11/14/2016 12:07PM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday November 16, 2016)

RACE 1: #3 Peace On Earth, #4 Manhattan Striker, #9 Happy Century, #6 Optimism
RACE 2: #4 D B Pin, #8 Isaac, #10 Lucky Seven, #2 Wonderful Fighter
RACE 3: #2 Cour Valant, #5 Electronic Empire, #1 Wayfoong Vinnie, #12 Hay Go Lucky
RACE 4: #8 Giant Turtle, #4 Happy And Healthy, #5 Newswire Free, #11 Mutual Joy
RACE 5: #6 King Bountiful, #8 Winaswewish, #3 Sparkling Sword, #5 Graceful Kingdom
RACE 6: #12 Go Go Win, #8 Pearl Warm Warm, #4 Little Island, #11 A Beautiful
RACE 7: #8 Winnie’s Honey, #6 Dynamism, #1 Basic Trilogy, #7 Magical Beauty
RACE 8: #10 Trump, #4 Lamarosa, #2 Molly’s Jade Star, #3 Happy Bao Bei

RACE 1: KOKURA HANDICAP

#3 Peace On Earth makes his seasonal reappearance and his first start in Class 5 here. He trialled nicely in late September, but was ruled out of his intended seasonal debut in October with lameness. He has been looking well since and the drop into the cellar grade can spark him into finding form. #4 Manhattan Striker has produced three nice runs since dropping into Class 5, as well as one horrible effort in September. It’s a matter of time before he breaks through and the draw should give rider Olivier Doleuze plenty of options. #9 Happy Century could be one to improve from a better draw, with blinkers off and with a drop back to 1200m. His two runs this season have been unimpressive, but with those few small tweaks, don’t be shocked to see him improve substantially. Next best, #6 Optimism with Joao Moreira aboard, despite the awkward draw.

RACE 2: FUKUSHIMA HANDICAP

It’s very important to note that a number of these come out of the void race on October 26 – D B Pin, The Full Bloom, Very Rich Man, Isaac and Lucky Seven are all running for the first time since, so while all form cards and past performances do not show the race, it creates a very important form reference here. That night, #4 D B Pin toyed with his rivals in a performance that would have seen him elevated into Class 3. He runs here off the same rating, with a similar middle of the line draw and with Zac Puurton aboard once again. He was the best bet of the night that time around, and he is sure to be even shorter here. Still, he looks almost a sure winner if he repeats that performance. #8 Isaac appears as a first starter but showed ability with his third in the void race. He raced on speed there on a hot tempo and stuck on well enough. He will have taken improvement for that and that should see him in the mix here. Also in the placings in the void race was #10 Lucky Seven, who made solid ground late. He has drawn wide again, which could be prove his undoing, but he looks on the verge of winning sometime soon. #2 Wonderful Fighter hasn’t raced since winning in June but he has trialled well for his return and he gets Joao Moreira aboard from the inside.

RACE 3: CHUKYO HANDICAP

There have been a number of horses breaking long droughts recently, and #2 Cour Valant looks set to join that list here. His last win came in April 2014 in Class 3, but he has suffered 24 winless runs since. He is racing well at the moment, and Joao Moreira jumps aboard now. This is not a strong Class 4, and anything near his best will see him awfully hard to beat here. #5 Electronic Empire has always had a bit of a boom about him, but he has improved with each start and looks like he is now at a point where he will be competitive. He’s drawn well and should get a nice run in transit. The same can be said for #1 Wayfoong Vinnie, who looks a horse who will become a mainstay up in Class 3, but needs to break through for his first win to get back up into the grade. His first run on dirt was good enough and a return to turf and Happy Valley should be a plus, especially now he is in his second season. #12 Hay Go Lucky is a bit of a tricky horse, but he shapes as though he can win off a light weight in Class 4.

