11/17/2016 12:03PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016)

RACE 1: #11 World Record, #2 Amazing Feeling, #5 Game Of Fun, #4 Noble De Love
RACE 2: #7 Money Boy, #3 Regency Bo Bo, #1 Bolshoi Ballet, #6 Jumbo Luck
RACE 3: #5 Autumn Gold, #4 Xinjiang Yarn, #7 Good Fit, #14 Polymer Luck
RACE 4: #7 Full Glory, #14 Easy Hedge, #11 Allcash, #2 General Sherman
RACE 5: #14 Volitation, #9 Aerospeed, #4 Winner’s Way, #3 Green Card
RACE 6: #9 Eastern Express, #3 Military Attack, #2 Blazing Speed, #1 Designs On Rome
RACE 7: #3 Beauty Only, #8 Sun Jewellery, #5 Beauty Flame, #4 Helene Paragon
RACE 8: #3 Lucky Bubbles, #4 Aerovelocity, #5 Amazing Kids, #2 Able Friend
RACE 9: #10 Pakistan Star, #9 Simply Invincible, #8 Merion, #3 Santa Fe Sun
RACE 10: #12 Mr Stunning, #7 Malmsteen, #3 New Asia Sunrise, #1 Bad Boy

RACE 1: TAI O HANDICAP

#11 World Record is racing well but he has been crying out for a good draw, having drawn a double-digit barrier at four of his last five starts. Finally, he has gate two, which should allow Chad Schofield plenty of options here. Expect him to be very tough to beat. #2 Amazing Feeling looked a potential Class 2 horse early in his career, when he finished second at his first three starts. However, he has failed to go on with it and it has only been at his last two that he has looked like finding that form again. He may never get to Class 2 but here, near the top of Class 4, he should be in the mix. #5 Game Of Fun still looks to be putting it all together but he has talent and it won’t be long until he breaks through. This race certainly looks the most suitable contest he’s tackled so far, with the step up to 1400m on turf. Next best, #4 Noble De Love, who did enough on debut to suggest that he will be competitive here.

RACE 2: SHA LO WAN HANDICAP

A fascinating contest with four first-starters and a number of other promising types. Look to #7 Money Boy to make a winning debut here. The John Size-trained son of Hinchinbrook has trialled well, both in Australia and here in Hong Kong, and he looks a horse that will quickly put Class 4 behind him. The gate is slightly awkward, but he should press forward anyway. #3 Regency Bo Bo is likely to be the one coming at him late. He was very impressive on debut, showing a nice turn of foot and a bit of fight, and he looks a horse with plenty of promise. #1 Bolshoi Ballet will be some chance dropping into Class 4 for the first time and does have a plum gate too, while another debutant in #6 Jumbo Luck  has been hit and miss at the trials but does also look to have potential.

RACE 3: TUNG CHUNG HANDICAP

#5 Autumn Gold has been racing well since switching to David Ferraris over the off-season. He was withdrawn from an intended start on dirt on November 2 with coughing, but he is looking well in the mornings and he is on a very winnable mark currently. #4 Xinjiang Yarn has been in good form this term, winning his first-up run before finishing a half-length second last time out. His runs have been well spaced and he looks to be responding well. The 1800m might be some small query but he maps well and he will be hard to beat. #7 Good Fit returns to turf after two very good runs on dirt. He might be just that little bit better on dirt, but he bears close watching regardless. #14 Polymer Luck returns to Class 4 after two good runs in Class 5. He makes for an interesting candidate with only 117 pounds on his back and Silvestre de Sousa riding.

RACE 4: NGONG PING HANDICAP

#7 Full Glory made up significant ground first-up at Happy Valley to finish a nice fourth. The step up to 2000m is a big plus and he might be a good betting proposition despite drawing awkwardly at arguably the toughest start in Hong Kong racing. #14 Easy Hedge has conversely drawn the inside here, but he has been slightly disappointing overall. He looked a horse that would be pushing up into Class 2, not on the verge of falling back to Class 4. Still, with no weight on his back and with the prospect of an easy trip, he can’t be dismissed. #11 Allcash is drawn to give a good sight again and is likely to be on speed, while #2 General Sherman’s last start needs to be forgiven when he was impeded slightly by a fall and his prior form would put him squarely in the frame here.

RACE 5: MUI WO HANDICAP

#14 Volitation was a good winner in Class 4 second-up this season and wasn’t disgraced at his first attempt in Class 3 last time out. He has once again drawn well, and with little pace engaged, perhaps he can control the race from in front. #9 Aerospeed might need a bit more speed engaged, but he is racing like a horse who will be in the winners’ circle very shortly and he has a devastating turn of foot on his day. #4 Winner’s Way caused a minor upset winning first time out and will be one to watch with natural improvement. Next best, #3 Green Card, who needs absolutely everything to go right and may not be suited from the inside but does get the services of visiting Australian rider Hugh Bowman.

