03/01/2018 3:17PM

Ping Hai Star favored in Flycatcher Handicap


The 4-year-old gelding Ping Hai Star is rising quickly through the handicap ranks in Hong Kong this year, with consecutive wins in seven-furlong handicaps at Sha Tin Racecourse.

Saturday, Ping Hai Star will be favored to win his third race of the year in the $237,617 Flycatcher Handicap at seven furlongs on turf at Sha Tin.

Several elements seem to favor Ping Hai Star. He will be ridden by leading jockey Joao Moreira, who was aboard for wins on Jan. 7 and Feb. 4. Ping Hai Star is proven over the course and there should be a pace to follow from Circuit Glory.

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Trained by John Size, Ping Hai Star will carry 126 pounds, seven fewer than topweight New Asia Sunrise, who was fifth to Ping Hai Star on Feb. 4.

Ping Hai Star has won 2 of 5 starts in Hong Kong and 4 of 8 in his career. In 2017, Ping Hai Star won consecutive races in Australia when racing under the name Ted. Horses frequently have their names changed when they are imported to Hong Kong.

Jolly Jolly, who will carry 122 pounds, and Kingsfield, at 119 pounds, each is capable of winning on Saturday with his best performance.

Jolly Jolly was fourth in a six-furlong handicap at Sha Tin on Feb. 10, closing well to miss by 1 1/4 lengths. He is a four-time winner at seven furlongs.

Kingsfield, who was third behind Ping Hai Star Feb. 4 after a slow start, won a seven-furlong handicap at 23-1 at Sha Tin on Jan. 1, his lone win in five starts in the Hong Kong season.

In Saturday’s $237,617 Snipe Handicap at 1 1/8 miles at Sha Tin, the Group 1 stakes winners Rivet and Ruthven try to win for the first time in Hong Kong. Rivet and Ruthven were fifth and seventh in the $1,277,628 Hong Kong Classic for 4-year-olds on Feb. 18.

Rivet, winless in six starts in Hong Kong, won the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, England, in October 2016. Ruthven, winless in four starts in Hong Kong, won the Group 1 Queensland Derby in Australia last June.