01/12/2017 11:16AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS

(Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017)

 

RACE 1: #11 Great Speed, #5 Lean Journey, #10 Starry Starlies, #9 Telecom Boom

RACE 2: #8 Packing Starcraft, #4 Bright Star, #2 Bumble Baby, #9 Bossiee

RACE 3: #4 Happy Happy Star, #6 Planet Star, #5 Indigenous Star, #8 Daring Fit

RACE 4: #3 King’s Man, #13 Dashing Dart, #1 Go Beauty Go, #14 Imperial Seal

RACE 5: #6 Dr Listening, #4 Happy Agility, #2 Lamarosa, #7 Hrovat

RACE 6: #2 World Record, #14 Wingold, #8 Regency Horse, #6 Glenealy Prize

RACE 7: #2 Momentum Lucky, #12 Penang Hall, #4 King Mortar, #10 Goal For Gold

RACE 8: #9 Beat The Clock, #3 First Fontein, #13 Honest Horse, #4 Navas

RACE 9: #3 Booming Delight, #1 Prawn Baba, #9 Whoop Whoop, #10 Lotus Breeze

RACE 10: #1 Jolly Banner, #8 Let Us Win, #4 My Darling, #7 Invincible Dragon

RACE 1: JOCKEY CLUB ROAD HANDICAP

#11 Great Speed has now gone 32 starts without a win in Hong Kong, although he has recorded five seconds and six fourths. He has not raced at Sha Tin since April and not over the Sha Tin 1200m since May 2015, when he had his first run in Class 5 and was hopelessly out of form. He is a late closer, so returning to Sha Tin should suit, and with a light weight (116 pounds) and a good gate, he should finally break his maiden here. #5 Lean Journey always looked a Class 4 horse in the making but lost a lot of confidence when he was involved in a fall early in his career. He never looked the same horse after that, but he did win nicely last time out to break his duck. A repeat will see him go close. #10 Starry Starlies jumps from the outside gate but does get Joao Moreira aboard and he is racing well. #9 Telecom Boom disappointed last start but his previous form had been good and he can finish in the money here.

 

RACE 2: HO SHEUNG HEUNG HANDICAP

#8 Packing Starcraft has looked a big baby at his three starts to date. There’s no doubt he’s got talent and will make his way out of Class 4, it’s just a matter of when. He might still be too raw and he might need further, but he might also be on a mark where he can do some damage. #4 Bright Star has only once been below this mark, and he won that day. Joao Moreira jumps aboard for the son of Hussonet’s first start in two months and it looks like the horse has been primed for this. #2 Bumble Baby was awful in his one try over the 1200m in July, but he did race wide and handy most of the way and it was the race where Pakistan Star came from tailed off early to sweep past his rivals in the centre of the track. He can be forgiven that effort and the step up in trip looks suitable now. #9 Bossiee returned to form last time out with a gallant on-speed third. He performs well over this course and distance and should be included in all exotics.

RACE 3: HO SHEUNG HEUNG HANDICAP

A fascinating race with a number of newcomers. #4 Happy Happy Star is a blueblood in Hong Kong terms, as his second dam Elegant Fashion remains the only filly to salute in the Hong Kong Derby in the last 40 years. His trials have suggested he has been primed for this and he does get Joao Moreira aboard for his first start, although the outside draw is a concern. #6 Planet Star also debuts and while he has looked good in his trials, he still looks to have plenty of room to develop. He may end up being the best horse in this race in time, but he will improve on whatever he does at start number one. Second-starter #5 Indigenous Star made terrific ground down the straight on debut to finish third to Healthy Luck. The step up in trip can only suit and he looks a chance. #8 Daring Fit has improved at each of his five starts and a win is near.

 

RACE 4: KWU TUNG HANDICAP

#3 King’s Man has been looking raw still in his races but he does have a turn of foot and gets home strongly at the finish. He’ll have to go back again from gate 13 but should be flashing home once more. #13 Dashing Dart has been a typical Hong Kong project, improving at each of his six starts. He was a good enough third last time out and if he continues that rate of progression, he should go close here. #1 Go Beauty Go finally broke through last time out after a number of good efforts. He meets many of these worse at the weights but he should get a good run and find himself in the mix. #14 Imperial Seal gets Joao Moreira aboard and will be fancied, but Class 4 remains a query, even despite the light weight.

