04/24/2017 11:19AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday April 26, 2017)

RACE 1: #2 Aeroluminance, #1 Super Sweet Orange, #9 Manhattan Striker, #3 Digital Pioneer
RACE 2: #1 Happy Rocky, #9 Garlic Yeah, #3 Allcash, #6 Autumn Gold
RACE 3: #3 Bolshoi Ballet, #9 Dr Race, #2 Empire Star, #5 Sunny Orient
RACE 4: #10 Victor Emperor, #3 Carefree Let Go, #5 Torney, #4 Master Viking
RACE 5: #1 Ambitious Pins, #10 Contribution, #3 Good Choice, #9 Soul Achiever
RACE 6: #1 Magical Beauty, #3 Land Grant, #9 Istanbul Bey, #2 Ten Flames
RACE 7: #3 You Read My Mind, #4 Beauty Kingdom, #7 King Mortar, #10 Wonderful Fighter
RACE 8: #8 General Iron, #2 Sea Jade, #12 Premiere, #1 Turf Sprint

RACE 1: GWANGJU HANDICAP

#2 Aeroluminance has been getting a long way back in his races, but he has found the line nicely at a number of recent runs. The drop in trip to 1650m looks a negative, but this is only the second single-digit gate he’s drawn all season (from eight starts) and subsequently, perhaps he will be able to settle closer. With a nice run, he’ll be a leading chance. #1 Super Sweet Orange has been racing consistently but just hasn’t been able to get that breakthrough yet. Joao Moreira is a positive booking, but gate 12 may make it difficult. Still, he’s one of the main players. #9 Manhattan Striker has only stepped up to the 1650m once, and he finished tailed out. However, his runs either side of that effort were good and he has run some OK races this season, so maybe he’s worth another chance with the step up in trip. #3 Digital Pioneer is still fairly immature but he did improve markedly last start at his first run in Class 5. This might still be too sharp for him, but he is worth a chance in the exotics.

RACE 2: DAEJEON HANDICAP

#1 Happy Rocky is out of form, but does drop in class here in this special 65-40 Class 4. He has no problems at 2200m, although he was beaten 10 lengths at the trip last time out, and the drop in class with Brett Prebble jumping aboard looks the perfect time to capitalise with him. #9 Garlic Yeah is racing in terrific form, having won two races at the city track before a bold run at Sha Tin over this trip where he was just beaten by subsequent winner Gorgeous Again. He sneaks in with 119 pounds and should prove the hardest to beat. #3 Allcash finished at the rear last start and has been a disappointment in Hong Kong, having now reached 23 starts without a win. However, he gets a significant jockey upgrade to Joao Moreira and from the good draw with the drop in class, he should be competitive here. #6 Autumn Gold has only won one from 51 in Hong Kong, breaking through in June 2014, but he has generally been racing OK this season and is surely near another victory.

RACE 3: DAEGU HANDICAP

#3 Bolshoi Ballet has done most of his recent racing on the dirt, but he has run OK on the turf before and now, off this mark, he should be able to be competitive. This looks his best chance to break through yet and he strikes a race that doesn’t look particularly strong. Italian import #9 Dr Race is yet to place this season but has been racing well enough to suggest that he will be winning before he drops into Class 5. Derek Leung replaced Brett Prebble, who is aboard Bolshoi Ballet, but Dr Race has drawn well and should be able to get a nice trail into the race. #2 Empire Star was at triple-figure odds on debut but managed to fly home to be beaten a head in what was a promising effort. Joao Moreira jumps aboard now but he will have to contend with barrier 10. #5 Sunny Orient has struggled to build on a good debut effort last season but his last run suggests he might be about to turn his form around.

RACE 4: THE ST GEORGE'S CHALLENGE CUP

#10 Victor Emperor finally broke through with a drop to Class 5 four starts ago, and he has been good in three efforts since without winning. He gets Joao Moreira back aborad here and with only 118 pounds on his back, he will prove hard to beat. #3 Carefree Let Go has only won one from 24 but he is below the mark he won off last season and his recent form has been solid enough. He should be in the mix. #5 Torney is still learning what the caper is about but he has been good enough in two efforts at Sha Tin. He returns to 1200m here with a bad gate but if he can take a step forward, he will be a player. #4 Master Viking’s rating still appears slightly too high, but he is a one-dimensional horse, so with Kei Chiong taking five pounds off, perhaps he can figure.

RACE 5: INCHEON HANDICAP

#1 Ambitious Pins had been luckless in a number of runs in Class 3 but instantly showed the benefit of a drop in grade last time out when running on into third at Sha Tin. The switch to Happy Valley looks a positive and with a good gate, perhaps he can settle midfield or just beyond, allowing him to come into the race sooner. #10 Contribution has ability but he is still doing small things wrong which prevent him from finding the winners’ circle. He has another good gate and does get Joao Moreira aboard with only 117 pounds on his back, so it only takes the penny to drop for him to break through. #3 Good Choice has been fairly consistent this season and has run a number of good races. This might be slightly sharp for him at this point but he did win off a similar mark over this course and distance earlier in the season. #9 Soul Achiever has been mixing his form but with the right set of circumstances, he can show up.

RACE 6: BUSAN HANDICAP

#1 Magical Beauty was a marvel last season, winning four races, three over this course and distance, to rise from Class 4 into Class 2. He disappointed to start the season, but has been good enough in five races since. He draws a better gate here and this looks a suitable race for him to return to his winning ways. #3 Land Grant is backing up after running fourth last Wednesday when looking a winning threat at the 400m. He should get another soft run here and can figure. #9 Istanbul Bey is finding form quickly and wasn’t beaten far last time out. If he can take another step forward, then there’s every chance he can get into the placings here. #2 Ten Flames is a two-time course and distance winner. He may be too highly rated and he does have an awkward gate, but he’s always liable to bob up.

RACE 7: THE KOREA RACING AUTHORITY TROPHY

#3 You Read My Mind has not won in two seasons, but a last-start second indicates that he is ready to return to winning form. He gets Jack Wong’s seven-pound claim again from a good gate, and he should be able to make his breakthrough shortly. #4 Beauty Kingdom is incredibly consistent, finishing in the top five at 14 of his last 15 starts. However, he is an infrequent winner with only one victory near the bottom of Class 3. He might be stuck on too high a rating now, but if things fall into place for him, he’ll be winning another one. #7 King Mortar has disappointed since winning at his third Hong Kong start in January. His rating is back within sight of that winning mark, so perhaps he can turn it around from a good gate under Sam Clipperton. #10 Wonderful Fighter is sure to be short enough with Joao Moreira aboard, but he is yet to prove that he can perform in the middle of Class 3.

RACE 8: SEOUL HANDICAP

#8 General Iron is second-up after a year’s break here, having caught the eye when making ground over the Sha Tin 1000m first-up. He has always been better-performed at Happy Valley, including two wins over this course and distance last season. He should get a good run from gate one and he can figure here. #2 Sea Jade is out to get an impressive sixth win for the season. His last run needs to be completely forgotten, as he pulled up with blood in the trachea after being restrained in the middle stages, but it might still be tough to bounce back with 132 pounds to carry. Nevertheless, he’s worth inclusion. #12 Premiere still looks to have points in hand, but he is also yet to prove that he can see out 1200m. With only 118 pounds on his back, though, he might be able to get into the placings. #1 Turf Sprint gains a run with the scratching of Jetwings. He mixes his form but he is more than capable of making his presence felt if he can get a good run from gate 12.