09/26/2016 10:38AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis: September 28, 2016



(Wednesday September 28, 2016)

RACE 1: #5 Safari Magic, #7 Glory Sunshine, #3 Laughing Lord, #4 Manhattan Striker
RACE 2: #7 Gentilis, #9 Love Chunghwa, #1 Diamond Mysterious, #11 Born Dragon
RACE 3: #3 Win It, #12 Speedy Wally, #4 Lightning And Gold, #1 Thanksgiving
RACE 4: #1 Formula Galore, #10 Great Speed, #11 Intellectual Glide, #6 Optimism
RACE 5: #4 Nashashuk, #5 C P Power, #6 Lucky Seven, #8 Peace Combination
RACE 6: #1 Winnie's Honey, #9 Allcash, #8 Happy Spirit, #6 Ho Ho Feel
RACE 7: #1 Circuit King, #1 Momentum Lucky, #9 Wonderful Journey, #12 Mission Possible
RACE 8: #8 Dynamism, #4 Super Lifeline, #6 Speedy Longwah, #9 Magical Beauty


A very even Class 5 to open the night. #5 Safari Magic is incredibly hard to catch but should be fitter for a first-up effort and gets the services of strongman Brett Prebble from the inside stall. He will settle handy and should get the run of the race. #7 Glory Sunshine is having his third start for the season and should be suited by the step back to 1650m, although gate 11 does look a bit awkward for him on paper. Still, race fitness is a big plus. #3 Laughing Lord has just his second run in Class 5 but looks suited by the return to Happy Valley and should be fitter for his first-up run. Next best, #4 Manhattan Striker who looks on the cusp of a win after two placings at his last two starts.


#7 Gentilis is enigmatic, and it is hard to fathom that he has been out of the winners' circle for almost two years. A return to Zac Purton from an inside draw is a huge plus, although the switch to blinkers at his 31st start seems slightly odd. However, he simply didn't have his usual zip first-up and perhaps trainer Dennis Yip hopes that they spark him up again. If he's on his best behaviour, he's a big chance here out in front on the rail. Set to get the lovely trail behind him is #9 Love Chunghwa, although his best runs have come when he was ridden further back. With Brett Prebble on, though, he can take the box seat and with a season under his belt, expect an improved galloper to step out this season. #1 Diamond Mysterious has not missed the top two at his last five runs in Class 4, although this is his first time stepping out at Happy Valley. Kei Chiong's claim gets his weight down to a favourable position and he should get a nice run here. Next best, #11 Born Dragon, who is drawn very awkwardly but looks on the verge of putting it all together.


Trainer Chris So is coming off a four-timer at Sha Tin on Sunday, but one of his runners who didn't win was #3 Win It, a fading sixth to Xinjiang Yarn at his seasonal reappearance. He now returns to the races three days later, this time to his favourite course and distance too. He can settle handy without pressing for the lead and he looks perfectly positioned to get back into the winners' circle. #12 Speedy Wally is the likely favourite after an effortless Class 5 win last time out. He rises in grade but gets to carry 10 pounds less and he maps to get the run of the race. He will be hard to beat. #4 Lightning And Gold may be rated too highly against his ability, making it difficult to win again, but he has a habit for popping up in these sorts of races. The market will be the guide to him. Keep a close eye on the market with #1 Thanksgiving too. He had a mixed season last term, winning twice and performing poorly at each of his other eight starts. He's a speed influence, especially with Jack Wong engaged, and if he is allowed his own way in front he is lethal.


#1 Formula Galore makes a belated start to the season after missing his intended first-up run with a minor leg injury. He has drawn awkwardly here once again, as he did that day, but he looks to have been primed for a fresh effort, even after the setback. He looks better than Class 5 quality, but he was slowly figuring out what the caper was all about last season. Now, with further seasoning over the summer, he can win his way back into Class 4. #10 Great Speed has been knocking on the door in his past three starts, flashing home for second each time. On the plus side, he gets Joao Moreira, but the Magic Man is going to have to find something special from gate 11. #11 Intellectual Glide has been making a habit of steaming home without winning. Kei Chiong jumps aboard, which is usually a negative, given she is not at home riding backmarkers, but she did manage to get the son of Conatus to within a short head of victory last season - the closest he's been to a win in his 31-start career. #6 Optimism was finding form at the end of last season, including a win, and he should get the perfect run in transit here.


While we've been keen to avoid runners from the stable of reigning champion trainer first-up this season, #4 Nashashuk could be an exception to the rule. Nashashuk was pretty plain in his only career start to date, finishing midfield, but he has had two trials in preparation for this - the latest a very impressive closing second to stablemate D B Pin - and he looks to have been screwed down for his return. #5 C P Power looks the danger after a luckless first-up run down the straight. The blinkers go on now, as does champion rider Joao Moreira, and he looms as the one to beat. Blinkers could probably help #6 Lucky Seven, who was quite wayward and raw at the end of last season despite flashing ability. Still, he shapes as a horse that will be breaking through in no time at all and it may pay to keep him on side. For the most part, #8 Peace Combination has been a far superior horse over the Sha Tin 1000m - except for the fact his sole victory came over the Happy Valley 1000m. He's at a point in the ratings where he should be winning again soon.


An open race, but don't be surprised to see #1 Winnie's Honey find the form that made him a G2 placegetter in Australia from four starts down under when named Omeros. His four starts in Hong Kong to date have been better than they have looked on paper, and his last start effort to close off strongly was an eye-catcher, suggesting the step up to 1800m will be suitable here. He has trialled well at Happy Valley in the past, too. #9 Allcash probably should have won at least once last season, but somehow found ways to get beaten. He is likely to start the popular elect, particularly with Joao Moreira aboard, and his consistency ensures he's a chance - although in all likelihood, a vulnerable favourite. #8 Happy Spirit goes forward and makes his own luck, and Alvin Ng should be able to control the speed here as he desires. Next best #6 Ho Ho Feel, coming off a last start win. He goes up five points for a nose victory, but crucially looks to get the perfect trip here.


#11 Circuit King has always looked the type that would put a couple of wins together once he could rise in class and drop in weight. Now, with only 115 pounds on his back after Derek Leung's allowance at his first run in Class 3, he looks perfectly positioned to jump, run along and hold them all off. #1 Momentum Lucky looks set to break through to Class 2 in no time at all but his form did taper off at the end of last season after a strong start. Perhaps he is better fresh, and with a summer under his belt he should also be a little more seasoned. #9 Wonderful Journey is already having his third run for the season, having finished third first-up before scoring over this course and distance last week. He goes up in class too, but with Kei Chiong's claim, he carries 18 pounds less than last week. He also has race fitness on his side and gets an inside draw after two wide gates. Don't discount #12 Mission Possible either after a gutsy first-up effort carrying top weight.


All roads lead to #8 Dynamism here. The German chestnut, who is probably the flashiest looker among Hong Kong's horse population, could not have looked better in a recent trial victory. His debut Valley run last season was eye-catching and he gets Joao Moreira on from an ideal barrier. Stakes winner #4 Super Lifeline has not won in more than two and a half years, but his rating also hasn't been as low as 92 in that time. He is also probably better at 1400m, but the extended mile at Happy Valley is rather soft compared to the 1600m at Sha Tin and there doesn't look to be a lot of speed. He may be the value play. #6 Speedy Longwah returns to Happy Valley, the scene of his best form, and he may get an easy lead here. #9 Magical Beauty may be on his mark but his consistency means that he cannot be overlooked.