10/20/2016 10:46AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016)

RACE 1: #7 Consistent, #5 Flying Captain, #1 Planet Giant, #6 Sledge Hammer
RACE 2: #9 Noble De Love, #10 Clever Spirit, #8 Double Down, #5 Bossiee
RACE 3: #8 Smiling Charm, #7 Dragon Warrior, #5 Spicy Kaka, #4 Divine Diya
RACE 4: #10 Namjong Invincible, #6 Mr Picasso, #1 Home Run, #5 Superior Boy
RACE 5: #8 Flying Moochi, #11 Perpetual Treasure, #6 Eroico, #3 Wah May Friend
RACE 6: #13 Jing Jing Win, #3 Love Shock, #11 Roundabout, #6 Favouritism
RACE 7: #9 Thewizardofoz, #12 Blizzard, #2 Aerovelocity, #4 Amazing Kids
RACE 8: #6 Baba Mama, #5 California Joy, #3 Simply Invincible, #4 Unicorn
RACE 9: #6 Beauty Flame, #9 Sun Jewellery, #1 Beauty Only, #10 Joyful Trinity
RACE 10: #9 Eastern Express, #8 Dynamism, #2 Packing Llaregyb, #3 Renaissance Art

RACE 1: PARMIGIANI EXCELLENT HANDICAP

#7 Consistent ran a number of nice races on dirt at the bottom of Class 4 and it is slightly surprising that it has taken so long to return him to the surface. The booking of Joao Moreira is another positive indicator and expect him to break through for his first Hong Kong win. #5 Flying Captain has run just the one good race in his time in Hong Kong but it was over this course and distance, so don’t be surprised to see him in the mix again from a good draw. #1 Planet Giant goes forward and was lethal at his one run in Class 5 on this surface. #6 Sledge Hammer could improve at his first start for his new trainer with Sam Clipperton aboard from the inside gate.

RACE 2: ZENITH EXCELLENT HANDICAP

An interesting race with a couple of fascinating first-starters. #9 Noble De Love has trialled very strongly and looks tuned up for this. Douglas Whyte jumps aboard and he should get a race run to suit. #10 Clever Spirit is best of the raced brigade after a good second last time out. He’s drawn a better gate and should get a soft run. #8 Double Down, in time, will be the better of the two debutants by the looks of it, but he looks like he might need some more time to develop. Next best, #5 Bossiee, who seems to be rounding into form again.

RACE 3: PIAGET EXCELLENT HANDICAP

#8 Smiling Charm had just the one start last term for a seventh to Multimax in a race where he was one of the only horses to make significant ground. His trials since have been good and he can make a winning return. #7 Dragon Warrior just peaked on his effort at his first start. He sticks to 1400m for his second start, with Joao Moreira maintaining the ride, and he looks to have come on significantly for his debut. #5 Spicy Kaka ran home well on debut and looks well poised to figure again, while #4 Divine Diya is a shadow of his former self but could still sneak into the placings.

RACE 4: FRANCK MULLER EXCELLENT HANDICAP

#10 Namjong Invincible always looked like a horse that would be better with a campaign under his belt. He returns for a second season here and with added maturity, he should be winning his way out of Class 4 in no time at all. #6 Mr Picasso has the most ability of any horse in this race, but he’s also extremely quirky and as such is one who is always risky at short odds. #1 Home Run is consistent and is likely to be rattling home late, while #5 Superior Boy is a winner in waiting after a number of nice efforts.

RACE 5: H. MOSER & CIE. EXCELLENT HANDICAP

#8 Flying Moochi creates plenty of interest going to dirt for the first time. He’s a speedy conveyance, a trait that always gets a big tick on the dirt, and with the claim of apprentice Dylan Mo he gets down to 111 pounds. His most recent trial on the surface, he split some of Hong Kong’s best dirt horses in Super Jockey, Circuit Land and Gun Pit, so he is worth a chance here. #11 Perpetual Treasure gets Joao Moreira aboard and his last six runs on the dirt have all been placings, including two victories. He can’t be overlooked. #6 Eroico is consistent and worth including in all exotics, while #3 Wah May Friend found form as a surprise sprinter at the end of last season and can go on with it on dirt. 