RACE 4: NAKAYAMA HANDICAP

The turnaround in #8 Giant Turtle in the last six months has been quite something to behold, but he still needs to get that first Hong Kong win on the board. He ran well at his first start for new trainer Tony Millard on October 30, but he will have to defy the outside gate. Still, bank on him doing it sooner rather than later. #4 Happy And Healthy has been good at his last two, particularly last start from an awkward draw. He is drawn to get an ideal run here and only needs a little luck in running to be right in the thick of the finish. #5 Newswire Free finally broke through for his first victory last time out after a number of near misses. Perhaps the win will give him the spark he so desperately needed. #11 Mutual Joy was another to break through last time out, and the manner in which he did it suggested he could win at the bottom of Class 4 with less weight to carry.

RACE 5: NAKAYAMA HANDICAP

#6 King Bountiful was a hard luck story last time out, when he was shuffled back through the field before finding the line strongly and running into third when the race was over. The outside draw does him no favours again but he picks himself on paper, even with the sharp drop in distance from 2200m to 1650m. The horse who finished alongside him last time, #8 Winaswewish, is racing in great form and is drawn to be a force once again. He won over the 1650m two back and his return to Class 4 last time was good enough. #3 Sparkling Sword has performed well at his last two starts, racing up on speed under Kei Chiong. He is a very straightforward horse but he is drawn to once again adopt front-running tactics under the claimer and he will be the one they all have to run down. #5 Graceful Kingdom has been racing well enough this preparation and is likely to be around the mark yet again, particularly from the inside gate.

RACE 6: KYOTO HANDICAP

It’s mystifying how #12 Go Go Win did not manage to win down in Class 4 at his last four starts, with four narrow placings. He has been very good, though, and despite the fact he’s never managed to win in Class 3 in 21 starts in the grade before, this looks his best opportunity yet. He drops 18 pounds and has a better draw than last time, when he was beaten a short head after a tough run. #8 Pearl Warm Warm was also beaten a short head last time out from a wide gate, and has come up trumps with the inside barrier here. He is a consistent type who is likely to be competitive again here. #4 Little Island has drawn poorly but he performed well last time out and if Zac Purton can get him across, he’ll be right in the mix. Next best, #11 A Beautiful, who has been completely luckless this preparation and so it is hard to gauge where he is at. Still, there has been plenty of market confidence about him recently, so expect the same again.

RACE 7: THE JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION TROPHY

It was tough to watch #8 Winnie’s Honey last time out after he had little room around the turn, was checked at the top of the straight and then flew late. He is the likely favourite here and the awkward draw of gate 10 might actually be a blessing for him, as he will get clear running room. #6 Dynamism was good first-up when he was only just grabbed near the line, but he then disappointed at Sha Tin when he couldn’t make a heap of ground from the tail. A return to Happy Valley should suit him here. #1 Basic Trilogy was good here two back but then folded up after leading them up in the G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse. He could get it soft out in front here, although he does have to shoulder 133 pounds. #7 Magical Beauty can be forgiven a first-up failure when nothing at all went right. He may be on his mark and the 1800m is a new test but he had been so consistent before that, he is worth another chance.

RACE 8: HANSHIN HANDICAP

A week after his namesake swept through the Electoral College to stamp himself the next President of the United States, #10 Trump can sweep to victory at Happy Valley. Now an eight-year-old and transferred to trainer Gary Ng in the off-season, he has fallen a long way from his peak when he was rated in the 90s. Now, at the bottom of Class 3, he looks like he could have another win left in him based on a last-start second to Moment Of Power. #4 Lamarosa and #2 Molly’s Jade Star both won different divisions of the same race, a Class 3 over 1200m, at the rare day meeting at the city track on October 30. The latter may have been slightly more impressive, but the former looks to have more upside and so he gets the nod here for second. Still, both look solid chances. #3 Happy Bao Bei overraced behind Molly’s Jade Star last time out but still stuck on OK. He’s racing well and another win looks near.