07/10/2017 10:28AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong selections and analysis for Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS

(Wednesday, July 12, 2017)

 

RACE 1: #3 California Aspar, #4 Dr Race, #1 Ocean Roar, #9 Trendiful

RACE 2: #9 Seven Luck, #4 Speedy Wally, #3 Gold Talent, #8 Kim Glory

RACE 3: #3 Great Joy, #10 Ambitious Heart, #6 Pearl Warm Warm, #1 Giant Stars

RACE 4: #2 Good Companion, #4 Gracious Ryder, #7 Starlight, #6 Junzi

RACE 5: #2 Beauty Master, #4 Most Beautiful, #12 Triumphant Jewel, #5 Ace King

RACE 6: #2 Jolly Convergence, #8 Grace Heart, #5 Diamond Master, #7 Dollar Reward

RACE 7: #2 Dr Listening, #5 Happy Life, #10 Easy Hedge, #7 Thunder Stomp

RACE 8: #1 Racing Supernova, #2 House Of Fun, #3 Super Turbo, #7 Southern Legend

RACE 1: BULLDOZER HANDICAP

#3 California Aspar has shown only slight hints of form since arriving in Hong Kong. However, the Happy Valley 1000m saw him produce arguably his best run at the bottom of Class 3, and he returns to that course and distance here. He also gets a senior rider in Neil Callan aboard for the first time, and with a kind inside draw, he should be able to find the winners’ circle for the first time. #4 Dr Race generally prefers a little further than the 1000m but his one run over this course and distance was solid. He gets back into a good draw for the first time since scoring three back and he’s a contender with the right run. #1 Ocean Roar is fairly straightforward in that he jumps and runs before trying to hold on late. Kei Chiong’s five-pound claim is useful here and he should be around the mark. #9 Trendiful hasn’t shown a lot this season with one placing from eight starts. However, he’s capable on his day and trainer Michael Chang is in need of one more winner from the final 19 races if he is to avoid a strike next to his name. He cannot be dismissed lightly.

 

RACE 2: STREET CAT HANDICAP

#9 Seven Luck has followed a pattern typical of many horses from the Dennis Yip stable, in that he showed very little early in his career, then he improved slightly down in Class 5 but not quite enough to threaten. Now, he looks like he’s at a place in the ratings where he can break through with the right run, and Joao Moreira maintaining the ride looks a strong push as well. #4 Speedy Wally has drawn slightly awkwardly but there is no doubting that he is suited at the top of Class 5. He only needs an ounce of luck to be around the mark at the finish. #3 Gold Talent looked to be finding form at the bottom of Class 4 and looks very well placed here. Trainer Almond Lee scored a double last weekend and Gold Talent appears another close to a win. #8 Kim Glory has built up a reputation as a short course specialist, never stepping beyond 1200m and finding his best at 1000m. However, perhaps he can race handier over the extended trip and find his way into the finish. Include him at odds.

 

RACE 3: THE KING HANDICAP

#3 Great Joy had produced a number of good runs before breaking through two back in what was one of the better performances in recent months at the city track. Last time out, he struggled to pick up in a race that simply wasn’t run to suit. If he gets a more suitable setup, he should be winning this on his way to Class 3. #10 Ambitious Heart may never match the deeds of his older brother Seasons Bloom, but he is an honest galloper trying the Happy Valley 1650m for the first time. This course and distance might end up being his ideal circuit so he bears close watching from gate six. #6 Pearl Warm Warm won over this course and distance last season and although he raced well over the Happy Valley 1650m earlier this season, he has recently been racing over the 1200m. He should relish the added trip and so he must be included. #1 Giant Stars is a far cry from owner Christopher Tsui’s flagship horses, like Sea The Stars and Urban Sea. However, he has always promised to win a race in Hong Kong, even if it has taken him getting to Class 4 for it to come. He might need to get into the middle of Class 4, but a win is not far away.

