06/08/2017 10:14PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Sunday, June 11, 2017

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS

(Sunday, June 11, 2017)

 

RACE 1: #3 Encore Boy, #12 Lunar Zephyr, #6 Ocean Elite, #10 Tourbillon King

RACE 2: #1 Actuariat, #5 Fortune Brothers, #9 Snowhooves, #12 Noble Buddies

RACE 3: #3 Silly Buddies, #7 Respect, #9 Giddy Giddy, #8 Corre Rapido

RACE 4: #2 Industrialist Way, #9 Garlic Yeah, #11 Audacity, #3 Best Reward

RACE 5: #3 Infinity Endeavour, #2 Such A Happiness, #12 Po Ching Treasure, #1 Sichuan Boss

RACE 6: #11 Super Junior, #10 Fantastic Eight, #5 Master Albert, #3 Malmsteen

RACE 7: #2 Limitless, #5 Beat The Clock, #3 Lucky Ever, #4 Adventurer

RACE 8: #1 Perpetual Treasure, #10 Pakistan Baby, #5 Harbour Alert, #8 Open House

RACE 9: #3 Classic Emperor, #5 Regency Bo Bo, #12 Hard Ball Get, #1 Sunny Way

RACE 10: #5 Granite Belt, #13 Club Life, #14 Unicron Jewellery, #9 Smiling Charm

 

RACE 1: HKU FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE HANDICAP

#3 Encore Boy really impressed two starts back when just collared late by the promising Sight Leader. However, last start, he was awkward to jump from an already difficult gate and his race was effectively done from that point on. He needs to improve his manners at the barriers, but if he jumps well under Zac Purton from gate 11, he’s the one to beat. #12 Lunar Zephyr was just edged out by Zero Hedge two weeks back. With Matthew Poon jumping aboard, he now carries only 109 pounds and that makes him a huge danger here. #6 Ocean Elite will be aiming to continue trainer Chris So’s good record with debutants this season here. The handler has already had Bravo Watchman, Sight Leader and Relentless Me win first time out this term, all with Joao Moreira in the saddle, and Ocean Elite’s trials have suggested that he does have ability. However, he might still need a run or two under his belt. #10 Tourbillon King ran OK two back but he has otherwise performed poorly. Still, he might be one who could drastically improve here, with Jack Wong taking seven pounds off his back.

 

RACE 2: HKU FACULTY OF DENTISTRY HANDICAP

#1 Actuariat showed a first glimmer of form over this course and distance two back, before again failing on turf last start – although not as badly as he had been throughout most of his career. He drops into Class 5 for the first time here and he gets a major jockey upgrade with Zac Purton jumping aboard. This looks a chance for him to break through. #5 Fortune Brothers was sent off favourite last start with Joao Moreira jumping on after striking form two starts ago, but he bumped the running rail and he couldn’t come into a race dominated from the front by Giddy Giddy. He must be taken on trust but if he runs up to his performance from two back, he can get into the finish. #9 Snowhooves was second in that Giddy Giddy race. He is a tough horse to catch, but if everything falls into place for him in the run, he can get into the finish. #12 Noble Buddies has been bitterly disappointing throughout his Hong Kong career, but he does get into this race with only 103 pounds and if he is ever going to win a Hong Kong race, it will be here.

 

RACE 3: HKU FACULTY OF BUSINESS & ECONOMICS HANDICAP

#3 Silly Buddies has had a long career since he was sent out even-money favourite in a Class 3 on HKIR day in 2013, only to be edged out by a handy nag by the name of Aerovelocity. It has taken a long time for him to return to Class 4, and he has only run a bold race once in five runs back in the grade. However, he returns to the dirt 1200m where he has won two times and placed on four more occasions from 10 starts. Also, Joao Moreira jumps aboard from a good draw, so the signs point to the chestnut returning to the winners’ circle. #7 Respect is hard to catch but he gets Matthew Poon’s claim here, which takes him down to 126 pounds. That will make him dangerous if things go his way. #9 Giddy Giddy is going to struggle to win in Class 4 but he has natural speed, such an asset on this surface, and if he is unchallenged he could be hard to run down. #8 Corre Rapido has been very plain in two starts to date and has looked a quirky horse in the mornings. Still, there is talent there, so if he decides to put it all in, he could bob up out of nowhere.

 

RACE 4: HKU FACULTY OF MEDICINE HANDICAP

#2 Industrialist Way is an infrequent winner but he is a horse that has found his way into the top four on more occasions than not in his 52 starts. It was a year on Friday since he last won, that victory coming at Happy Valley in Class 3. His record in Class 4 is strong and the 10-pound claim of Matthew Poon gets him to a place in the weights where he should be very competitive. #9 Garlic Yeah disappointed last start but he had been building a solid record over these longer trips before that, including a victory over this distance in February in Class 5 and a narrow course and distance defeat in March. He shapes as a horse best suited by a senior rider, so the switch back to Chad Schofield looks a plus. He will be competitive. #11 Audacity has improved at his last three starts down in Class 5. He returns to Class 4 now, where he has struggled in the past, but he never tackled these sorts of distances against these horses so with only 111 pounds on his back for jockey Derek Leung, he will be a force to be reckoned with. The penny seems to have dropped with #3 Best Reward in recent starts as he has put together three wins in a row. He might be near his mark and he has had everything to suit in his last couple, but there’s no reason it won’t work out for him again.

