Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday, July 10th.
It's the final meeting at Happy Valley for the 2018/19 Hong Kong racing season and it should be an absolute cracker with Zac Purton chasing down Joao Moreira's record of 170 wins in a single season.
We've got nine races on the card and you can find our preview and betting tips below!
Best Bet: Race 4 - (2) Touch Of Luck
Best Value Bet: Race 9 - (7) Perfect Glory
The two favourites should jump to the lead here. (1) Look Eras drops back to Class 4 after racing in Class 3 recently at his past two starts. He's acquitted himself well in those races and prior to that he placed in four straight races in Class 4. Three of those were at this track and distance - in fact, he's placed in seven of his nine starts over the 1000m at Happy Valley. Barrier 1 is a huge advantage for him so he has absolutely no excuses tonight. He just struggles to get his head in front with three wins from 39 starts. (4) Aquila will be urged to sit outside him from barrier 12. The barrier hurts him but if Purton can get across early, I think he'll dominate the race in terms of putting the other horse to the sword. He's going to be very hungry for winners tonight as he chases the record, and this horse has plenty more to come given he's had just two starts to date.
The barrier means (2) Love Chunghwa will go straight to the back of the field. In all likelihood we will see Purton hug the rail and try to save all the ground on the inside in the straight. Whether he can make up the ground is the issue but he's racing well and he obviously gets a big jockey change tonight. I won't be losing on him. (10) Bonito has suddenly discovered form. He's got a win and two 2nds from his past three starts, which are the only times he's placed from 17 career starts. Draws well tonight and the jockey is going really well so he should race well all things considered. Not discounting (12) Master Bernini at double figure odds, while (3) Regency Gem and (6) Open House are chances.
(2) Lady First drops to Class 4 for the first time since arriving in Hong Kong more than two years ago. The 1200m trip is a bit of a query but this is the easiest race she's competed in and Purton jumps on. The champ has had nine rides this season for trainer Jimmy Ting, resulting in four winners and a 74% ROI. (8) Lightning Treasure and (12) Compassion Star can race well down in the weights with good barrier draws.
Looks a nice race for (2) Touch Of Luck to bounce back from a slightly disappointing performance last start on the dirt at Sha Tin. Perhaps he's a bit high in the handicap now but he does find a very winnable race. While it seems he's drawn a bit awkward in barrier 9, that's actually the most successful barrier over this track and distance on the A course this season. Purton and Moore have struck at 40% this season with a 43% ROI and $3.00 is an acceptable price. (5) Charity Wings is racing OK and can run a good race here at nearly double figure odds, while (9) Dream Warriors looks the obvious danger.
Backing two at each way odds here but will be saving on (5) High Rev with Purton on board of course. He would have been top pick but barrier 12 hurts. Purton could ride a broomstick home at the moment though. (7) Shining On was well-backed last start and finished off his race really well. He draws the plum barrier 1 tonight so that should give him his chance to win, though he does struggle to get his head in front. He's a double figure odds chance so only something small on. (9) Diamond Legend has placed in his past two starts and starts from the same barrier as he did when finishing 2nd here last start. He can run well again at each way odds.
(1) Hong Kong Bet goes on top. He was a winner here three starts ago when he drew barrier 1, which is a big advantage over this track and distance. He then ran 2nd from a wider barrier before being outclassed in good company at Sha Tin last start. Back to Happy Valley tonight, carries top weight but gets the all important inside barrier draw. He'll be hard to beat. The Purton runner is (5) Jumbo Happiness, who is a decent price at $6.00. He's first up tonight, which is probably a good thing as he meets a lot of tired horses. First up last prep he wasn't beaten far over 1200m here. Drawn well and will go close. (7) Special Stars is also first up tonight and he's already a dual winner over the track and distance. Size/Moreira combination so he's the logical danger to the two above.
A very competitive race overall so there's only one horse I'll be playing on. Vinnie Ho might be able to get (8) Mr Picaso home here at double figure odds. He was good first up when beaten less than a length and although his second up record has historically been poor, his runs in Hong Kong when second up from a break have actually been quite good. Drawn well in the middle of the line and could go well so something small on him eachway.
I'll be keeping this simple and backing (2) True Grit and saving on (3) Tashidelek. True Grit has been very impressive this preparation, winning all four starts. All four have been over the 1650m here at Happy Valley but he steps up to 1800m tonight. That won't be an issue as he relaxes so well. He carries weight tonight and is right up the top of Class 3 but he could still win again. Tashidelek went down as the short-priced favourite last start, beaten a short head. He draws well again tonight and should be right in the finish. He's at even money so equal stakes on the both of them.
Great race to finish off with. The favourite (8) Sunny Boy will be hard to beat. He won two starts back and then was narrowly defeated last start after beginning from barrier 12. He draws much better tonight so expect another good run. But it would be wrong of me not to back Purton in the last. (7) Perfect Glory won here first up with a big weight in easier class but he hasn't had much go right for him in his past two starts. Purton jumps on tonight and he's drawn well so he'll be much closer to the pace than he was last start. He's got a good record at the track and distance so at each way odds I'll play (still $8 available). (6) Waldorf draws barrier 1 and has been on a winning run. He can measure up here at a similar price.
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