01/09/2017 12:52PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, January 11, 2017

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday January 11, 2017)

RACE 1: #1 Super Sweet Orange, #4 Glory Star, #12 Golden Partners, #9 Lucky Ball
RACE 2: #1 Beauty Connection, #6 Mr Right, #3 Excel Oneself, #5 Secret Agent
RACE 3: #3 Royale Elegance, #5 Powermax, #1 Pakistan Baby, #7 Formula Galore
RACE 4: #4 Giant Turtle, #2 Lucky Profit, #3 Works Of Art, #7 Unicorn
RACE 5: #9 Home Run, #8 Victory Marvel, #2 Amazing Agility, #1 Land Grant
RACE 6: #9 Mordicus, #11 Premiere, #5 Sky Man, #3 Moment Of Power
RACE 7: #3 Dynamism, #7 People’s Knight, #2 Encounter, #9 So Caffe
RACE 8: #11 Sea Jade, #5 Verbinsky, #6 Happy Surveys, #1 Berlini

RACE 1: SHUN TIN HANDICAP

#1 Super Sweet Orange has shown flashes of brilliance in his 18-start career in Hong Kong to date, without winning. He has to carry 22 pounds more here compared to last start when he finished second in Class 4, a slight concern, but the drop in grade should really suit and he maps well. #4 Glory Star is yet to miss a place at Happy Valley in Class 5 and gets Joao Moreira aboard from a good gate. He’ll be short enough, too. #12 Golden Partners has had a number of problems throughout his career in Hong Kong but has run a couple of nice races, including a charging dead-heat fourth last time out. He can’t fall much further in the ratings and a win is near. #9 Lucky Ball was terrible on dirt last time and was beaten a long way out, but his run at Happy Valley before that was good. A repeat of that October effort will see him go close.

RACE 2: LOK WAH HANDICAP

#1 Beauty Connection has been diabolical at his last two starts, but he had been good before that. His one run in Class 4, he was just beaten over this course and distance, and he does get the services of top jockey Joao Moreira. He will be very hard to beat. #6 Mr Right is another dropping in class, but he looks to be well suited with the drop back into Class 4 with a return to Happy Valley. Neil Callan jumps aboard and vast improvement should be expected here. #3 Excel Oneself ran well over 1650m at his first run in Class 4 in two years. He’s better over a shorter trip, although he’s better at the 1200m, but he still should be more suited here with Zac Purton taking the reins. #5 Secret Agent is racing well this season and should be in the mix again.

RACE 3: PING SHEK HANDICAP

#3 Royale Elegance has been racing his way into form this season and looks right on the cusp of a victory now. With Oisin Murphy aboard from the inside draw, he should get the perfect run in this race and he can score another win. #5 Powermax has performed well in three starts to date. He has drawn awkwardly once again but he will find the winners’ circle shortly and is a major player here. #1 Pakistan Baby improved out of sight with the drop into Class 4 and should be a factor once more, while #7 Formula Galore should be forgiven for his poor effort at his last start in November and he will likely be in the mix again.

RACE 4: SAU MAU PING HANDICAP

#4 Giant Turtle had faced a long drop through the ratings before breaking through on LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship night under Ryan Moore. He was out of form the last time he was rated this high, but he has a different trainer now and he will be hard to beat with Chad Schofield taking the mount. #2 Lucky Profit backs up after running 10th at Sha Tin on Sunday from an outside gate. He may need to drop further in the ratings and his form is best over 1200m but he shapes as a surprise improver here, particularly with the return to Happy Valley. #3 Works Of Art appears a difficult horse of sorts and he doesn’t have much of a turn of foot, but Joao Moreira jumps aboard for just the second time and he will likely have plenty of support. #2 Unicorn comes to the city course for the first time and from a good draw, he can figure.

RACE 5: KAI YIP HANDICAP

#9 Home Run heads to Happy Valley for the first time and has his maiden attempt at a distance further than 1400m. He looks to have a short, sharp sprint and should be well suited by the tighter track. He is racing well enough but this looks the key to him winning again. #8 Victory Marvel maps to get a nice run here and he looks to have another good run in him after racing consistently this season. #2 Amazing Agility is another who should get a good run in transit here and the return to the Happy Valley 1650m should suit. #1 Land Grant steps out for Tony Millard for the first time here, having last run for Danny Shum in late October. Joao Moreira has a one-for-one record on the horse and with the return to Class 3, he creates great interest.

RACE 6: FU SHAN HANDICAP

#9 Mordicus steps out for just his second start, having disappointed at his debut in July. He has looked a very nice horse in the making from his trials and his trackwork and with Zac Purton jumping aboard, he looks a leading contender should he perform to what he has shown in the mornings. #11 Premiere broke through under Hugh Bowman on LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship night, and the manner in which the horse won suggested there were further wins in store. Joao Moreira jumps back aboard and he looks very hard to beat down in the weights. #5 Sky Man ran well last time out and only needs to run up to that level to be a chance, while #3 Moment Of Power looks to have ratings points in hand but he looks unsuited with Kei Chiong aboard in a race that looks to have enough speed engaged.

RACE 7: CHOI WAN HANDICAP

#3 Dynamism is a winner in waiting after three good runs at Happy Valley this season. He draws a nice gate here, he maps well and he should be hard to beat now after just failing by a neck behind the likes of recent winner Supreme Profit and last week’s G3 January Cup placegetter Packing Dragon. #7 People’s Knight had been very disappointing before he finally broke through for a win over the Sha Tin 1400m in November. He added a second straight win a week later on the Sha Tin dirt over 1650m, and now comes to Happy Valley for the first time in a bid to make it a hat-trick at all three of Hong Kong’s tracks. Trainer John Moore has his sights set on the Hong Kong Classic Mile on January 22, and he can head there off a good performance here. Another potential Classic Mile contender is #2 Encounter, who won the G2 German 2000 Guineas (1600m) as Knife Edge for Marco Botti. He has trialled very stylishly but he has had a couple of issues and is one to watch first time out. Next best is #9 So Caffe, who has finally reached Class 2 at his 23rd Hong Kong start, a grade that he should have been in 12 months ago. He has not raced since October but he looks to perform fresh and should not be discounted.

RACE 8: CHOI HUNG HANDICAP

#11 Sea Jade returns to Happy Valley, the site of two imperious wins recently, after finishing second to phenomenon Pakistan Star in the Griffin Trophy last time out. John Moore’s sprinter will be suited by the drop to 1200m and the switch back to Happy Valley, and while this race is tougher than any of his other races at the city circuit and it also looks to have more speed, he is improving all the time and looks a live chance of adding another win. #5 Verbinsky has won twice over this course and distance and has placed another two times this season. He’s racing in great form and he must be included again from another nice gate. #6 Happy Surveys may be on his mark but he is honest enough and he will be flying home late. #1 Berlini is an interesting runner at his first run since May. He suffered a nasty injury in September, but has trialled well in preparation for this and has placed at his two runs over this course and distance.