Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday, September 16th.
Wednesday night means Happy Valley racing in Hong Kong! It's another eight-race card at the city course tonight, and Tim Geers has picked out some selections for the night's racing below!
Best Bet: Race 7 - (3) Sell My Sole
Best Value: Race 6 - (5) Lucky Quality
(4) Telecom Rocket only has one win from 22 starts so it’s hard to be confident here, but interestingly he’s never raced at Happy Valley before. This is his first time at the city track and he comes up with barrier 2, which is the barrier with the highest winning strike rate (23%) at this distance on the C-course. Moreira teams up with Ricky Yiu here on (2) Focus, together they strike at 26%. Barrier 8 is an awkward draw but he has a good record at this track and distance and he looks the horse to beat. Moreira jumps off (6) Perfect To Play and Purton picks up the ride for Casper Fownes, who has made a great start to the season. His team go better at Happy Valley so he shouldn’t be dismissed.
(2) Mig Energy is favourite here for Purton and Tony Cruz but this animal is very weak, and I wouldn’t be diving in at $2.60. Now, there’s every chance he has improved over the off-season, but I was on this horse at the end of last season when he found the perfect race, drew barrier 1 and had every conceivable chance as favourite, and he turned it up. So, there’s no way I can back him here at the price. (6) Shamport returns to 1200m fresh tonight and draws a plum gate, which is a big advantage at the 1200m on the C-course. Moreira and Fownes team up, and last time this horse raced at this track and distance he ran 2nd to California Rad, which is a very decent form line. I think (7) Jolly Good Heart could be a bet at $16. He was well-beaten in his first two starts in Hong Kong, but his recent trials have been improved and a better showing is expected tonight. He also draws well. (5) The Runner has had a stable change but last time we saw him he won here at this track and distance, so should be around the mark again.
(4) Smart Thinker has had a stable change ahead of tonight. He drops from Class 4 to Class 5 and Purton goes straight on for his first start. Add to that the fact he draws the plum gate in 1 and he looks to really get his chance to win tonight. He needs to show something because he’s been dreadful in every start up until tonight. (12) Tigerlad ran consecutive 2nd placings toward the end of last season, one of which was at this track and distance. Draws well and gets a decent jockey booking so can certainly go close at $5.50. Big watch on the top weight (1) Sweetly Baby. Moreira has ridden this horse in both trials and stays on tonight. Drops in class and looks very dangerous, but the barrier hurts.
(2) Jolly Honour tailed off toward the end of last season but the freshen up might have done him well. Purton sticks with him tonight and he meets a few horses who are pretenders. Draws well and likes this track and distance, so $6.50 looks a decent price. I also think the $41 about (9) Kiram is over the odds. Jockey Alex Lai isn’t one I ever, ever back, but tonight might be the first time because $41 is a decent enough price. He has a really good record at this track and distance this horse, he gets in with a light weight and he also draws a plum gate. He tends to pop up sometimes at these sorts of prices.
(5) Lucky Quality is a horse with the potential to win this but he’s a real pig in the gates, so his race might be over within 10m. He has the tendency to play up badly and miss the jump, but if he jumps on terms from his good gate, he should put himself right in the race and give a good sight at double figure odds. We’re taking a bit of a risk but at the odds, it might be worth the punt.
(3) Sell My Sole looks a complete moral here. He’s gone close in his two starts leading into this and gets everything in his favour tonight with a gun draw in barrier 1. He probably should have won one by now but he’s been beaten a neck and a short-half-head in his past two. Trial was good, Moreira on for Size and so long as he gets even luck, he looks the winner.
Backing two horses to close out the night here. The favourite (8) Eternal Harvest looks the one to beat. Ricky Yiu has a terrific record with his runners over 1000m at the Valley, and this horse is already a two-time winner from just five starts, including one over this track and distance last time he raced. (2) Saul’s Special has a decent fresh record, drops in class and gets Purton back on tonight. His last three wins have all been when Zac has ridden him, so he looks set up for tonight and $6.00 is a good price.
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