 

RACE 5: UNIVERSITY HALL HANDICAP

#3 Infinity Endeavour is yet to run a bad race, but he still looks to be putting it all together. The blueblood should relish every inch of the mile and he will be hard to beat now with the step up to 1600m. #2 Such A Happiness is another who looks to have plenty of potential, but he still does little things wrong in his races. He will go back from his wide gate and with Matthew Poon aboard, he only has to carry 120 pounds. However, he might need luck to fall his way to figure. #12 Po Ching Treasure has now had 38 starts in Hong Kong without a win, and has not made it into the placings this season. However, his last two runs have been OK and he might be on the brink of finally breaking through down at the bottom of Class 4, even if the 1600m is short of his best. #1 Sichuan Boss looked like he had come to life three back with a good effort over the Sha Tin 1200m, but his last two runs have been moderate. He gets the drop into Class 4 now and he looks the type who can improve quickly.

 

RACE 6: HKU FACULTY OF SCIENCE HANDICAP

#11 Super Junior improved out of sight at his second start to win over the Sha Tin straight 1000m at 166-1. He has not disgraced with two good seconds since, proving that win was no fluke. He now tackles Class 3 for the first time but he looks to be improving and with only 115 pounds on his back from a good draw, he can figure. #10 Fantastic Eight is another who has been beaten at his last two starts, having broken through on debut, but both efforts were creditable and he looks to be heading higher. The galloper with the choppy stride should push forward and he will be around the mark for a long way. There is every chance #5 Master Albert starts favourite after a number of impressive barrier trials. He clearly has talent but he might be a horse worth watching here. #3 Malmsteen has been poor this season after winning three races last term to push his rating well into Class 2 territory. He returns to Sha Tin now with Matthew Poon jumping aboard to take his weight down to 118 pounds. If he can get near the lead from the inside gate, he could be a force to be reckoned with.

 

RACE 7: THE HONG KONG UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE CUP

Royal Ascot winner #2 Limitless has his first start for his new trainer Caspar Fownes here, having had five starts for Peter Ho. The horse is very quirky and struggles to settle at times, but he looked better in a recent trial behind his rivals in this race in Beat The Clock and Adventurer. If he gets a solid tempo, expect him to come over the top late. #5 Beat The Clock tries Class 2 company for the first time here, having not raced in three months. He has been a model of consistency this season, although he has still looked far from a finished product. He will jump favourite, and while he is almost certain to be around the mark, he might be worth opposing with Limitless. #3 Lucky Ever has been just fair in two runs back from a leg injury. The step up to 1400m looks a plus now and he can find his way into the placings. #4 Adventurer is an 1000m specialist who on paper looks likely to struggle with 1400m. However, he might skip away with an easy lead and if so, he’s one to ignore at your own peril.

 

RACE 8: HKU FACULTY OF ENGINEERING HANDICAP

#1 Perpetual Treasure returns to Class 3 here for the first time in over a year. He has plenty of natural speed, something which 10-pound claimer Matthew Poon is sure to take advantage of from the outside gate. With only 123 pounds on his back, he will be lethal against this sort of company. #10 Pakistan Baby missed the start by six lengths or so last start, so his effort to close into second, beaten only a length and a half, was admirable. He has been racing in good form of late and is sure to be around the mark again. #5 Harbour Alert has been close to breaking through on this surface but just hasn’t been able to break through. It is likely to come at some point soon, so he’s worth including in all exotics. #8 Open House improved markedly at start three at Happy Valley, finishing midfield. He might still be acclimatising, but he is not the worst horse to include underneath.

 

RACE 9: HKU FACULTY OF ARTS HANDICAP

It has proven a bonanza opposing Regency Bo Bo in recent starts and it might be worth opposing him again. This time, we are looking to the returning #3 Classic Emperor. He generally finds the 1400m a bit sharp, but at what is his first start since February, he can get into the finish over this trip, particularly with a kind draw in gate two. #5 Regency Bo Bo is some chance again, obviously, with the most notable factor being the addition of blinkers. He looks a horse in desperate need of blinkers, but for a horse that is already a bit unsteady at the gates, blinkers could be a disaster in the early stages. It is worth watching him again. #12 Hard Ball Get has not won in Class 3 from 20 starts, but he returns to the grade after a last start Class 4 triumph. With Matthew Poon’s claim, he only carries 110 pounds, 23 pounds less than last start, and he should get a cosy run from gate one, so he’s worth including. #1 Sunny Way has come around at his last three starts and is racing in good heart. He can get into the placings again.

 

RACE 10: HKU SPACE HANDICAP

#5 Granite Belt is still acclimatising to Hong Kong life after two starts. However, his last run was better than it looks on paper, going to the line under a throttlehold as he was tight for room over the last 100 metres. He might still need more time but the switch to Sha Tin appears a plus and he has a good draw with Irish strongman Neil Callan engaged. He is worth a play. #13 Club Life is no star but he finally broke through for the first time in two and a half years last start. He will likely go forward with only 106 pounds on his back, thanks to Matthew Poon’s claim, and he will be in it for a long way. #14 Unicron Jewellery returns after a long break, having not raced since New Year’s Day. He still looked a weak galloper earlier this season, needing time to strengthen up, and while he has looked good in his trials, it might be worth watching him here. #9 Smiling Charm has been consistent enough since stepping up to Class 3 and his effort to charge into second last start was admirable. He can run another bold race.