12/01/2016 4:13PM

Hong Kong: Blocker Dee switches to synthetic surface for Salisbury Handicap


With luck, Blocker Dee would start in Sunday’s $225,623 Salisbury Handicap at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong on a three-race winning streak.

Blocker Dee won minor handicaps at Happy Valley Racecourse in September and October, and was an unlucky fourth as the favorite in a similar race on Nov. 9. Blocker Dee was beaten two lengths after being checked in the final sixteenth.

Those races were on turf. Blocker Dee will race on Sha Tin’s all-weather surface for the first time in the Salisbury Handicap, which is run at six furlongs. A 5-year-old Australian-bred gelding, Blocker Dee will carry 130 pounds, two pounds less than Wah May Friend, who is winless in three starts since June.

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Blocker Dee is versatile. He won from the front and off the pace earlier this year while Wah May Friend is more likely to race near the front. They are part of a field of 12 in the Salisbury, the last of 10 races on a program that begins at 1 a.m., Eastern, or 10 p.m. Pacific, on Saturday.

The race has drawn a solid field.

The Salisbury Handicap will be a class test for Team Fortune, who has won his last three starts in handicap races on the all-weather track for horses rated in the range of 60-80. The Salisbury is restricted to runners rated 80-100.

Team Fortune was fourth in his first start of the Hong Kong season in September, when rated 62, and currently runs off a mark of 84. As a result, he will carry 121 pounds, 11 less than Wah May Friend, who has a rating of 95.

Happy Meteor, who will carry 120 pounds, should do well on the all-weather track, having won twice on the surface already this year. Happy Meteor was 11th as a longshot in a handicap on turf at Happy Valley on Sept. 9. Leading rider Joao Moreira has the mount on Happy Meteor, a 6-year-old Australian-bred gelding.