03/23/2017 11:07AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Sunday, March 26, 2017

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS

(Sunday, March 26, 2017)

 

RACE 1: #1 Aeroluminance, #6 High Speed Metro, #7 My Folks, #11 Win Chance

RACE 2: #8 Good Choice Ahead, #2 Argentum, #7 Golden Achiever, #3 Ashkiyr

RACE 3: #8 Sunshine Universe, #12 Both Lucky, #13 Gallant Rock, #2 Jolly Convergence

RACE 4: #5 Sakura Fighter, #6 Bolshoi Ballet, #3 Bond Elegance, #4 Money Money

RACE 5: #9 Run Forrest, #3 Happy Meteor, #5 Arizona Blizzard, #2 Super Man

RACE 6: #1 Keep Moving, #4 Vital Spring, #10 Contribution, #5 Compassion Star

RACE 7: #6 Magic Legend, #2 Archippus, #1 Line Seeker, #7 House Of Fun

RACE 8: #6 Solar Hei Hei, #9 Rocketeer, #1 Winner's Way, #10 Baba Mama

RACE 9: #4 Top Laurels, #3 Flying Quest, #8 Daring Fit, #13 Morethanlucky

RACE 10: #13 Penang Hall, #1 Ishvara, #8 Super Sixteen, #5 Go Beauty Go

 

RACE 1: ALBANY HANDICAP
#1 Aeroluminance caught the eye in a couple of runs in Class 4. He now gets down to Class 5 and steps up to 2000m, and while the gate is slightly awkward, he should go back and be finding the line strongly. #6 High Speed Metro won over this course and distance in November and was placed over the same Sha Tin 2000m in January. He has not raced in two months but expect him to be somewhere in the mix. #7 My Folks has been difficult to follow and has not lived up to expectations. Still, if he can reproduce the run which saw him finish second to High Speed Metro in November, he will be around the mark. #11 Win Chance is one of three runners for Almond Lee. He can pull ferociously, so Ben So will need to be at his best to get him to settle, but if he can drop the head, he is dangerous with only 111 pounds on his back.

 

RACE 2: ARBUTHNOT HANDICAP
#8 Good Choice Ahead looks a nice horse in the making, although we may not see his best until next season. The son of Fastnet Rock stormed home in two runs over the Happy Valley 1650m and the Sha Tin 1400m, before inexplicably returning to the Happy Valley 1200m last time out. He gets the blinkers back on, he gets a suitable course and distance and it wouldn’t surprise to see him running home strongly to score here. #2 Argentum marks the first Hong Kong ride of Matthew Poon, who arrives in Hong Kong with the weight of expectation on his shoulders. He took South Australia by storm, but riding at Morphettville and riding at Sha Tin are two different experiences. He gets a fairly straightforward horse to begin his Hong Kong career, and his 10-pound claim will be crucial for a horse who looks like he might be near his mark. Expect him to be around the mark. #7 Golden Achiever is some query at 1600m, as he has always shaped as more of a sprinter, but he gets the blinkers on to try and help him settle and he should get a soft run from gate three. He’s worth inclusion. #3 Ashkiyr may find the 1600m too short but he will be running on at the end.

 

RACE 3: CAINE HANDICAP
#8 Sunshine Universe trialled well before his debut and lived up to those efforts with a closing fourth behind Magic Legend over this course and distance last month. He will likely get back again despite the good gate of 13 over the straight 1000m, but if Olivier Doleuze can navigate a path, he will prove hard to beat. #12 Both Lucky might be back in the pack too, as is his usual racing pattern, but with Matthew Poon’s claim, he only carries 106 pounds and his last run over this course and distance was enough to suggest he can get into the placings. #13 Gallant Rock is drawn slightly awkwardly, but he may just have sufficient speed to get across to the outside rail regardless. He should be a chance for a fair way, although he may also be looking for Class 4 now. #2 Jolly Convergence has not raced since finding form in December and January, running a strong second over the Happy Valley 1000m before sticking on for fourth over 1400m at Sha Tin. The straight 1000m represents a new challenge but he should race handy and he will be sticking on at the end.

 

RACE 4: CONDUIT HANDICAP
#5 Sakura Fighter was fair on debut over the Sha Tin 1200m on turf, running into fourth. He might be looking for further now, but as a son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, he should relish getting onto the dirt and with claimer Dylan Mo taking 10 pounds off, he only carries 116 pounds. If he can get a good run, he will be right in the mix. #6 Bolshoi Ballet is another one who needs luck in running. He will likely get back and run on again, but this looks the easiest race he’s struck in some time and he is getting down to a point where he should be winning. #3 Bond Elegance won at his second start over this course and distance but has been just fair in two runs since. He does get Joao Moreira aboard now though, so expect him to try and settle handle from the inside gate and that could prove the difference. Next best, #4 Money Money, who was OK on debut over the dirt 1200m. He should be greatly improved for that outing.

 

RACE 5: ELGIN HANDICAP
#9 Run Forrest really stormed home well at his first run on the Sha Tin dirt last time out. He will likely get back again but there appears enough speed without it being too hot, and he should be coming home strongly late. #3 Happy Meteor is now below a mark where he was able to win last season. With Matthew Poon’s claim, he looks well suited, especially if he can maintain an uninterrupted run around the field. #5 Arizona Blizzard takes money every start, having gone off under 3/1 at his last five starts for only one win. He gets himself hot and bothered pre-race and he’s not the easiest ride, so he’s a horse always worth taking on. He must be included because he will likely be around the mark, but oppose him on a win line. #2 Super Man returns to the 1200m on the dirt, a course and distance over which he is unbeaten this season. He should jump out and settle handy from gate two and will be in the mix late.

