04/21/2017 10:51AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Sunday, April 23, 2017

EmailSHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday April 23, 2017)

RACE 1: #3 Jimson The Famous, #7 Soccer Brave, #2 Forever Fun, #5 Shining Champion
RACE 2: #8 Nice Fandango, #6 Strathclyde, #2 Keep Moving, #11 Autopay
RACE 3: #14 Hurricane Kid, #8 Love Chunghwa, #7 Good Fit, #11 The Full Bloom
RACE 4: #6 Super Talent, #2 Glenealy Prize, #8 Travel Ambassador, #12 Super Euro Star
RACE 5: #3 Western Express, #4 Limitless, #5 California Whip, #2 Lucky Year
RACE 6: #5 Bear Chum, #4 Money Money, #11 Starlot, #8 Born Dragon
RACE 7: #8 No Money No Talk, #7 Fortune Bo Bo, #4 Perfect Choice, #1 Beauty Master
RACE 8: #5 Super Man, #4 Star Of Yan Oi, #7 Arizona Blizzard, #10 Deja Vu
RACE 9: #9 Green Dispatch, #7 Vanilla, #4 Sky King, #11 Red Marvel
RACE 10: #2 Nothingilikemore, #11 Big Flash, #3 Pikachu, #1 Packing Llaregyb

RACE 1: BEYOND ARTS APPRECIATION HANDICAP

#3 Jimson The Famous has looked a likely winner a number of times this season but just hasn’t managed to break through. The dirt is where the American-bred galloper is likely to get his win, and perhaps the 10-pound claim of Matthew Poon might be the key. #7 Soccer Brave won a 1650m dirt race like Phar Lap in December. He disappointed when stepped up to 1800m, but his two subsequent runs at the 1650m have been strong. Dropping to 1200m is an interesting move, but he does get Joao Moreira aboard and he will be charging late. #2 Forever Fun ran on the dirt three times two seasons back, when he was out of sorts in general. He is bred to handle the surface and he is getting to a mark where he should be competitive. Zac Purton is a positive jockey booking, too. #5 Shining Champion has run on this surface twice for two poor efforts but both times, he was unsuited. He can run into the placings.

RACE 2: EMPOWERING YOUTH HANDICAP

#8 Nice Fandango makes his debut after two trials for trainer Caspar Fownes. The Reward For Effort three-year-old looks to have plenty of natural ability and has drawn well down the straight course. He’s still learning but it wouldn’t surprise to see him bob up on debut. #6 Strathclyde looked like he had taken plenty of improvement for a six-month break ahead of his first run this season, where he was just fair over this course and distance. Second-up, though, he was able to race closer and he managed to gain the victory. He goes up six points in the ratings now, but he should also have taken further improvement and if so, he can win again. #2 Keep Moving didn’t handle the 1200m last time out after two good runs over 1000m. Returning to the minimum trip looks a positive, especially with blinkers applied for the first time. Much was expected of #11 Autopay at his last start in December, but he failed to fire; he was subsequently diagnosed with a tendon injury. His first two starts were good, however, and if he can return to that level he can be competitive.

RACE 3: AGE-FRIENDLY CITY HANDICAP

#14 Hurricane Kid is yet to win from 23 starts in Hong Kong, but he has run some creditable races on this surface, usually over the 1200m. He has only stepped up to 1650m on this surface once for a battling fifth, but that did come at the top of this class and he is now at the bottom. Matthew Poon’s 10-pound claim means that he only has 104 pounds on his back, so if he can get somewhere near the speed, he will be hard to run down. #8 Love Chunghwa has only had one go on the Sha Tin all-weather track and that came early in his tenure here. As a son of Elusive City, he should handle the surface and he is racing well enough to figure in the finish with the step up in trip. #7 Good Fit won over this course and distance to open his season in September. It might be too short for him now that he is up and running, but his last-start second over 1800m on this track was good and he will win again before the end of the season. #11 The Full Bloom has not filled a placing in 14 starts since a debut third in Hong Kong. He looks capable of breaking through before he drops to Class 5, but he does need a few things to go his way.

RACE 4: SPORTS FOR ALL HANDICAP

#6 Super Talent was on heels over the concluding stages last time, eventually finishing two lengths behind winner Happy Journey. He may not have won, but he should have been in the finish. The step up to 1650m should be suitable for him and he should get another nice run in transit. He’s worth including again. #2 Glenealy Prize has had two runs on this surface, sticking on well both times. The return to 1650m should prove a positive and he will be in this for a long way. #8 Travel Ambassador is racing consistently at the moment. He may not have much leeway at the ratings but with his consistency, he’s always a danger. #12 Super Euro Star flew in the final stages at his first attempt over the 1650m on dirt. He will have to settle a long way back from a wide gate again, but he will be storming home late.

