04/03/2017 9:34AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, April 5, 2017

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SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Wednesday April 5, 2017)

RACE 1: #9 Friends Forever, #6 Jimson The Famous, #10 Manhattan Striker, #2 Giddy Giddy
RACE 2: #1 Glenealy Prize, #2 Winaswewish, #5 Je Pense, #7 Best Reward
RACE 3: #11 The Full Bloom, #9 Travel Ambassador, #8 Born Dragon, #3 Star Superior
RACE 4: #5 Holy Unicorn, #4 Five Stars Agent, #10 Soccer Brave, #11 Atomic Blast
RACE 5: #6 Super Talent, #4 Bolshoi Ballet, #8 Dr Race, #9 Horse Supremo
RACE 6: #7 Star Of Yan Oi, #12 Goal For Gold, #6 Easy Touch, #8 Giant Stars
RACE 7: #8 Perpetual Treasure, #1 D B Pin, #4 Fight Hero, #5 Pablosky
RACE 8: #4 Apollo's Choice, #9 Green Dispatch, #1 Friends Of Ka Ying, #7 King Genki

RACE 1: SUN TIN WAI HANDICAP

#9 Friends Forever has only won one of his 22 starts but has been good enough on the speed at his last two over the 1200m on turf. He hasn’t run to his best on this surface in the past, but he has never raced over 1200m on dirt and if he can race somewhere near the speed, he can score. #6 Jimson The Famous should have won by now on dirt but has been a massive disappointment. He has raced only once over this distance for a three-quarter length second two back, and with a good gate here, this shapes as his best chance to break through. #10 Manhattan Striker takes to the surface for the first time. He is inconsistent but he gets Joao Moreira aboard from gate two and he should be a chance. #2 Giddy Giddy just held on last week to score his first win over 1200m. He is one-dimensional and may struggle from gate 12, but if he can get across and lead uncontested, he will be a chance again.

RACE 2: SUN CHUI HANDICAP

#1 Glenealy Prize ran home well but couldn’t reel in Works Of Art last time out. He should get a similar run here and will be flying late once more. #2 Winaswewish has been a model of consistency this season on both the Happy Valley turf and the Sha Tin dirt. His two runs on this surface have produced placings, and if he gets a pace scenario to suit, he will be making good ground late. #5 Je Pense looked a horse destined for the bottom of Class 5 in his first five runs here in Hong Kong before two improved efforts at his last two. He may still be bound for Class 5 yet, but over 1800m on this surface, he can work through his motions and get into the placings. #7 Best Reward looked a logical selection when over this course and distance in Class 5 and despite being scrubbed along, he managed to stay on strongest to score. He’s a chance up in class now that he’s found winning form.

RACE 3: SHA KOK HANDICAP

#11 The Full Bloom really caught the eye on debut in Class 3, but has disappointed in 13 unplaced efforts since. It may be better to see him sprinting over the all-weather track, rather than racing over 1650m, but he should get a good run from gate five and he can break through here. #9 Travel Ambassador has run two solid races at his last two efforts on the dirt. He gets Zac Purton aboard now and if he can get a position from gate 10, he will be around the mark. #8 Born Dragon has won his last two races on this surface. He steps up to 1650m, where he was able to place in Class 5, but he shapes as though the sprint trip might be better for him. #3 Star Superior’s best efforts have come over this course and distance. He might be able to position closer from the inside gate and he might be able to get into the placings.

RACE 4: WO CHE HANDICAP

#5 Holy Unicorn has performed well in two runs for new trainer Almond Lee on both surfaces. From gate three, he should settle midfield under Neil Callan and if he can perform to the level he did two starts back, he will be hard to toss. #4 Five Stars Agent has run three solid races in Class 5. Joao Moreira jumps aboard now and he will likely jump favourite, but he is not entirely reliable and may be worth taking on. #10 Soccer Brave’s two runs over this course and distance have been very strong and from the inside gate, he should be a contender yet again. #11 Atomic Blast is not the most straightforward horse but he finally broke through last time out. He won’t get any favours from gate 14, unlike last start, but now he’s got the monkey off his back, perhaps he can double up.

RACE 5: MEI LAM HANDICAP

#6 Super Talent has only won twice, both off a higher mark than his current rating of 53, and he has been out of the winners’ circle for two years. He has never raced over this surface, although he has trialled very nicely on the dirt and his brother Archippus has won three times over the course and distance. He’s worth chancing in an open race. #4 Bolshoi Ballet has placed at two of his four runs since switching to the all-weather track. Joao Moreira jumps aboard for the first time, but he has to contend with the outside gate. Italian import #8 Dr Race is racing well this season but is yet to place. He should track the speed here and can chime in at the right time. #9 Horse Supremo’s wins have come when he is able to lead uncontested, but he has either been unable to match the speed or he has been restrained in recent starts. With Dylan Mo aboard, he should be able to jump out and push for the lead and he is one worth including in exotics.

RACE 6: LEK YUEN HANDICAP

#7 Star Of Yan Oi has performed well at his last five starts without winning, four under Zac Purton. He is very one-paced and the switch to Joao Moreira is not as potent as it would be with other riders, but he’s looking close to a win and should be able to break through here. #12 Goal For Gold is back up into Class 3 after a good run at the top of Class 4 last time out. This course and distance looks perfect for him, he just needs breaks to fall his way if he is to score. #6 Easy Touch was very impressive winning under Joao Moreira in Class 4 last time out. He has not been competitive in Class 3 yet and now finds himself in the middle of the grade, so it could be worth opposing him here. #8 Giant Stars only turns up occasionally, including once over this course and distance. He is worth including in exotics.

RACE 7: CHUN SHEK HANDICAP

#8 Perpetual Treasure has plenty of speed and he is perfectly suited to this surface. All three of his Hong Kong wins have come over this course and distance. With Joao Moreira aboard, he should be able to jump out, get a position somewhere near the lead and he can see off his more talented rivals. #1 D B Pin has earned his spot at the top of the weights through four wins and a second this season. He is still yet to prove that he can see out 1200m, although the way this track rides should help him, especially from the inside gate. He’s a major player but he’s by no means a good thing. #4 Fight Hero has won his last two at decent odds over this course and distance. He may be near his mark but given his recent run of form, he’s a chance again. #5 Pablosky has been fairly disappointing this season, but the return to 1200m is a plus and he should get a fairly easy time of things in transit.

RACE 8: LUNG HANG HANDICAP

#4 Apollo's Choice has only won once from 24 starts in Hong Kong. However, that previous win almost two years ago came off exactly the same mark on which he finds himself now. With a significant jockey upgrade to Zac Purton and a plum draw of four, this looks a perfect opportunity for him to break through. #9 Green Dispatch ran well in this race last year, coming off an 11th in the Hong Kong Derby. He won over the 1800m on turf in October off a slightly lower mark, and with the blinkers applied here, he can figure. #1 Friends Of Ka Ying is racing well currently, including a second over this course and distance last time out. He will be in the mix with strong rider Neil Callan the perfect engagement to get the most out of him. #7 King Genki looked well-primed to score last time out, but couldn’t hold off Sky King. He’ll be on the front end and prove tough to pass.