 

RACE 5: LONG VALLEY HANDICAP

#6 Dr Listening failed as an odds-on favourite in October, having won two starts in nice style at the end of last season. He has hardly been out of training since, but has had four barrier trials and looks ready for his return. He may not be as good as he looked at one time, but he looks capable of winning this race of a mark of 68. #4 Happy Agility has been a different horse since he was restricted to sprints, often charging home at the end of his races. He was well beaten behind House Of Fun last time out, but he should find this easier and he’s likely to be around the mark again. #2 Lamarosa has not raced at Sha Tin since a disappointing debut ninth in March. He has performed well at two of his three starts this term and should be a contender again. #7 Hrovat comes to Sha Tin for the first time, and while he hasn’t done much in three starts to date, he looks a horse capable of winning already if things fall into place. Entering this race fresh looks a positive too.

 

RACE 6: TSUNG PAK LONG HANDICAP

#2 World Record has won his last two starts in nice style to rise to the top of Class 4. A repeat of those efforts would see him breaking into Class 3 with a third straight win here. #14 Wingold finally got a win under Zac Purton last start in Class 5 after looking likely a number of times throughout his career. Joao Moreira jumps aboard with Purton unable to make the light weight of 118 pounds, and he looks tough to beat. #8 Regency Horse has had a bit of hype around him since before his debut, but he’s yet to prove that it is justified. His run two back was good, though, so if he can reproduce that form he’ll be in the mix. #6 Glenealy Prize has been a disappointment after looking a horse bound for Class 2 early in his career. His rating is getting down to a point where he should be able to break through for a second win.

 

RACE 7: LONG VALLEY HANDICAP

#2 Momentum Lucky has not won in Class 3, but through five good runs in the grade, his rating has got to 78, right near the top of the class. The four-year-old had two weeks off after his last run in September and returns here off a freshen-up. He looks capable of winning his way into Class 2, although his current position in the ratings is awkward. #12 Penang Hall hasn’t shown a great deal in two starts this season, but the return to the Sha Tin 1200m should be a plus and he quickened nicely in a recent trial. However, with the drop into Class 4 in sight, perhaps he might be a better horse for next start. Still, he’s worth including. #4 King Mortar won nicely last time out and looks a horse that will win his way in this grade. #10 Goal For Gold has had a hit-and-miss Hong Kong career and is yet to win from 20 starts locally, but he makes his debut for his fourth trainer and he can break through shortly.

 

RACE 8: YIN KONG HANDICAP

#9 Beat The Clock was impressive winning his first start and then has not been disgraced in three starts since, placing on each occasion. Last time out, he shifted off heels and sat three wide for much of the turn, and was just run down by very promising Seasons Bloom. He shapes as a horse who will be suited to Happy Valley, but he can continue his progression through the grades here. #3 First Fontein was good enough in a strong form race at his Hong Kong debut, and from a good gate, further progress would not surprise. #13 Honest Horse looked to have potential this time last year, but he has not delivered on his promise. Still, he looks capable of being able to perform off a mark of 64. Trainer Richard Gibson scored his first winner of 2017 with Powermax on Wednesday night, his first win since #4 Navas won at Happy Valley in October. That horse looks a chance of giving the handler another quick winner here, although the outside gate does make it tougher.

 

RACE 9: THE PEARCE MEMORIAL CHALLENGE CUP

#3 Booming Delight has impressed in running home for placings at his first two Hong Kong starts. In particular his last effort from a wide gate, when he hardly settled at all mid-race but charged home to be beaten a short head by Razor Quest, was very strong and a repeat of that from the inside gate over this longer trip should see him winning. #1 Prawn Baba has been very consistent through his first three Hong Kong starts, finishing second every time. He’s very one-paced but has to be a chance again here. #9 Whoop Whoop improved significantly from his first start to his second, making up ground for fifth last time out. He’s trialled well since and the step up in trip will suit. #10 Lotus Breeze steps up to 1800m for the first time in Hong Kong, but his best form as a three-year-old was over these sorts of trips. He can bob up here.

 

RACE 10: BEAS RIVER HANDICAP

#1 Jolly Banner is racing in scintillating form currently. He’s won his three starts this season and looks capable of heading even higher yet. He has drawn awkwardly again but he is pretty straightforward, he will race handy and accelerate at the top of the straight, so he looks ready to make it four on end. #8 Let Us Win had no luck whatsoever first-up on LONGINES Hong Kong International Races day. He arrived with second-tier three-year-old form from Australia, but he looks capable of performing off this mark and he’s one to watch. #4 My Darling is another heading to the Classic Mile next weekend. Brett Prebble jumps aboard for the first time since his debut last February, but he looks like he might be nearing his mark. #7 Invincible Dragon missed the start badly at his first start since July on New Year’s Day, but he rocketed home for second. Joao Moreira jumps aboard but he has performed fresh before, so it remains to be seen whether he can back it up at his second start this campaign.