RACE 6: G2 LONGINES JOCKEY CLUB CUP

A race that can be billed as a clash of the old guard, who are probably over the hill but can still run to a very high standard on their day, and the new brigade, who are yet to prove they are up to this class. Taking a chance with one of the young guns in #9 Eastern Express, who looks hopelessly weighted under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race. He has proved frustrating, in that he clearly has talent but doesn’t seem to be putting his best foot forward. Still, trainer John Size is a master and he has waited until the best possible moment – this race – to apply the blinkers to this son of Fastnet Rock. The booking of strongman rider Brett Prebble is another plus, too. Don’t be surprised to see him win his way into the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup and a clash with Maurice, A Shin Hikari and the like. #3 Military Attack goes into this race first-up as he enters what is likely to be his final campaign. He has placed in this race the last three years, including a win last year, and he has trialled well enough to suggest he might have one last hurrah left in him. #1 Designs On Rome and #2 Blazing Speed ran the quinella in the G2 Sha Tin Trophy over 1600m fresh. Both have to carry a five-pound penalty, and the potential race shape looks more favourable to Blazing Speed. However, if either performs strongly here without winning, they will be right on track for December.

RACE 7: G2 BOCHK WEALTH MANAGEMENT JOCKEY CLUB MILE

This race will depend on how the speed shapes up. If they go solidly out in front, then expect #3 Beauty Only to be finishing over the top of them. He is a better horse than his record in Hong Kong (five from 22) suggests. He is in terrific form this preparation, finding the line strongly at both starts behind Joyful Trinity in the G3 Celebration Cup (1400m) and Designs On Rome in the G2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m). With even luck in running, he will be winning this and putting himself forward as a Hong Kong Mile chance. If they don’t go too hard, then it might be #8 Sun Jewellery putting himself forward. One can’t help but think he will be better in a month’s time and that he is ticking over solidly, but he will be much improved for his first-up run and a recent trial was very good. Expect better from #5 Beauty Flame – he simply went too slowly out in front last time out, when he would have been better leading them along at a more solid tempo and trying to slip away on the turn. He did beat Able Friend in this race last year. #4 Helene Paragon returned to form in the G3 Ladies’ Purse (1800m) last time out and with that extra run under his belt, may be primed to find his best here.

RACE 8: G2 BOCHK WEALTH MANAGEMENT JOCKEY CLUB SPRINT

All being equal, this looks a race for #3 Lucky Bubbles to lose after his tremendous return to win the G2 Premier Bowl (1200m). There were fitness concerns about him going in, but he still sprinted strongly and he looked to have plenty left in the tank too. He looks a Group 1 winner-in-waiting, and it is likely that he will start favourite for the Hong Kong Sprint after this. #4 Aerovelocity was tremendous first-up when third in the Premier Bowl. He’s an eight-year-old now so is taking longer to get ready, but he appears to be right on target for December. #5 Amazing Kids has had two runs under his belt, having won the G3 National Day Cup (1000m) down the straight before his second to Lucky Bubbles last time out. The others likely have more improvement in them, but he will still be in the mix. Next best is a toss-up between two first-up gallopers in #2 Able Friend and #9 Strathmore. If Able Friend is even 60% of his best, he gets the nod, but there must be some serious queries about whether he can find his best again. Still, we will side with him, and if he is anywhere near right, he will be a massive force here with only 123 pounds on his back.

RACE 9: FAN LAU HANDICAP

All eyes will be on #10 Pakistan Star here as he attempts to atone for his last-start defeat at the hands of Mr Bogart. This race actually looks somewhat easier, as there doesn’t look to be the same progressive types in here. Stepping up to 1600m should be a big positive for him, and he should also get a more suitable pace shape. He should return to his winning ways. #9 Simply Invincible was very good last time out in Class 3, sitting off a solid tempo and racing away to win emphatically. He’s looked capable of winning in Class 2 but he still needs to prove it. #8 Merion should be suited now by a step up to 1600m, although the draw is awkward. Last time out, he went forward and weakened, so expect Nash Rawiller to ride him colder. #3 Santa Fe Sun is nearing a winning mark of two years ago and he has drawn the right spot to be competitive yet again.

RACE 10: CHEK LAP KOK HANDICAP

The last race of the feature card sees the return of last season’s champion griffin, #12 Mr Stunning. His debut win at Happy Valley was set to go down as the most electrifying win of last season, until he was usurped at the third-last meeting by Pakistan Star. He was even more impressive second time out, racing away for a big success, before two more measured performances – a game second to Tonyboy before another narrow win. He should be primed fresh and expect him to have made big strides in terms of maturity since his last outing. He will be very hard to beat with just 119 pounds on his back. #7 Malmsteen is a go-forward type suited to having Kei Chiong on his back. Expect him to be the one they all have to gun down. #3 New Asia Sunrise is one of the smallest horses in Hong Kong, weighing in at under 1000 pounds, but the nuggety, baldy-faced chestnut is also one of the more game horses trained out of Sha Tin and will likely be suited from gate four with Gerald Mosse aboard. Next best, #1 Bad Boy, who remains some query around a bend and has drawn wide but also looks a horse headed for triple figures.