12/01/2016 5:50PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS

(Sunday December 4, 2016)

 

RACE 1: #5 Giddy Giddy, #1 Born Dragon, #4 Sledge Hammer, #6 No Laughing Matter

RACE 2: #11 Plenty Of Speed, #1 Dragon Harmony, #14 Dragon Glory, #9 Rainbow Gold

RACE 3: #4 Autopay, #9 Money Boy, #3 Hot Hot Pepper, #8 Good Companion

RACE 4: #1 Elite Spirit, #6 I’m The Won For U, #10 Hurricane Kid, #9 Game Of Fun

RACE 5: #2 Master Gold, #5 Expedite, #11 Flying Machine, #4 Sure Peace

RACE 6: #14 D B Pin, #6 Super Wise, #5 Lucky Wan Feng, #13 Fortune Bo Bo

RACE 7: #13 Soaring Wyvern, #7 Double Down, #4 Wisky, #6 World Record

RACE 8: #6 Deja Vu, #2 Northern Falls, #14 Go Go Win, #9 Red Marvel

RACE 9: #1 California Whip, #13 A Beautiful, #11 Hard Ball Get, #9 Fashion Maestro

RACE 10: #8 Malmsteen, #11 Team Fortune, #5 Dragon General, #10 Triumphant Jewel

 

RACE 1: ASHLEY HANDICAP

#5 Giddy Giddy is a horse with plenty of natural speed who runs on the dirt for the first time at his 28th start. While he is probably a better 1000m horse, speed is a lethal quality on the dirt and he does have Unbridled’s Song as his damsire, so the dirt might be his calling, particularly in Class 5. He is worth a chance. #1 Born Dragon runs in Class 5 for the first time and takes to the dirt for the second time. He looks a horse who really never should have got down to Class 5, but he is quirky and is still learning what the caper is about. The wide draw may make it tough but if he puts it all together he is more than capable of winning in the class. #4 Sledge Hammer returned to form first-up and gets Joao Moreira aboard, while #6 No Laughing Matter runs for the third time in a week and Zac Purton stick solid.

 

RACE 2: CAMERON HANDICAP

#11 Plenty Of Speed has been inconsistent this season but his best effort came over the 1200m on dirt. He’s only been beyond 1400m three times and has failed every time, but in a race where there is little speed, he could head forward and prove hard to catch over the 1800m. #1 Dragon Harmony gets Joao Moreira aboard again here, having run well a number of times this season. He would be best suited by jumping out and trying to lead from gate 13. #14 Dragon Glory has not won in two and a half years but has performed well in the past over this course and distance. He is at a mark where he can hardly fall any further and he should be in the mix. Next best, his stablemate #6 Commandant, who won this race by a short head last year, albeit off a lower mark.

 

RACE 3: CARNARVON HANDICAP

#4 Autopay was unlucky on debut down the straight, missing the start and striking trouble numerous times in the final 500 metres. He made nice ground late and should be suited by the step up to 1200m, especially with the good draw here. He can provide Derek Leung with his first win back from injury. #9 Money Boy ran strongly at his first start, sitting three wide with no cover and just peaking on his run at the 200m. He will be a big contender again with the experience under his belt. #3 Hot Hot Pepper is a little bit weak at the end of his races but in a race that isn’t particularly strong, he will likely be in the mix once more. First-starter #8 Good Companion has trialled well and has drawn an ideal gate here. He will improve for the run, but he could be a chance here.

 

RACE 4: GRANVILLE HANDICAP

#1 Elite Spirit returns to Class 4 for the first time in over a year. He has only raced on dirt once in Class 4 for one win, and it seems that he has been kept away from the all-weather track until he got down in class. Brett Prebble jumps on once again and he looks as though he has been primed for this. #6 I’m The Won For U has his first run for trainer Gary Ng, but he has been racing well this season and he looks set to break through before too long. Joao Moreira jumping aboard is a plus. #10 Hurricane Kid backs up off a solid fourth on the dirt last week and is always a chance in this sort of contest. #9 Game Of Fun still looks to be learning what the game is all about but he performed well on the dirt two back and can measure up yet again.

 

RACE 5: HANKOW HANDICAP

#2 Master Gold has been a different horse since switching to the dirt, winning once and hitting the board three others from four runs. He is right at the top of Class 4 now and is eligible for Class 3, but despite his wide gate, he does jump off the page as a major chance here. #5 Expedite’s last two runs over 1650m on dirt in Class 4 produced two wins in March and April. These are the types of races where he is at his best, and the son of Speightstown looks a strong chance again, particularly from gate three. #11 Flying Machine has won two in a row and rises in class now with Joao Moreira sticking solid. He looked good on dirt last time out and is likely capable of winning in Class 4. #4 Sure Peace creates interest back down in Class 4 and back on the dirt with Kei Chiong to ride. He will be in this for a long way.

