Time Baby can get into the placings.

 

RACE 7: LUK WU HANDICAP

#5 Multi Facets arrives as the winner of two from six in the UK, when he was named Auberge Du Lac. He looked to have promise there and his trials have been good, so he can figure from a good draw at his first Hong Kong run. #10 Infinity Endeavour is bred to get over ground but he won very comfortably first-up at Happy Valley. It is somewhat surprising he remains at 1200m, but he can’t be dismissed. #2 Hard Promise is still acclimatising but he can figure if the penny drops. #1 Turf Sprint led home the chasers behind Hot King Prawn last time out. He’s a factor.

 

RACE 8: PAK TAM CHUNG HANDICAP

#7 Volitation ran fairly first-up and now tackles the dirt for the first time. He has trialled well on the surface in the past and there’s enough in his pedigree to suggest it should suit. He can give owner Hui Sai Fun a record 100th win in Hong Kong. #10 Roman Impero has turned a corner at his last two to win on both surfaces. He is up in grade now but gets weight relief and can figure once more. #8 Dollar Reward stuck on well last time out and should figure again. #9 Silverfield has an awkward gate but should relish the step up to a mile.

 

RACE 9: LONG KE HANDICAP

#4 Exultant has caught the eye in two Hong Kong starts. The Irish 2000 Guineas placegetter only tackled 2000m once in Europe, when fifth to Benbatl in the G3 Hampton Court Stakes during Royal Ascot. However, the trip should suit on what he’s shown so far and he rates highly in this spot. #2 Dinozzo steps up to 2000m once again. He is racing well and deserves respect. #14 Victory Boys has made the rare climb from Class 5 to Class 2 and can place in this grade with luck. #6 Rocketeer can improve sharply.

 

RACE 10: PAK TAM AU HANDICAP

If owner Hui Sai Fun can’t bring up win 100 with Volitation earlier in the card, then #3 Calculation should give him the prize. The galloper was just nabbed two back before sticking on for third last start. In this spot, he looks a leading contender. #2 Apollo's Choice is racing well this season and should be around the mark again from a better draw. #13 Sacred Ibis has shown a nifty turn of foot to win his last two. He tackles Class 3 for the first time but there’s no reason he can’t figure again. #9 Ultimate Glory is next best.