Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday, November 27th.
We're back on the A-course tonight, which the basically rail in the true position, so they should get their chance coming from anywhere.
Check out our race-by-race preview and tips for the meeting below!
Best Bet: Race 6 - (6) Special Stars
Found it hard to split those at the top of the market here, but these races can be a bit trappy. (4) La Bomba goes on top after an encouraging run last time out. He started this campaign for new trainer Douglas Whyte and also in Class 5 for the first time. His first up run was poor but he bounced back with a good effort last start. He ran 2nd, beaten 3/4 of a length and it was a further 1/2 length back to (7) Royal Chocolate in 3rd. They meet again tonight and they're hard to split. La Bomba ran 0.02sec better for his final 400m in that race, but Royal Chocolate was only first up, whereas La Bomba was second up. They've drawn alongside each other here in barriers 4 and 5 respectively, and Royal Chocolate gets the big jockey change of Silvestre De Sousa going on tonight. He's been beaten 1/2 length in both starts when second up from a spell and he absolutely gets his chance to win tonight, but he's had 21 chances so far and is yet to break through, so that's the query. La Bomba is a bit more lightly raced having only had seven starts, so I'm going to lean to him. (2) Excel Delight was beaten 7L first up at Sha Tin but he drops into Class 5 now and Moreira goes straight on for John Size, so don't be at all surprised if he can turn his form around at double figure odds. The inside draw helps and he's the value.
I've been following (1) Top Score all season and he really gets his chance to win again tonight. He ran the fastest final 400m of the entire meeting two starts back over this track and distance behind Aurora Pegasus, and that form proved strong as they ran the quinella last start over this track and distance again. Aurora Pegasus is a smart little horse and without him to compete with, this race looks in the keeping of Top Score. Moreira goes on, drawn soft in barrier 2 and should be able to overcome the handicap to win.
Can probably let this race through to the keeper. We have a $2.80 favourite who is yet to win from 31 career starts, that being (12) Romantic Journey. His last three runs here at Happy Valley have all been good and he's put the writing on the wall with his two 2nd placings in his past two starts, but you have to be brave taking that price about a horse with that record, even if Moreira does go on tonight. I can make a case for plenty of others, but none that really make me want to stamp them. I'd have (3) Golden Kid on top on ane ach way basis. He's had four starts at this track and distance and has finished in the top three in all four. When he ran 3rd here two starts ago (and Romantic Journey ran 2nd), he ran home in a better final 800m and ran 0.01sec slower for his final 400m than the favourite. At $6.50/$2.25 he'd be the way I'd go, but it's an open race.
Lyle Hewitson is yet to ride a single winner from 90 runners since arriving in Hong Kong but he just might get his first tonight on (8) Cheerful Star. This horse had no luck two starts ago over 1800m here when badly crowded in the straight, and last start he finished off very strongly when taken back from the wide barrier. He ran home in final sectionals of 23.87 and 23.67, while the favourite for this race (10) Dionysus Colin ran home in 24.43 and 24.62, finishing 2nd. The favourite will be hard to beat with Moreira on from a good draw, but if Cheerful Star can get a bit of luck from the inside gate, he should be right in the finish. Last start winners (5) Bullish Glory and (6) Above can be included, as can (1) Perfect To Play who drops back into Class 4.
I dare say Purton would have been riding (6) Regency Poet is he wasn't suspended tonight, but Chad Schofield picks up the ride on this horse on debut and he could prove hard to beat. His two most recent trials have both been nice and from the good draw in barrier 5 tonight he should run a good race at each way odds. (4) King's Trooper was very impressive first up but failed last time out. Moreira sticks with him and he draws well so expect him to bounce back.
(6) Special Stars could be a moral here. His run two starts back was very good, where he drew barrier 1 and was beaten a neck. That really put the writing on the wall that he was ready to win but unfortunately nothing went right for him last start, caught wide throughout from barrier 1. He draws barrier 1 again tonight and Moreira has stuck with. Barrier 1 over this distance on the A course at the Valley is a gold mine so he should prove extremely hard to beat, especially with the top weight rising 4.5kg in the weights after his last start win.
I'd be playing a few in this race. (3) Happy Alumni returns to the races after two good trials and looks to find a suitable race. He's drawn barrier 1 which gives him every chance here and I suspect Purton would have been on board if he was riding tonight, but Vincent Ho is a decent replacement. Moreira trialled this horse recently but notably he sticks with the Size runner (10) Nice Kick, which finished 2nd last time out. Third up from a spell tonight and his two prior third up efforts have both been very good, so if he can get a good enough run from barrier 10, I think he'll be right in the finish at nice odds. Looks the value. I backed (12) Holee Money first up and thought his effort was a touch plain but he might have needed that run and he gets De Sousa on board tonight which helps. I'd save on him. Backing Happy Alumni and Nice Kick, saving Holee Money.
(9) Red Elysees isn't exactly a winner but he raced well for 4th last start when beaten 1/2 length and his first up run was a complete forgive after sitting wide without cover throughout. Silvestre De Sousa takes over tonight and although he's drawn barrier 10, he looks an each way chance at around $8.50. Third up tongiht and gets his chance. If you look back toward the end of last prep, he was racing well in some similar races at Sha Tin so he's got the capability.
The top two in the market look the two to be with here. (5) Highly Provocative was sound on his Hong Kong debut when finishing 3rd at Sha Tin over 1000m. he should take improvement from that effort and the step up to 1200m should suit. Drawn ideally in barrier 2 and should be hard to beat. (10) Meridian Genius ran 2nd in that same race at Sha Tin, 2L ahead of Highly Provocative, so he surely rates highly here. He's had two runs back over the 1000m this prep and now steps up to 1200m. He was beaten a short half head over 1200m last campaign so the distance shouldn't be an issue. Some query that Moreira has ridden him both starts this prep but doesn't ride him tonight, infact he doesn't have a ride in the race.
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