10/30/2017 1:46PM

Divine Boy looks to retain winning form


Divine Boy ended a 23-race losing streak in the Tsuen Lok Handicap at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong on Oct. 10, his first career win on the track’s infield all-weather surface.

Divine Boy was favored that day and is back on the same surface at Sha Tin on Wednesday evening in the $238,479 Hebe Hill Handicap at about a mile and 50 yards. Once again, Divine Boy is likely to be favored in a field of 14 that includes the Brazilian Group 1 winner Salto Olimpico, who is starting in Hong Kong for the first time.

Divine Boy, a 6-year-old Australian-bred gelding by Street Cry, has won 4 of 38 starts in Hong Kong. He won three consecutive starts in fall 2015 on turf at Happy Valley Racecourse before the losing streak began. The recent win was his second start of the 2017-18 season, preceded by a second in a handicap on turf at Happy Valley on Sept. 13.

On Oct. 8, Divine Boy was ridden by Joao Moreira, the leading rider in Hong Kong. Moreira has been aboard for all four of Divine Boy’s wins in Hong Kong and has the mount Wednesday.

The Hebe Hill Handicap is the last of eight races at Sha Tin on Wednesday. First post time is 7:15 a.m., Eastern. The Hebe Hill Handicap has a post time of 10:55 a.m. Wagering is available through DRFBets.com.

Salto Olimpico, a 3-year-old colt by Holy Roman Emperor, won the Group 1 Grande Premio Jockey Club de Sao Paulo at 1 1/4 miles on turf in October 2016 as a maiden in his fourth start.

In the handicap ratings utilized in Hong Kong, Salto Olimpico has been given a rating of 85 and will carry 116 pounds, three less than Divine Boy.
Eastern Express and Packing Dragon will carry topweight of 133 pounds. Eastern Express is winless in his last four starts, including a second in the Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy on turf last June. The Hebe Hill Handicap is the all-weather debut for Eastern Express.

Packing Dragon was a four-time winner during the 2016-17 Hong Kong season, but has finished sixth and fourth in his first two starts this year. He is likely to be near the front early.