Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Happy Valley in Hong Kong on Wednesday, June 27th.
We have an eight-race card on the C-course at the Valley (rail out). That generally means wide barriers are at a disadvantage and the best spot to be is up on speed. It’s typically hard to make ground from the back on the C-course.
We’ve got betting tips and comments for every race below.
Best Bet: Race 6 #2 Dragon Pioneer
Best Value: Race 4 #4 Charity Wings / #7 Win For Charity
Fairly moderate Class 5 staying event to open the card and these can sometimes be a bit of a trap on the C-course. I think the favourite (3) Penzance is short enough at $2.90. His two most recent runs have been sound but he hasn’t exactly hit the line like a horse that’s crying out for extra ground. He steps up from the 1800m to 2200m here and goes up in weight from last start too. Barrier 1 is certainly a huge positive as he should sit right on the heels of the leaders, but he’s no certainty. I’m interested in backing both (4) Sweet Bean and (11) Holy Unicorn, both at $6.50. Sweet Bean was a winner over this track and distance five starts ago. That win was on the C-course, where he made a mid-race move after settling in midfield. Barrier 2 might make a similar move impossible tonight, but Purton goes on and he seems a reasonable price. Holy Unicorn will be right up on speed and could even lead here, which gives him every chance. He’s had a couple of runs around this distance in his past couple of starts and in a race that lacks tempo, he might be able to run them off their feet.
TIP: (4) Sweet Bean / (11) Holy Unicorn
Competitive little Class 4 sprint here. (4) Split Of A Second comes up favourite at $2.50 here, which is short enough given his trainer has had just two winners from 64 starters at this track and distance this season. However, he does have a 25% strike rate with favourites, and the horse gets a massive jockey change tonight with Purton taking over from Ben So. He’s been knocking on the door with every start and with Purton going on tonight from the good draw, he’ll be hard to hold out. I was impressed by the run of (8) Deal Maker first up following two promising trials. His late sectionals were sound and he should appreciate the step up in trip tonight. Looks to have returned in good order from his break and looks to get a good run from barrier 5. Backing Derek Leung to beat Zac Purton is the concern but we’re obviously getting a better price at the $5.50 mark. Size and Moreira team up with (6) Jolly Bountiful. It’s the first time this prep that Moreira has gone on this horse and he’s been building nicely with every run. Looks ready to win now and Size’s record at this track and distance is imperious. (5) Money Marshall might be the improver at big odds.
TIP: (8) Deal Maker
Quite keen on (1) I’m The Conquist here. This horse dropped from Class 3 to Class 4 company last start and put in a good effort to run 4th, beaten 2.4L. He started from barrier 10 on that occasion and raced wide from the 600m mark, so his effort to get so close under the big weight was good. Stats show that it’s advantageous to be drawn inside barrier 6 over this distance on the C-course. He draws barrier 4 tonight and stays in Class 4, so with a better run in transit I expect him to go very close. (7) Lucky Lucky is knocking on the door with some good performances recently. Moreira goes back on tonight but he’s drawn sticky in barrier 9. The booking of Purton on (4) Amazing Race really catches the eye as it’s for trainer Casper Fownes. This horse started favourite last start but pulled up with blood in the trachea and a lame front leg the next day. Purton replaces the apprentice and he’s drawn barrier 1, which is a big help here. Worth having something on at $9.50.
TIP: (1) I’m The Conquist / (4) Amazing Race EW
I’ll be backing three here at good odds. (4) Win For Charity was a winner in this Class over this track and distance four starts ago, where he also started from the same barrier as he does tonight. He ran 3rd over track and distance last start and it appears to be better to be drawn a bit off the rail if you look at the statistics so he looks capable of winning again tonight at $11. (7) Charity Wings won over track and distance three starts ago and he starts from barrier 5 tonight, which is clearly the most successful barrier over this course and distance (12 winners from 72 starters). He’s been back to the trials since his last start and looks a good chance at $8.50. (9) Megatron won over 1800m at this track four starts ago, but that was in Class 5. Since then he’s been building his way up in Class 4 and from the good draw tonight he can go close. He’s also an $8.50 chance.
TIP: (7) Charity Wings / (4) Win For Charity EW
Competitive little Class 2 field here but (1) Doctor Geoff makes his Happy Valley debut here and maps to get all the favours in the run from barrier 2. He’s run well when beaten by the promising Rise High in his past two starts and I think that’s a good form line to be following. Purton takes over from the apprentice and he looks hard to hold out. (4) Insayshable made a great debut when running 3rd over 1650m behind Singapore Sling. Singapore Sling went on to run 2nd in the HK Derby so that form is very good for a Class 2 and Size looks to have him ready for this with three trials under the belt since then. (7) Winning Faith has a great record at this track with three wins from five starts. Surprised if the winner comes from outside of those.
TIP: (1) Doctor Geoff
Think this race has (2) Dragon Pioneer written all over it. He won two starts ago defeating (1) Healthy Luck before that horse turned the tables with a comfortable victory last start. Dragon Pioneer sat wide throughout, however, and did well to finish where he did. If you look back to the race two starts ago, Dragon Pioneer beat Healthy Luck by 1.5L and tonight gets in better at the weights from that meeting. Moreira goes back on and from the good draw I’d expect him to win this or at least be going very close. Healthy Luck goes up sharply in weight again but should roll forward and be given his chance. (5) Dream Come True drops in grade tonight for the first time since arriving in Hong Kong.
TIP: (2) Dragon Pioneer
Open race. Going to have something small on (11) Flying Quest at $15. He’s drawn barrier 1 here and horses starting from barrier 1 over this distance on the C-course have won 18 of the 88 races this season. That’s seven more than any other barrier. Completely forget he went around last start and his only previous start over track and distance was a win. He’s a knockout hope in an open race. (10) Double Valentine is a chance for similar reasons from barrier 3. He’s a bit on and off with his form but he’s placed twice over this track and distance recently. (6) Eagle has won a trial since his last start and can improve, while (2) Harrier Jet has a good barrier to offset his rise in weight on the back of a last-start victory.
TIP: (11) Flying Quest EW
Tough race to finish off with but I’ll be backing both Moreira and Purton here. I suspect we’ll get a strong speed on up front with the two apprentices on frontrunners in the form of (6) Don’t Miss and (7) Thunder Stomp. If Don’t Miss did somehow manage to get a comfortable lead, he’d be hard to run down as he’s shown in previous starts, but I expect them to set a fierce speed and likely ruin their chances. (12) Sam’s Love steps up in class and up in distance tonight and Moreira jumps off one or two other horses in this field to ride him. He’s proved he can run well in this class previously and the rise in trip might just be what he needs. Drawn ideally. (10) Intrepic is one of those horses Moreira has jumped off and Purton gets on. He’s trialled nicely since his last run and from barrier 8 he maps to get a nice run behind a good tempo, which may just be what he needs to finally win. (1) Har Har Heart and (8) The Judge have both given themselves up in recent starts but aren’t hopeless.
TIP: (12) Sam’s Love / (10) Intrepic EW
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