10/24/2016 11:04AM

Andrew Hawkins' Hong Kong Selections and analysis for Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday, October 26, 2016)

RACE 1: #10 Great Speed, #7 Optimism, #3 World City, #5 Manhattan Striker
RACE 2: #1 Laughing Lord, #3 Spicy Double, #11 Perfect Timing, #8 Show Mission
RACE 3: #6 Best Tango, #8 Pearl Win, #12 Newswire Free, #11 Spinning Dancer
RACE 4: #4 D B Pin, #10 Lucky Seven, #9 Isaac, #2 Flying Monkey
RACE 5: #4 King Bountiful, #9 Supernatural, #1 Towering Storm, #11 Mistral
RACE 6: #9 Sichuan Dar, #11 Super Lifeline, #3 Twin Delight, #5 Jun Huo
RACE 7:#8 Mr Right, #11 Beauty Connection, #7 Thor The Greatest, #2 Diamond Master
RACE 8: #4 Wushu Champion, #11 Super Fluke, #6 The Sylph, #7 Vara Pearl

RACE 1: HEUNG YIP HANDICAP

#10 Great Speed needs everything to fall his way to finally break through at his 29th start, but he looks on paper like he has struck the ideal race and with only 115 pounds on his back and Joao Moreira aboard, he should be winning here. #7 Optimism is a solid Class 5 type who should be suited by having strong rider Nash Rawiller aboard. He maps well. Those punters who heavily backed #3 World City on debut, when he won in Class 4, would never have expected, just three seasons later, he’d be down in Class 5. Zac Purton goes back aboard and he looks well-rated. Next best, #5 Manhattan Striker, who was racing well before his performance was deemed unacceptable over 1650m last start. The return to 1200m looks suitable.

RACE 2: ISLAND HANDICAP

#1 Laughing Lord has been racing well over the last six months without winning, but he looks to have all the boxes ticked here. He gets barrier two, with Neil Callan retaining the ride, and he should get a cushy run here before proving too strong late. #3 Spicy Double is heading the right way after finishing fourth and third respectively at his last two starts. A similar performance to last start, when Zac Purton was aboard, would see him right in the money here. #11 Perfect Timing ran well at Happy Valley two back before he was rather plain last time out at Sha Tin. Bank on him finding the form from two back. #8 Show Mission has been good enough at two runs in Class 5 this season and looks well suited returning to Happy Valley from the soft draw.

RACE 3: NAM FUNG HANDICAP

#6 Best Tango has steadily improved this campaign and looks well-rated now off a mark of 55. He gets another good draw, which should ensure he gets the run of the race. #8 Pearl Win is a typical Hong Kong Class 4 handicapper, winning his one race a season and racing fairly consistently for most of the rest of the season. He has been good enough in finishing fourth in three runs this season, and will be breaking through again soon – when he gets everything his own way up in front. #12 Newswire Free is becoming frustrating but should really be winning shortly, if he can finally convert. Next best, #11 Spinning Dancer at his second run for trainer Manfred Man after a passable effort first-up.

RACE 4: SHUM WAN HANDICAP

#4 D B Pin flashed his talent with two seconds to Dancing Flames and Multimax at the end of last season. His trials have been fairly quiet but he definitely looks to have matured over the off-season and he can be expected to get his season off to a winning note here. #10 Lucky Seven has looked an upcoming winner at his last four runs, but he has drawn off the track each time. Finally, he gets a reasonable barrier here and he has race fitness on his side. #9 Isaac has looked handy enough at the trials, although he will undoubtedly improve with experience under his belt. #2 Flying Monkey continues to hold his form, but the barrier looks messy.

RACE 5: TAI SHUE WAN HANDICAP

These 2200m contests are few and far between, especially with a 60-35 ratings band, so it is somewhat of a lottery. That said, #4 King Bountiful won three races over this trip last season, two in Class 5 before winning up in this class. He has been racing well this season but he stays all day so he is the most likely winner here. #9 Supernatural is one-paced but is racing in solid form currently. The step up in trip should suit him, especially with only 116 pounds on his back. Veteran #1 Towering Storm doesn’t win out of turn, but his record over this extended trip is particularly good and a drop back into Class 4, even with 133 pounds, looks suitable. At odds, keep #11 Mistral safe. A son of the late Zabeel, the step up to 2200m looks a logical decision. It’s just a matter of whether this is too soon for him.

RACE 6: THE HONG KONG COUNTRY CLUB CHALLENGE CUP (HANDICAP)

An open and competitive Class 1 over the 1650m. #9 Sichuan Dar gets in very well under the 110-90 ratings band of the race, carrying two pounds less after winning by a half-length last time out. He has won his last two starts, both over the Happy Valley 1650m, and this race provides him a perfect opportunity to make it three in a row. #11 Super Lifeline has been a consistent type over a number of seasons, but it has been more than two and a half years since he last tasted success. His consistency has ensured that he hasn’t got below his winning mark from that day until this season. He ran well behind Sichuan Dar last time and meets him six pounds better at the weights. #3 Twin Delight caused a 247-1 shock at Sha Tin last time out, beating subsequent G3 winner Joyful Trinity, but he returns to his favourite course and distance and he should get it soft out in front. #2 All You Wish creates interest at his first run at Happy Valley, but the classy conveyance could get a long way out of his ground and is probably more a place chance.

RACE 7: WONG CHUK HANG HANDICAP

#8 Mr Right might be worth a shot at odds with a drop back in trip. There looks a heap of speed in this race, and he should be able to sit just off the speed and pounce mid-straight. He has been in poor form of late but he gets Neil Callan aboard and returns to the scene of his only three wins to date – the Happy Valley 1000m #11 Beauty Connection is racing well at the moment, having found form at the back end of last season. His first run in Class 4 was terrific when just edged out by Junzi and he looks a winner in waiting. #7 Thor The Greatest has returned in solid form, but there is likely to be little fat left on his price at the finish with Joao Moreira aboard again. Next best, #2 Diamond Master who is always capable of performing if just allowed to run his own race.

RACE 8: YIP FAT HANDICAP

#4 Wushu Champion is a flashy chestnut who really caught the eye flashing home for fourth first-up at Happy Valley. The step up in trip suits and Richard Gibson believes this horse has the talent to be competitive up in Class 2. He bears close watching. #11 Super Fluke has been so consistent of late, it is hard to believe that he is yet to win in Hong Kong. He gets Joao Moreira aboard and this looks his best chance yet, although trainer Derek Cruz is yet to win a race this season. #6 The Sylph is a frustrating horse – he has run second at five of his last six starts, only broken by a win by a short head at his last run last season. He is a horse that must be included in exotics, but also is worth opposing on a win line. Next best, #7 Vara Pearl, who rarely runs a bad race around this circuit.