Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday, May 15th.
We've picked out our four best bets from the meeting below!
Looking to kick things off early with (4) Hainan Star. He placed in his first three career starts before dropping out to finish last at his fourth start, before being sent for a spell. He resumes tonight with two good trials under his belt and notably Zac Purton is booked to ride. Purton has ridden him in his two trials so it's pretty clear they've had this race in mind for quite some time. He draws barrier 1 which is a big advantage over the 1000m A-course at Happy Valley (20% winning strike rate this season). Should be right up on speed and get his chance to break through. Trainer Ricky Yiu is also a specialist trainer of sprinters (his two most successful track and distances this season are both 1000m courses at Happy Valley and Sha Tin) so he'll have him ready to go fresh. (5) Hong Kong Win is the current favourite and will take plenty of beating but I suspect Hainan Star may gain first run and that might be enough to get him over the line.
Two that interest me in this race. The favourite is (6) This Is Class, who really should be going close in this based on his past two efforts at this track and distance. He won two starts ago and was beaten a neck last start. He rises a kilo in the weights again tonight but he's well drawn in barrier 5 and there looks to be plenty of speed on up front to set it up for him coming off the pace. His last-start final sectional was bettered by just one horse in this race, and that is (1) Hero Time, who is an $18 chance. If he'd have drawn better than barrier 12, he'd be half that quote. He's a winner of just two of his 18 career starts but his first up run was very good, running home in 22.82secs, which was the third fastest of the race. That was behind (5) Loriz, who is a $6.50 chance here. Hero Time will have to come from the very back of the field again and it's rare they win from wide barriers over 1200m at the Valley, but Purton takes over tonight (he's got a 25% strike rate when riding for Richard Gibson this season) and he's jumped off other horses in this race to ride him. Have something on at $18.
Another terrific chance for Purton is (4) Magic Legend, who was beaten 0.75L behind Yee Cheong Baby last start over this track and distance. It was the first time he's raced over the 1000m at the Valley and it was a big effort to run 2nd having started from barrier 12. Much better drawn in barrier 3 tonight, Purton takes over from Schofield and a repeat performance would see him win. I think the clear value in the race is (6) Hong Kong Bet, who is an $11 chance. I think that's a terrific price for a horse that appears very well suited. He's only been fair at best in his first two starts in Hong Kong but he improved from his first run to his second run. He drew barrier 10 last start and went back to the rear of the field, before being slightly impeded in the closing stages by weakening horses. He's third up tonight so should be ready to show something and most importantly, he's drawn barrier 1 over the 1000m. Should be able to sit much closer and should get his chance.
This one is a little throw at the stumps in what looks to be a quite competitive race. (2) Jing Jing Win could be a good each way bet here at around $9.00. He goes best when he's fresh (four starts for two wins and a 2nd) and he resumes from a 19-week spell tonight with three trials under the belt. I thought his most recent trial was a pretty nice piece of work, cruising home into 4th on the dirt without really being asked to do much. Joao Moreira is an eye-catching jockey booking for David Hall, he's drawn well in barrier 6 and is well and truly up to winning this race on his best form. First up last prep he was beaten a neck over 1000m at Sha Tin; if he was able to bring a run like that here, he'd go very close.
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