 

RACE 6: GLENEALY HANDICAP
A tough race to decipher with a number of lightly-raced types reappearing here. #1 Keep Moving was strong in winning on debut and then only found big-priced Super Junior too good last time out. The form has stood up out of that race with Strathclyde and Super Junior running 1-2 down the straight last week. Keep Moving does have to shoulder 133 pounds but looks to be headed for Class 3 in no time at all and should be hard to beat here. #4 Vital Spring had caught the eye making ground into second at start two before a one-paced second to Shamal last time out. His problem appears that he doesn’t have much acceleration, but he does have talent and he should be around the mark again. #10 Contribution has improved at his last two starts at Happy Valley over 1200m. He now returns to the Sha Tin 1200m, where he only ran once, but it looks more suitable than the 1400m at this stage of his career. #5 Compassion Star stayed on well in his debut down the straight. He looks like the bend and the 1200m should be right up his alley and he’s worth including.

 

RACE 7: DUDDELL HANDICAP
#6 Magic Legend has been impressive in two starts over the Sha Tin straight 1000m, taking his rating from 71 to 90 in two starts. He won around a bend over 1200m in Australia, but it remains to be seen if he is simply superior over the straight 1000m or if he can take his talent to the 1200m. If he can, he will be very hard to beat here. #2 Archippus and #1 Line Seeker both line up for trainer Paul O’Sullivan. They look fairly evenly matched, so it might be worth following jockey Zac Purton’s lead and side with Archippus as the pick of the O’Sullivan runners. He has been a model of consistency this preparation, although only winning once, and he has got to a mark he never looked capable of reaching last season. From gate four, he should get a soft run and he can produce once again. Line Seeker has never reached the level he looked capable of achieving early in his career, with breathing problems hindering his progression. Still, he’s on the cusp of triple figures and he probably has one more win left in him near the top of Class 2. Next best, #7 House Of Fun, who has mixed his form a little bit but clearly has ability on his day, evidenced by two big wins at his last three starts.

 

RACE 8: THE LUSITANO CHALLENGE CUP
#6 Solar Hei Hei has had circumstances against him or has struck bad luck at his last four starts. He ran a solid second on speed behind subsequent Hong Kong Derby seventh Prawn Baba last time out and looks even better suited in this race with Matthew Poon taking 10 pounds off. If the apprentice has not broken his Hong Kong maiden by this race, expect him to go very close to achieving the feat here. #9 Rocketeer makes his Hong Kong debut here after winning one of his eight starts in Australia. However, he was also placed twice in stakes races, while he has form around horses like Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc and Randwick Guineas winner Inference. Last weekend’s Hong Kong Derby winner Rapper Dragon won this race last year as a three-year-old, although he did already have a number of runs under his belt. Still, expect Rocketeer to be competitive here before proving a Derby contender in 2018. #1 Winner's Way was on this year’s classic path, running a solid fourth in the Hong Kong Classic Mile before finding a strongly-run 1800m a bridge too far in the Hong Kong Classic Cup. He has been freshened slightly and should run another solid race here. #10 Baba Mama has a strong turn of foot but is now at a point in the ratings where he needs luck to go his way to score. He does have Joao Moreira aboard but he will end up a long way back from gate 12.

 

RACE 9: ICE HOUSE HANDICAP
#4 Top Laurels made a nice impression in a debut third to High Five. He should have come on for that effort, he has trialled well since, and this looks a good race for him at his second Hong Kong start. #3 Flying Quest arrives as a winner of two of his eight starts in New Zealand. He doesn’t look to have too much room to move on his starting mark of 76, but he has trialled well and the 10-pound claim of Matthew Poon will help him in his quest to win at his Hong Kong debut. #8 Daring Fit has been remarkably consistent with three wins and three placings from his last six starts. He’s another who might be near his mark but with the better gate, he is sure to have his supporters and he will prove tough to pass. #13 Morethanlucky has run well in two starts to date. He should get a soft run from gate three under Karis Teetan and should be around the mark.

 

RACE 10: OLD BAILEY HANDICAP
#13 Penang Hall has been knocking on the door in recent starts after dropping into Class 4. He was crying out for a good gate, which he got last time out, and he was best of the closers in a race dominated by leader G-One Lover. He has to deal with tougher company here but the 10-pound claim for Matthew Poon means he only has to carry 105 pounds, so he should be hard to beat with such a light weight. #1 Ishvara has never missed the board in nine starts in Class 3, stretching back three seasons. He gets a major jockey upgrade to Zac Purton and from the good gate, he should prove a major contender. #8 Super Sixteen has been impressive in his three starts to date, winning on debut over 1200m, finishing a strong second to Lucky Wan Feng at start two before finishing a distant third to rising star Nothingilikemore last time out. The mile may be stretching Super Sixteen’s stamina but it is worth a try and he does get Joao Moreira aboard from gate three. #5 Go Beauty Go has put three wins together from his last four starts. He looks like he’s still six months away from his peak and he might be nearing his mark, but the claim for Jack Wong should help him to stick on.