 

RACE 6: THE PENINSULA GOLDEN JUBILEE CHALLENGE CUP

The day’s Class 3 feature down the straight looks intriguing, but in the end, most roads lead back to #14 D B Pin. John Size’s galloper broke through last time out, at least on paper, when he won by a neck at Happy Valley. However, this doesn't take into account his “win” in late October in the race that was later declared void, a race that he “won” by four lengths. Getting up to Class 3 looks a positive with only 116 pounds to carry, and he has drawn well near the grandstand rail. He is the one to beat. #6 Super Wise is a fascinating proposition here first time out, especially with Australian form that (at a stretch) ties into next weekend’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Super Wise won his only start at Flemington in June when he was known as Southerly Wind and trained by Mick Kent. That day, he beat So Si Bon by three lengths, a horse who ended up running fourth in the G1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and the G2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at his last two starts – finishing just behind Vase runner Big Orange at his last outing. Super Wise has had two trials ahead of his first Hong Kong start, and while it looks like he has been rushed slightly, he also looks a horse who should come to hand quickly. Fellow debutant #5 Lucky Wan Feng has also trialled well, winning three heats leading into this, while #13 Fortune Bo Bo just missed last time out and looks a major contender with just 118 pounds to carry.

 

RACE 7: MIDDLE HANDICAP

#13 Soaring Wyvern has been a horse who looked capable of winning a couple in a row once the penny dropped. Last start, he got within a half-length of Ka Ying Kid after settling well off the pace. He now looks as though he’s finally starting to get his act together, and with similar tactics likely to be employed here from barrier 10, expect him to be a major player. #7 Double Down has gone into the “next time” column at both starts so far. He’s still a work in progress, so he might be risky if he is too short, but he’s definitely one to watch as his campaign continues. #4 Wisky is still racing like he might need further, but he should be around the mark, while #6 World Record was very strong in victory last time out and he should not be underestimated even with an eight-point penalty.

 

RACE 8: MODY HANDICAP

This is a complex race to decipher. #6 Deja Vu won three races by narrow margins last season over the 1200m on the all-weather track. He was good last time out over 1650m on the surface and has trialled well since. It remains to be seen whether he can settle well enough on or near the speed to see the trip out, but in a race with limited speed, he might be the one to take advantage. Another who could be up in the firing line early is #2 Northern Falls, who doesn’t have great gate speed but who has been lethal before when allowed to bowl along on speed – he won a race last season by three lengths in this fashion. He was good from well back on the dirt two back, so he doesn’t have to go forward, but it could be in his best interests here. #14 Go Go Win is capable of going forward with no weight on his back, but he is yet to win in Class 3 from 22 attempts so he is a risky proposition. Next best #9 Red Marvel, who is racing well enough and gets Joao Moreira aboard from the inside gate.

 

RACE 9: NATHAN HANDICAP

#1 California Whip won only one of his five starts in England, when he was named Chief Whip and trained by Richard Hannon, but he was third in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot in June – a race that has produced a number of stakes performers in Hong Kong. He has trialled well and while he will eventually be better suited over further, he should be able to win very quickly off his current mark as he aims towards the four-year-old races. #13 A Beautiful has been a hard luck story this season, with nothing going his way at all. Last time out, he was checked badly at a crucial stage when he looked likely to race through and put himself in the race. The return to the Sha Tin 1400m looks a plus and he will be very hard to beat with only 114 pounds on his back. #11 Hard Ball Get gets Joao Moreira on his back and looks to be rounding into form, while #9 Fashion Maestro can be forgiven his first-up run and will be right in this if he finds his best.

 

RACE 10: SALISBURY HANDICAP

#8 Malmsteen creates interest at his first run on dirt. A speed influence that has trialled well on the surface, he looks the type who could find that extra few ratings points on the surface. In all likelihood, though, it comes down to two factors: what jockey Sam Clipperton decides to do and how the race shapes up around him. In his trial, the son of Beneteau looked as though he didn’t handle kickback too well, so he’d be best jumping out from gate three and leading – and then hoping he isn’t challenged on the speed. #11 Team Fortune is aiming to become the first horse to win four races this season after proving a revelation on dirt. He always looked to have plenty of talent, but it has taken him getting onto the dirt for him to show his best. He is well drawn and with only 121 pounds on his back, he will be hard to beat here. #5 Dragon General’s best has come over the straight 1000m but he performed well around a bend at Happy Valley last time out and a repeat will see him go close. Another 1000m specialist in #10 Triumphant Jewel has speed and could be a value inclusion for exotics at just his second 1200m run and his first dirt run at start 36.