03/06/2017 12:34PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday March 8, 2017)

RACE 1: #7 Show Mission, #6 Highland Dragon, #2 Prompt Express, #3 Golden Glory
RACE 2: #2 Beauty Connection, #8 Trendiful, #5 Beekely, #7 Bumble Baby
RACE 3: #7 Cash Courier, #1 Amazing Feeling, #3 Imperial Seal, #5 Midnite Promise
RACE 4: #12 Gobi Storm, #4 Excellence, #2 Casa Master, #3 Great Treasure
RACE 5: #11 Unleashed Dragon, #8 Hot Hot Pepper, #10 Contribution, #1 Cour Valant
RACE 6: #11 All My Gain, #5 I'm A Witness, #8 Vara Pearl, #12 Generous Heart
RACE 7: #3 Andoyas, #4 Giant Turtle, #7 Happy Rocky, #6 Enreaching
RACE 8: #3 Peace N Prosperity, #9 Who'sthedude, #2 Victory Marvel, #10 Endearing

RACE 1: LUARD HANDICAP

#7 Show Mission has been a typical Hong Kong horse in that he has taken time to acclimatise and learn what the caper is about, but he finally appears to be nearing a point where he will win. The booking of Joao Moreira is the icing on the cake and the son of Showcasing should be saluting the judge for the first time here. #6 Highland Dragon disappointed on dirt at his second run for trainer Gary Ng. All four of his Hong Kong victories have come over this course and distance and he has never dropped this low in the ratings before, so expect an improved effort. #2 Prompt Express is a flying machine who debuts in Class 5 here. He is one-dimensional and there does appear other speed here, which is a negative for him crossing from gate 11, but he does get Zac Purton aboard too. Expect him to hang around for a fair while. #3 Golden Glory has had all sorts of issues, but he did improve significantly when he dropped into Class 4 for the first time - although he quickly struggled again. Perhaps with the drop into Class 5, he can finally prove competitive again.

RACE 2: LOCKHART HANDICAP

#2 Beauty Connection has taken time to put it all together but now appears to be nearing a win. The son of Derby winner Sir Percy appears limited to the 1000m, but should get a win over this trip shortly. #8 Trendiful is not a frequent winner but can pull a good run out of his hat every now and then. Joao Moreira got the best out of Trendiful when he first won in May 2015 and has only ridden him once since, so it looks a positive sign for the horse. #5 Beekely wasn't hopeless on debut over the Sha Tin 1000m, despite finishing 11th. He will have taken great improvement for that effort and looks to have natural ability, so don't be surprised to see him jump out of the ground here. #7 Bumble Baby scored at monster odds to start his season but has been fairly disappointing since. He shapes as though he can't see out 1200m, so this looks his best option and perhaps with a kind draw, he can figure somewhere in the placings.

RACE 3: JOHNSTON HANDICAP

#7 Cash Courier has won only one of his 29 starts, taking a Class 5 event by a neck earlier this season. However, his last few runs have suggested that he is capable of breaking through at the bottom of Class 4. From the inside gate, he can be a force here. #1 Amazing Feeling wears the tag of most disappointing horse in Hong Kong and perhaps its most frustrating maiden, having placed in seven of his 13 starts but not winning. He finished second in the 2015 Griffin Trophy and remains the only one of the first four placegetters in that race not to get his rating up to a Class 2 level. He has talent, but putting it all together is tough. Still, he's always a chance. #3 Imperial Seal disappointed last time out after two emphatic victories. Joao Moreira retains the ride and he is probably some sort of chance yet again, although he'd need to put that last effort behind him quickly. #5 Midnite Promise ran OK over 1200m last time out, but his better runs have been at this trip and beyond. The booking of Zac Purton is a big indicator that this horse is nearing his peak.

RACE 4: THE HONG KONG FOOTBALL CLUB CENTENARY CHALLENGE CUP

#12 Gobi Storm has been a work in progress through five starts this season. His first effort was good, as was his most recent run, but in between came three diabolical performances. He may be in need of the drop in class but with only 115 pounds on his back, he might have enough improvement in him to break through. #4 Excellence has been hit and miss this preparation but his win four back was good and his effort to run second two starts ago is good enough to see him competitive here. Zac Purton aboard from gate four is another plus. #2 Casa Master is tough to get right but on his day, he is talented. He doesn't have much of a turn of foot but he can unleash a sustained run, with his best performances coming when he has made a long, searching effort. If Joao Moreira can ride the horse accordingly, then he is a leading player. Excellence's stablemate #3 Great Treasure clearly looks the yard's second stringer with Alex Lai booked, but he has been racing well this preparation and deserves inclusion.

RACE 5: JAFFE HANDICAP

#11 Unleashed Dragon was better than it appears on paper when he ran home for fifth over an unsuitable 1000m. The step up to 1200m is crucial and he is drawn to get the right run under Derek Leung. He is also at a point where he should be breaking through soon. #8 Hot Hot Pepper is not the strongest or most genuine of horses, but he is always in the mix. The Happy Valley 1200m should suit him with his short burst of speed, even though he disappointed at his one attempt at the course and distance, and he's drawn well in four for Zac Purton. #10 Contribution just failed last time out, beaten a short head by Game Of Fun. He appears to have found his rhythm, though, and a breakthrough victory appears to be imminent. #1 Cour Valant has been frustrating to follow as he has threatened to break through for some time now. Still, it is now a month shy of three years since his last victory. He needs everything right to find the winners' circle and this race appears against him. He can probably place but is worth opposing on a win line.

RACE 6: THE POLICE CUP

#11 All My Gain folded up last time after sitting too close to a very hot speed over the Sha Tin 1400m. The return to 1200m should be suitable, and while his Happy Valley record is patchy, he should get the right run in transit. #5 I'm A Witness is racing well, having won at a big price two back before just failing to reel in Our Hero by a short-head last time out. He gets Joao Moreira aboard and will be hard to beat. #8 Vara Pearl is consistent, albeit over further. He might get things to suit here, though, and he can finish somewhere around the mark. #12 Generous Heart is nearing a drop in class but he has looked good in his five starts to date and a win is not far away.

RACE 7: GLOUCESTER HANDICAP

#3 Andoyas made hard work of it last time out but just got his head down to record his first Hong Kong victory. He's not the type who will win too often and the step back to 1800m doesn't appear ideal but he is honest and should be around the mark again with the right run in transit from gate three. #4 Giant Turtle put two impressive wins together before just coming up short when a three-quarter length fifth last time out. He is drawn to get the right run and should be around the mark. #7 Happy Rocky improved out of sight last time out after a number of poor efforts to begin his season. He has never won over the Happy Valley 1800m but all four of his wins have come at the city track at both 1650m and 2200m. With further improvement, he can challenge. #6 Enreaching broke through on the dirt down in Class 4 last start. He looks capable of running a bold race again with Joao Moreira aboard.

RACE 8: ARSENAL HANDICAP

#3 Peace N Prosperity is racing his way into form and was good last time out when a length second to Victory Marvel. He should get an ideal run and he can turn the tables on Victory Marvel with an eight-pound turnaround in his favour. #9 Who'sthedude will have his admirers with Joao Moreira jumping back on from the inside gate. He should be included at his Happy Valley debut. #2 Victory Marvel has been a model of consistency this season and should be included again, although he may be nearing his mark. #10 Endearing suffered a heart irregularity last time out but his prior form had been solid enough. He will break through shortly.