01/02/2017 1:12PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS

(Wednesday January 4, 2017)

RACE 1: #9 Telecom Boom, #3 Invisible, #11 Intellectual Glide, #6 Optimism
RACE 2: #2 Gracydad, #8 Game Of Fun, #7 Starlot, #3 Very Rich Man
RACE 3: #5 Isaac, #2 Cour Valant, #7 C P Power, #1 Ace King
RACE 4: #4 Wisky, #1 Go Go Win, #11 Agiaal, #7 Spinning Dancer
RACE 5: #12 Easy Hedge, #3 Andoyas, #9 Imperial Gallantry, #1 Jolly Gene
RACE 6: #3 Lucky Double Eight, #5 Harrier Jet, #10 Wonderful Fighter, #6 Burst Away
RACE 7: #4 Circuit Land, #11 Packing Dragon, #2 Flame Hero, #3 Romantic Touch
RACE 8: #4 Chater Legend, #11 Super Talent, #8 Lotus Breeze, #9 Pearl Warm Warm

RACE 1: PATERSON HANDICAP

#9 Telecom Boom is a typical Hong Kong project who has taken time to find form. He's been coming good at his last few, though, running on from wide gates. He's now drawn an ideal barrier in six and in-form Zac Purton jumps aboard for the first time. #3 Invisible won at his only attempt at Class 5, beginning his season with a win over 1200m at Sha Tin in the class. He returns to the cellar grade and should be suited returning to 1200m after failing over 1650m last time out. #11 Intellectual Glide ran home well at Sha Tin last Tuesday and his maiden status will surely be broken soon, while #6 Optimism maps to get a nice run here and must be included.

RACE 2: GREAT GEORGE HANDICAP

#2 Gracydad has looked on the cusp of a win at his last couple but has been plagued by wide draws. He gets into gate one now and with Joao Moreira aboard, he should be hard to beat in a race that looks made for him. #8 Game Of Fun is still learning what the caper is about but he hasn't been disgraced in five runs to date. The switch to Happy Valley should provide him further education and it could spark him to life, too. #7 Starlot is in the same boat as Game Of Fun, in that he's still a work in progress. He's another who could take plenty of benefit from the change of scenery here. Next best, #3 Very Rich Man, who needs to prove he can put two good runs together but ran well enough last time out to suggest he can be another chance.

RACE 3: GREAT GEORGE HANDICAP

#5 Isaac broke through last time out in strong fashion at his second official start in Hong Kong - he ran third in the void race behind D B Pin in late October before making his "debut" when fifth to that same galloper in November. He should get a perfect trip here and can force his way into Class 3. It is getting close to three years since #2 Cour Valant won a race, yet he looks nearer than ever to another success. He should get the set-up he needs here, it's just about whether he can capitalise. #7 C P Power returns off a layoff here, having been sent around at short odds his most recent two. He may need the run but if he's anywhere near fit he'll be hard to beat. #1 Ace King failed at his most recent attempt at Happy Valley but if he can jump with them and find the lead easy enough, he'll be hard to run down.

RACE 4: KINGSTON HANDICAP

A race that looks to have very little speed on paper. #4 Wisky was a tragedy beaten last time out, with jockey Vincent Ho now replaced by Joao Moreira. He will probably be short here, but with just a little bit of luck, he should be winning. #1 Go Go Win is a horse who seems to perform better down in Class 4 with more weight than up in Class 3 with no weight on his back. He returns to Class 4 here and he looks likely to get the run of the race, either on speed or just behind. #11 Agiaal is likely to be out the back but he is rounding into form and looks to be nearing another win, while #7 Spinning Dancer is also finding his best and should get a perfect run in transit under Silvestre de Sousa.

RACE 5: CLEVELAND HANDICAP

#12 Easy Hedge has been hit and miss since winning a Class 4 at short odds over 12 months ago. He has been unlucky at times but he has also disappointed. His last run was good, though, and he finally gets the blinkers on, so with only 118 pounds on his back, he'll be hard to toss. #3 Andoyas was good first-up from a decent break, making solid ground late. He has not raced in six weeks but should be ready to give a bold sight again. #9 Imperial Gallantry is not the easiest horse to ride but Alexis Badel seemed to do OK on him last time out, and a repeat will see him go close here. #1 Jolly Gene is a thorough stayer who might find this on the short side but he maps well and should be included.

RACE 6: CANNON HANDICAP

#3 Lucky Double Eight is still a Hong Kong maiden after 29 starts locally, but his incredible consistency ensured that he only reached Class 3 for the first time last start. He failed that day, but the return to a fast-run 1200m at Happy Valley should provide him with every opportunity to finally reach the winners' circle. #5 Harrier Jet is another former Australian galloper who is yet to win in Hong Kong. The flashy type is working his way into form, having finished second last time out to Sea Jade, and he appears well worth following. #10 Wonderful Fighter rises in class off a very easy win under 133 pounds in Class 4. Joao Moreira sticks solid. #6 Burst Away deserves another chance after his debut 11th behind Water Diviner. The form out of that race looks strong enough and he wasn't beaten all that far.

RACE 7: G3 JANUARY CUP

Happy Valley's sole Group race of the season brings together a competitive group over 1800m. #4 Circuit Land has run three great races this season, while he bombed the start badly three back and was unsuited by a slow tempo last time out. This is his first attempt at 1800m but he shapes as a horse who should relish the extra distance and he can break through for his first stakes victory here. #11 Packing Dragon has made the leap from Class 3 to G3 in only two starts, having put together a pair of Class 3 wins earlier in the season. He is nine pounds out of the handicap, clearly a negative, but he is also the designated leader getting in with 113 pounds. His effort in Class 2 last time was strong, in that he was just nabbed late while the other leaders weakened, so expect him to outrun his rating here. Last year's quinella #2 Flame Hero and #3 Romantic Touch both produced strong runs in the key lead-ups to the Hong Kong International Races this season before failing to fire on the main day itself. They are both well-suited back to a race of this nature.

RACE 8: CAUSEWAY HANDICAP

An open race with a number of chances. #4 Chater Legend has put together a few nice efforts this season without winning. He's going to be breaking through shortly and this race looks ideal, with him drawing the inside and likely to sit midfield behind a solid tempo. #11 Super Talent might be in need of the drop in class but he's run well enough at his three starts this season to suggest he can break through before he gets down to Class 4. #8 Lotus Breeze was good at his last outing, albeit a long way behind Marvel Hero, and he should get a similar run in transit here. #9 Pearl Warm Warm is another who should get a nice run and while he might need to drop back into Class 4 too, this is as good a race as any for him to break through in the higher grade.