02/13/2017 10:58AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, February 15, 2017


(Wednesday February 15, 2016)

RACE 1: #3 Ocean Roar, #8 Unleashed Dragon, #5 Hot Hot Pepper, #2 Beauty Connection
RACE 2: #4 Cheers Conqueror, #10 Flying Machine, #1 Grand Harbour, #5 Po Ching Treasure
RACE 3: #12 A Beautiful, #1 Divine Boy, #2 Friends Of Ka Ying, #6 Magical Beauty
RACE 4: #4 Smart Delight, #7 Gracydad, #10 The Full Bloom, #3 Healthy Luck
RACE 5: #2 Super Turbo, #1 Love Shock, #7 Harrier Jet, #3 Dragon General
RACE 6: #12 Sea Jade, #2 Strathmore, #7 Almababy, #9 Apollo’s Choice
RACE 7: #7 Packing Dragon, #5 Packing Llaregyb, #1 Circuit Land, #4 Basic Trilogy
RACE 8: #8 Rickfield, #5 Easy Hedge, #6 Indigenous Union, #3 Sky King


#3 Ocean Roar is a one-dimensional jump-and-run type who should go up towards the speed here. There is a lot of speed engaged but he will be right there and he can fend them off late under Joao Moreira. #8 Unleashed Dragon could be one to watch finishing over them late. He has been out of sorts this season and the 1000m is short of his best, but off a rating of 50 and the blinkers applied again he could find himself in the mix again. #5 Hot Hot Pepper is likely to be around the mark again without winning, with barrier 11 making it tough, while #2 Beauty Connection should get an easy run from gate one and he'll be a contender again.


#4 Cheers Conqueror has raced four times for four good efforts without troubling the winners. He switches to Happy Valley now and has drawn a good gate, so with a soft run, expect him to figure late for Manfred Man and Sam Clipperton. #10 Flying Machine has looked better on dirt than turf but his first win did come over this course and distance and he is racing well enough to score another victory on turf, especially with only 121 pounds on his back. #1 Grand Harbour is likely to drop further in the ratings before returning to the winners' circle but he should perform well with a good run in transit here from gate two. #5 Po Ching Treasure has his second run here for Caspar Fownes. He has not won in 33 starts in Hong Kong, but he has also run a number of good races and if he gets things his way, he'll be competitive with Joao Moreira jumping aboard.


#12 A Beautiful is yet to break through in Class 4 but looks to have the potential to win in the class. He will need some luck from gate 10 but if he gets luck in transit, he can win. #1 Divine Boy also needs luck from the outside barrier and is probably better suited over the 1200m, but he has run OK races over the 1650m and if Chad Schofield can somehow get him cover, he'll be in the mix. #2 Friends Of Ka Ying has not won over this trip in Hong Kong, looking better over the Sha Tin 1400m, but he's drawn to get a good run here and with the visor on, improvement can be expected. #6 Magical Beauty was a three-time winner over this course and distance last season. He may be on his mark but with the right run, he'll be there at the finish.


#4 Smart Delight had not shown anything in his Hong Kong career to date, looking something of a morning glory, before returning with a solid fourth last time out. He will have taken improvement from that effort, he should get a nice run in behind the speed and if everything falls right, he can break through. #7 Gracydad arguably should have broken through before now, having gone very close from some awkward draws. He's got the rails draw here with Joao Moreira aboard and this is the time he really needs to stand up and break through. #10 The Full Bloom was working his way into form before a last-start flop. He has a good draw here for Chad Schofield and he will be among the leading players with the right run. #3 Healthy Luck was an impressive winner on debut over the Sha Tin straight before running a solid fourth over that same course last month. He now steps up to 1200m, switches to the Valley and has to deal with a wide gate, but he also looks to have the most scope for improvement.


#2 Super Turbo has a lethal turn of foot on his day and he should be suited coming back to Happy Valley. He will need to navigate a run through from the inside gate, but if he can get clear running, he'll be incredibly difficult to beat. #1 Love Shock is incredibly consistent and is always around the mark. It's not going to be easy for him again from gate 12 and carrying topweight, especially as he is starting to look like he would appreciate more ground, but he will be finding the line strongly late. #7 Harrier Jet is nearing a win but has to deal with an awkward gate once again, while #3 Dragon General struggles with the final 50 metres of the 1200m but he can find himself among the placegetters.


#12 Sea Jade is a speedball who has won four of his eight starts this season. He’s still a three-year-old so he’s probably not at his peak physically, but for where he is currently, he is probably near his mark in the ratings. However, with 115 pounds on his back (with Joao Moreira declaring two pounds overweight), he will be hard to run down on the front end. #2 Strathmore finds it hard to win but has run some good races against the best company, including a third in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize to Chautauqua in May. He must lump a lot of weight from a wide gate here but he is a course and distance winner and is due another win. #7 Almababy is inconsistent but could be the type who is well suited here, while #9 Apollo's Choice gets in well at the weights from a good draw and could sneak into the placings.


#7 Packing Dragon will need to get across from gate 11 but if he can bounce out and lead, he will be very hard to catch with only 114 pounds on his back - especially given he meets the likes of Circuit Land and Harbour Master better off at the weights from a G3 January Cup (1800m) third last month. #5 Packing Llaregyb geared up for this with a nice trial win over Packing Dragon last week. He gets the blinkers on for the first time at his 37th Hong Kong start, but it might prove the key to reinvigoration for him. #1 Circuit Land's second in the January Cup was very strong and he arguably should have won. He will be better served returning to the 1650m, but he does have to lump topweight. Still, he looks capable of going even higher in the ratings. #3 Basic Trilogy returned to form with a second in the G3 Centenary Vase (1800m) behind Supreme Profit last time out. He has been inconsistent but if he can get the right run, he should be strong at the finish.


#8 Rickfield has not raced since September and has very little form on the board since arriving from France, where he was a Listed winner. However, the signs in his gallops and from his most recent trial suggest that he can potentially run a big race here under Alexis Badel. #5 Easy Hedge had been around the mark before getting the blinkers on two starts back and racing away for a big win over this trip. He didn’t look completely suited last time out and he will be hard to beat. #6 Indigenous Union ran home well at his first start and looked a very nice horse in Ireland. He probably would have been on top except that he’s going to end up a long way from the speed from gate 12. #3 Sky King is a giant who is a bit hit and miss. However, his most impressive win came here at the Valley and he looks capable of further progression.