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Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, October 12, 2016
HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday October 12, 2016)
RACE 1: #6 Safari Magic, #1 Winaswewish, #9 Glory Sunshine, #5 Spicy Double
RACE 2: #10 All Times Lucky, #3 Rugby Diamond, #2 Showing Character, #5 Forza Avanti
RACE 3: #2 So Caffe, #9 Mission Possible, #5 Little Island, #7 Pearl Warm Warm
RACE 4: #5 Hot Hot Pepper, #12 Formula Galore, #3 Gracydad, #2 Cour Valant
RACE 5: #10 Royal Partner, #4 Enormous Honour, #1 Joyful Moments, #5 Classic Emperor
RACE 6: #7 C P Power, #9 Junzi, #10 Lucky Seven, #5 Lyric Ace
RACE 7: #4 Autumn Gold, #10 Supernatural, #12 Speedy Wally, #7 King Bountiful
RACE 8: #2 Super Turbo, #8 Courageous Brother, #3 Blaze Stamina, #7 Great Charm
RACE 1: BIRCH HANDICAP
#6 Safari Magic is remarkably consistent for this level, with 11 top-four finishes at his last 20 starts. His record over this course and distance is strong, although his only win in the last four years came when he dropped to 1000m unexpectedly. Still, from the inside, he looks the one to beat. #1 Winaswewish caught the eye charging home into third first-up on dirt and at his first start in Class 5. He ran well over this course and distance last season, he's perfectly drawn and he gets the services of Joao Moreira. #9 Glory Sunshine looks to get a soft lead on paper and that could be crucial, although he disappointed last time out. Next best #5 Spicy Double, who ran well last time out and significantly gets Zac Purton aboard.
RACE 2: CHINESE BANYAN HANDICAP
#10 All Times Lucky steps out for the first time for Peter Ho, having spent his entire 49-start career to date with Dennis Yip. He looks to have been primed for this and has dropped so far in the ratings that he is likely an early-season winner. #3 Rugby Diamond led them up on Saturday and looked the winner for the entire straight until he was grabbed in the final stride by Invisible. He's clearly racing in great heart, although he needs things to go his own way to show his best, and a return to Happy Valley is a positive. Last start placegetters #2 Showing Character and #5 Forza Avanti are drawn slightly awkwardly side by side, but both look on the verge of a victory and must be included.
RACE 3: LARCH HANDICAP
#2 So Caffe finally displayed the talent he's always been known to have with three top performances, including two wins, at the end of last season. He is drawn to get the run of the race and he should win here at his seasonal reappearance and force his way up into Class 2, where he probably should have been long ago. #9 Mission Possible disappointed last time out after a strong start to the season. For some reason, he is one horse who is better down in Class 4 with a big weight rather than being up in class with a light weight. Still, the inside draw should ensure he gets the perfect trip and that might prove the difference. #5 Little Island is consistent and is one to include in all exotics, while #7 Pearl Warm Warm is likely to be on speed and if he gets it his own way, he will be hard to run down.
RACE 4: PALM HANDICAP
#5 Hot Hot Pepper returned with a strong second to promising Mr Picasso at Sha Tin. He comes to Happy Valley for the first time, but with his forward-running style and a somewhat short sprint, it looks as though he will be suited, especially from gate two. #12 Formula Galore will be at the other end of affairs, likely to be snagged back to the tail by Joao Moreira from the outside barrier. He flew into second first-up and while he is back up in class, he drops 19 pounds and will prove the main danger if the splits go his way. #3 Gracydad has flashed glimpses of talent but needs to put it all together, while #2 Cour Valant is another likely to get back and hit the line well.
RACE 5: THE JCI HONG KONG SENATE CUP
It's a case of striking while the iron is hot with #10 Royal Partner, who returned a winner last week for the first time since November 2014. He was given a six-point ratings hike for that win, which forces him up in class but also sees him drop 17 pounds in the weights. Joao Moreira jumps aboard this week and it looks a perfect spot to win again. His rider last week, Brett Prebble, finds himself on #4 Enormous Honour here as he is unable to make the weight on Royal Partner. The horse is desperate to break through, having recorded 10 top-four finishes last term, but the fact remains that he is still a 21-start maiden in Hong Kong. The step up to 1650m suits and perhaps this is his turn. #1 Joyful Moments is consistent but probably would prefer to remain at 1400m, while #5 Classic Emperor needs every inch of the trip but has been racing in great heart and gets a positive jockey switch to Zac Purton.
RACE 6: POPLAR HANDICAP
#7 C P Power charged home last start with the blinkers applied for the first time, and would have won if the race had been any longer. Joao Moreira may be able to settle him slightly closer here, but in any case he should get a perfect run and this looks his opportunity to break through. #9 Junzi had big wraps on him when he debuted in June, and while he closed steadily from a long way back, he made little impression. He looks to have strengthened up in the off-season, and while the wide draw makes it tough, expect a promising effort. #10 Lucky Seven has the widest draw of all but has been racing well and should be included, while #5 Lyric Ace looks trainer Derek Cruz's best chance of getting his first win for the season.
RACE 7: THE IRELAND TROPHY
It's rare to see Class 4 races this late in the card, but this competitive affair is the night's trophy race. And it can go the way of #4 Autumn Gold at his second run for trainer David Ferraris. The son of Ransom O'War has only won once in a 45-start Hong Kong career, but was running in stakes races three years back and has suffered a long drop through the ratings. He's now at a point where he should be able to make his mark, especially over this course and distance. #10 Supernatural is on the cusp of a victory after two placings to begin the season. A step up in trip is ideal and he looks to get a perfect run. #12 Speedy Wally was impressive fresh down in Class 5 and ran well enough second-up, although was no match for Graceful Kingdom. He has a more awkward draw here but the step up to 1800m suits and he does have Joao Moreira aboard again. Consistent #7 King Bountiful is next for Matthew Chadwick and John Size.
RACE 8: YEW HANDICAP
It's hard to look beyond #2 Super Turbo after his luckless run last week behind Happy Surveys. Go back and watch the replay - pure agony as he was untested behind a wall of horses for most of the straight. He may be looking for slightly further but should get a strong tempo in his favour and from gate two, he will likely be in the same position as last week. They tend to fan wider on the B course, so the gaps are more likely to appear. #8 Courageous Brother will be in a similar position to Super Turbo from the inside gate, with Zac Purton jumping on after riding Super Turbo last week. His last run was strong and good enough for this. #3 Blaze Stamina disappointed first-up but should get a box-seat run here and can atone, while #7 Great Charm gets in well with Kei Chiong's claim.