RACE 6: A. LANGE & SOHNE EXCELLENT HANDICAP

One of the most exciting battles of the day. #13 Jing Jing Win looked like a ready-made racehorse at his first start last month with a runaway victory in Class 4. He’s long had wraps on him – he was the most expensive lot at the Hong Kong International Sale in March, he had impressed in trials and trackwork, and he had jockeys battling to get the ride. On his first start, the hype looks justified. A recent barrier trial would have only helped him and he is going to be mighty hard to beat with 119 pounds to carry in Class 3. If one can beat him, it may be #3 Love Shock. A very promising son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, he will eventually want to stretch out in trip – he could even be a Derby horse. Still, he was very good last season and should have won three from four. #11 Roundabout has looked a different horse this season, while the trials of debutant #6 Favouritism have been good, but this looks a race around the top two.

RACE 7: G2 PREMIER BOWL

This race looks set up for those progressive sprinters who get in well down in the weights. #9 Thewizardofoz is one of Hong Kong’s more polarising horses – some see him as a star in the making, others think he is overrated. Assuming he is a star in the making, he gets in very well carrying only 116 pounds and he will probably be best suited trained purely as a sprinter this campaign, rather than as a horse getting over some ground. #12 Blizzard was the hard luck story of the HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup on opening day, striking all sorts of trouble mid-race and charging home for third. With 113 pounds on his back, he’s a danger. If the real #2 Aerovelocity shows up, he’s capable of anything, but he is a bit quirky and does have to carry a lot of weight. Expect this race to bring him on significantly. Next best, #4 Amazing Kids, who really hit the line with purpose when winning the National Day Cup on October 1. He is right up in the weights now, as he should be, but he’s some chance again.

RACE 8: CARL F. BUCHERER EXCELLENT HANDICAP

#6 Baba Mama is an unassuming type but has emerged from obscurity to post three very impressive victories together. He has a swift turn of foot and looks suited now with the step up to a mile. He’s a potential Classic Mile contender, and while he’d need to improve significantly, he’s on the right path this far out. He did miss a run on October 1 with a poor scope but a trial since suggests that was nothing more than a momentary setback. He’s the one to beat. #5 California Joy has been touted in some quarters as a Derby contender, but his two runs this season have not set the world on fire – despite the fact he won his first-up run. He needs the speed to be on to be seen at his best. #3 Simply Invincible gets back to Class 3, where he was well suited last season, and was simply beaten by the pace last time out. He is another who needs a quicker tempo. #4 Unicorn is consistent and always has his supporters, so he merits consideration.

RACE 9: G2 ORIENTAL WATCH 55TH ANNIVERSARY SHA TIN TROPHY

A perplexing Group 2 race that could go any number of ways. At odds, keep an eye on #6 Beauty Flame. He ran a bold race first-up in the Celebration Cup when leading and holding down third. The tempo should be quite sedate, which will suit him. He’s always liable to show up in one of these races. #9 Sun Jewellery could be the forgotten horse somewhat, but he did win the Classic Mile and Classic Cup in nice style last season and his effort to win the Premier Cup in June was better than it looked on paper. #1 Beauty Only will be well suited once the set weights races roll around but is still a chance here, although he wants any rain from Typhoon Haima to steer clear, while #10 Joyful Trinity does merit respect but is worth taking on at too short a quote.

RACE 10: BULGARI EXCELLENT HANDICAP

#9 Eastern Express looks the day’s best bet as he returns in a Class 2 that has his name written all over it. He is a horse that looked to have stakes potential last season – his run in the Classic Cup, where he finished among a blanket finish alongside Sha Tin Trophy runner Sun Jewellery, QE II Cup winner Werther and Premier Bowl runner Blizzard, looks terrific for this. He may be the best-rated horse in Hong Kong currently, on proven form anyway, and the only slight query might be whether John Size has him fully screwed down for his first run of the season. #8 Dynamism was terrific fresh and David Ferraris’ trainees have generally been dynamic with a run under their belt this season. #2 Packing Llaregyb is always a chance in this sort of race, while #3 Renaissance Art was well beaten in a completely unsuitable race fresh and he can improve with a step up to 1800m.