RACE 5: THE HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB COMMUNITY TROPHY

#3 Western Express has won four of his eight starts in Hong Kong, but crucially, he remains unbeaten below a mile, winning once at 1200m and three times at 1400m. His last win was only narrow, but he did pass the honest New Asia Sunrise and given the way the track was playing, it was a better win than it appears. He has to carry plenty of weight again but he looks capable of winning once more here. #4 Limitless returns to the 1400m after failing to see out 2000m in the BMW Hong Kong Derby. He looks like he will make his name as a sprinter-miler here in Hong Kong, and this race appears suitable for him before he faces another stiff test in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize. #5 California Whip returns after a short freshen-up here. He looks to still have ratings points in hand and if he bounces back to form, he will be very competitive with only 119 pounds on his back. #2 Lucky Year has been just fair since winning the HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup at the start of the season. Matthew Poon’s 10-pound claim may prove crucial if he is to return to the winners’ circle.

RACE 6: HERITAGE CONSERVATION HANDICAP

#5 Bear Chum heads to the dirt for the first time after a couple of handy recent efforts. He is not bred for dirt, although he has trialled well on the track, and while he is probably better at 1000m, he has speed, which is a crucial factor over this surface. From the inside gate, he should jump and lead and he may prove tough to run down. #4 Money Money has run well twice over this surface to begin his Hong Kong career. He looks a likely winner in the coming weeks and deserves inclusion once again. #11 Starlot has shown glimpses of talent at times during his career, but he has also looked a little quirky. Last time out, he charged home for second to Happy Journey, and he might get conditions to suit him again. Next best, #8 Born Dragon, who may be on the way back down after peaking with two wins earlier this season. Nevertheless, he is still some chance again.

RACE 7: CULTURAL LEGACY HANDICAP

#8 No Money No Talk returns to the races for the first time in more than 10 months. He rarely runs a bad race over this course and distance and with the 10-pound allowance for Matthew Poon, he only has to carry 110 pounds. With a good draw in gate nine, he should be somewhere around the mark early – it just depends whether his fitness gives out late. #7 Fortune Bo Bo will have plenty of admirers as he aims to finally shed his maiden tag. He has run in strong form races behind the likes of D B Pin, Magic Legend and Bravo Watchman and it’s just a matter of time before he snags one. This looks his best chance yet. #4 Perfect Choice makes his debut here, having raced in Queensland as So Miraggio. He looked to have talent there and he has trialled well since arriving, but he does have the awkward inside alley to contend with here. Still, he is a chance. #1 Beauty Master ran well last time out and can be a place contender once again.

RACE 8: NURTURING ARTISTIC TALENT HANDICAP

#5 Super Man has simply had no luck in recent starts, yet he has still continued to run OK. He will be winning one very shortly, and perhaps the outside barrier here may not be a negative as he won’t necessarily be strung up again. He’s a leading player. #4 Star Of Yan Oi had been threatening to win one before just breaking through last time out. He is drawn to get a nice run in transit yet again from gate three and can be thrown in. #7 Arizona Blizzard is hard to catch – there’s no doubt he’s got the talent to go far higher than his 72 rating, but his behaviour prevents him from taking his mark further. Still, if he settles pre-race, then he’s more than capable of winning here. #10 Deja Vu won three races over this course and distance at the end of last season, but has only run over the 1200m on dirt twice this term. He can get into the minors.

RACE 9: ARTS IN THE COMMUNITY HANDICAP

#9 Green Dispatch has been bitterly disappointing at his last two runs. He steps back up to 1800m and finally gets up to the trip on this surface. With Dylan Mo’s 10-pound claim, he only has to carry 116 pounds, and perhaps this is the time for him to return to the winners’ circle at a price. #7 Vanilla was a 10-length winner over this course and distance in January and managed to back it up with a win over the 1650m in February. He returns after two months on the sidelines and he might be on his mark now, but if he gets a run to suit, there’s no reason he can’t make it three wins in a row. His stablemate #4 Sky King looks in need of the 1800m on this surface, which he finally gets here. He should enjoy a soft run from gate four and he will be around the mark. #11 Red Marvel is a reluctant winner, having only scored once in 26 runs in Hong Kong. Still, he is consistent on this surface and maybe the step up to 1800m could help him to a second victory.

RACE 10: THE POWER OF MUSIC HANDICAP

#2 Nothingilikemore may potentially be the most exciting horse on this card. A facile winner of all three of his starts to date, he makes his Class 2 debut here. He does have to carry 132 pounds but he looks to have plenty of ratings points in hand. The three-year-old would be a justified favourite for next year’s Hong Kong Classic Mile at this stage and this looks a logical next step on his way to bigger and better things. #11 Big Flash disappointed down the straight on debut but found in the manner of a nice horse to win second-up. The step up to 1400m looks a positive and he looks well-weighted against this company. #3 Pikachu had been threatening to win another race for the best part of two years before he finally broke through last start at Happy Valley. He can fill a minor spot again. It has been two and a half years since #1 Packing Llaregyb was rated below 90. With Matthew Poon’s claim, he only carries 123 pounds, which makes him look thrown in against this company. Still, he has to be taken on trust.