 

RACE 4: MAVERICK STAR HANDICAP

#2 Good Companion has proven to be a very honest conveyance in seven starts this season, winning once, placing twice and never finishing more than three and a half lengths from the winner. He was only just edged out last start, finishing in the middle of a three-way photo finish, and a repeat of that run will see him in the mix again. The horse that beat him that day was #4 Gracious Ryder, who made up ground from midfield on a track that was favouring horses sitting handy. That day, he had the assistance of a 10-pound claim from Matthew Poon, but with senior rider Sam Clipperton taking over, he meets Good Companion 13 pounds worse. However, Gracious Ryder’s effort was probably better than a nose margin and he does look to have plenty of scope. He’s a danger again. #7 Starlight made up plenty of ground from last to finish third last time out. He has drawn awkwardly again, so he will probably end up out of his ground once more, but if he gets the right setup, he will be finding the line nicely. #6 Junzi has disappointed since breaking through at his second start in October. Brett Prebble replaces Neil Callan, and perhaps he can show something from the good draw, especially if he can take a slightly handier position.

 

RACE 5: LET ME FIGHT HANDICAP

#2 Beauty Master won twice at Sha Tin early in the season but he has mixed his form since at both courses. He might still be too high in the ratings, but with a good draw, he deserves to be given another chance here under Neil Callan. #4 Most Beautiful has shown glimpses of the talent he showed when he was a stakes winner in Western Australia, but  for the most part, he has needed some ratings relief. That has now come, but it still remains to be seen if 1000m is his trip. Nonetheless, he’s a chance yet again. #12 Triumphant Jewel won at his last start of the season last year over this course and distance, albeit off a far higher rating. He looks well-rated now, although perhaps he might be headed for Class 4. Still, he’s a chance if things fall into place. #5 Ace King has risen from Class 5 to Class 3 with three dominant wins over the Sha Tin 1000m. The Happy Valley 1000m isn’t quite as suitable but he still rarely runs poorly, so he must be included in exotics.

 

RACE 6: KINGS FALCON HANDICAP

#2 Jolly Convergence has found form since switching back to Happy Valley. His three-quarter length second to Prince Harmony two back is a good pointer for this, while his last start should just be forgiven after he had a troubled trip from the outside gate. Neil Callan maintains his association with the Equiano four-year-old and a win is near, especially with the horse moving back into gate five. #8 Grace Heart has finally found his groove again to win two of his last three starts. He returns to Class 3 now and he only carries four pounds less than last time, when he had the assistance of Matthew Poon’s 10-pound claim. However, it is foolish to dismiss horses in the vein of form in which he finds himself currently, so he is definitely worthy of consideration again with Douglas Whyte hopping aboard from gate three. #5 Diamond Master has been racing consistently in recent starts, so much so that his rating has risen three points without a victory this season. He would need everything to fall his way to win, and while that is unlikely from gate 11, he is still a horse that must be included in exotics. #7 Dollar Reward still looks to be finding his feet but his four starts to date have not been bad by any means. If Zac Purton can get him into a spot just beyond midfield from gate six, he will be in the mix late.

 

RACE 7: SILVER GRECIAN HANDICAP

#2 Dr Listening has had two starts for David Hall and has looked good in both efforts. Intriguingly, Hall stepped him up to 1650m last start, the four-year-old having never been beyond 1400m for former trainer John Size, and he seemed to relish the extra distance to rattle home for second. He now steps up to 1800m, which might not be ideal, but if he can find the line like he did last time out, he will be right in the mix. #5 Happy Life just won at Happy Valley two back and wasn’t disgraced at Sha Tin last start. The return to the Valley looks a plus, while the 1800m should hold no fears for him either, especially from a good draw. #10 Easy Hedge has been a disappointment throughout his Hong Kong career. However, his last run suggested he might be close to finding the winners’ circle again and Joao Moreira, the only rider to have won on him, returns to the saddle. #7 Thunder Stomp has been beaten less than a length at two of his last three runs. His turn is coming.

 

RACE 8: SWEET ORANGE HANDICAP

#1 Racing Supernova makes his Happy Valley debut here. He has slightly disappointed this season after beginning strongly, however he has had things go against him at times so perhaps he can be forgiven. He has trialled well at the city track and despite a slightly awkward gate and a big weight, he can end his season on a high. #2 House Of Fun has already won five times this season, quite some effort in Hong Kong. He might be on his mark now but he returns to Happy Valley for the first time since his debut and he looks a horse that should be well suited here. #3 Super Turbo is very honest but with his racing style, he needs plenty of luck. Gate 11 might actually be advantageous to him though and he still seems to have improvement in him, so he can’t be dismissed. #7 Southern Legend disappointed as favourite at Sha Tin on debut. If he finds his Sydney form, he would be very hard to beat here, but he might be more of a project for next season. Still, he’s one to include underneath.