Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Sha Tin on Monday, July 1st.
We've got 10 races on the card to look forward to and I've offered my thoughts on every race below.
Best Bet: Race 3 - (2) Dancing Fighter
Best Value Bet: Race 2 - (8) Soccer Brave
(1) Victoriam bolted in last start to win by 2.3L over this track and distance. He rises 3.5kg in the weights and it's never easy to put back-to-back wins together in Hong Kong, but he finds a weak race and can win again. He ran a 22.11sec final sectional last start, which is faster than anything any other horse in the race has run. (5) Master Galaxy has trialled well enough to be competitive on debut here. He's drawn well in barrier 6, although trainer Me Tsui is yet to have a winner over the 1200m on the Sha Tin turf track, from 71 starters.
This is a very, very low grade race with plenty of slow horses going around. (3) Keep Winning is the $3.50 favourite. He ran 4th at Happy Valley last start over this distance - the first time in six starts at 1650m that he's missed a place. His only win from 12 starts here at Sha Tin came over this distance, so he finds the right race to win again. Moreira goes on and he should prove hard to beat. With that said, I think $6 for (4) Above is probably a decent enough price to have a nibble. He's yet to run a place in 9 career starts but Zac Purton goes on board for the first time today and his partnership with John Moore has been extremely successful this season. He didn't get a lot go right for him last start, so from the good draw he might be able to get his head in front for the first time given the weakness of this race. One at odds I'm pretty keen to have something on is (8) Soccer Brave. He comes into this race third up from a spell and that's generally when he fires. His last two wins have both been when third up and both have followed very ordinary runs. On New Years' Day last year, he won after finishing 20.3L back the start prior, and in June last year he won after finishing last the start prior. He's a two-time winner on the dirt so look for sharp improvement from him today at $18. Backing Above and Soccer Brave.
So long as (2) Dancing Fighter can make his way across to the outside rail, he should be winning this. He won his debut over track and distance back in December and returns for the first time since. He's had two trials leading into today and both have been good. He finished alongside (7) Oversubscribed in his most recent one but he would have gone straight past if Purton wanted him to. Clearly the horse to beat. (9 Excel Delight draws well in barrier 12, which should see him find the outside rail. He hasn't had much luck in two starts to date, so expect him to improve. (1) Super Junior has placed in his past three starts, all at this track and distance, so can run well again. (10) Holee Money next best.
Competitive race. (4) Gracious Ryder is racing well, with a win and a narrow 2nd in his past two starts, both over this track and distance. He's right up in the weights now and draws awkwardly in barrier 10, but he's run final sectionals of 22.42 and 22.43 in his past two starts. If he reproduced those performances he'd probably win this. Just needs a good ride from Vincent Ho. (5) My Power might be one to throw in at good odds. He's a $16 chance but I don't think he's going all that badly. He's third up from a spell today and drops slightly in the weights. (2) Home Run is first up here and resumes in Class 4 company. This is the first time he's been in Class 4 since November 2016. Given he's placed nine times in Class 3, he's more than capable of winning this fresh. The problem is he's a winner of just two races from 40 starts.
(3) Touch Of Luck looks short enough at $2.00 here but he's the horse to beat. He won over the mile on the turf track here two starts ago and followed that with a big run in defeat at his first go on the dirt last start. It's worth noting that his headgear (pacifiers) basically came off mid-way through the race, but he still recorded the fastest final sectional of the race. He takes a hike in the weights today but still looks the horse to beat. (4) Enfolding ran 3rd in that same race behind Touch Of Luck last start. His final sectional was the second-fastest in the race so he should be able to run well again. (12) Deal Maker is yet to win a race from 11 career starts, but it won't be long before he does. He's placed on five occasions and he actually broke 23 seconds for his final sectional over this track and distance last time we saw him. He's first up today so he's the fresh horse on the scene, it's just barrier 13 that's the major negative for him. (1) Remarkable has a good record on the dirt and bounced back to winning ways on this surface last start. He can go well again.
The market looks to have this pretty spot on. (8) Buddies put two wins together before running 2nd over track and distance last start. He drew barrier 12 on that occasion and couldn't get across to lead so had to sit on the leaders' heels. He should be able to kick through to either lead or box seat without doing any work today as he's drawn barrier 1. Clearly the horse to beat given the sectional times he's run compared to others in this race. (13) General Dino is undefeated on the dirt, with three wins in his past three starts. He steps up from Class 4 to Class 3 today so it's another test for him, but he obviously drops considerably in weight down to 52.5kg. He and Buddies both won on the 8th May; General Dino ran 24.09 and 24.55 for his final two sectionals, while Buddies ran 24.12 and 24.17. General Dino obviously carries a lot less weight today than what he did that day so he should measure up here. (2) Ping Hai Treasure disappointed last start in the same race that Buddies ran 2nd in. He started from a wide draw with a big weight and couldn't get cover. He'll be much better suited with barrier 6 today so look for him to bounce back. Good contest.
Looks a match race between these two hugely promising three-year-olds, (5) Thanks Forever and (7) Big Party. The first thing to note is that Zac Purton is the regular rider for both horses, and he chooses to stick with Big Party today, giving Karis Teetan the chance on Thanks Forever. That's the first hint. I think in terms of the race set-up, it probably suits Big Party a touch better. He's proven over 1200m - he's got three wins at the distance, including an impressive display last start - whereas Thanks Forever has only raced over the straight 1000m course to date. He's yet to be tested over 1200m and therefore yet to be tested around a bend in race conditions. So I'll stick with the grey Big Party. Outside of those two, (9) Lucky Hero can be included, as can (13) My Darling at $81. He was good in a strong race first up and had no luck at all last start.
We see the return of a potential superstar here in the form of (10) Aethero. He's been smashed in betting already (as short as $1.50) after two super-impressive performances. He led all the way to win completely untouched last start, which was his first go at 1200m. He won by 3.3L but was eased up the final 50m and was never asked to even extend, so the margin could have been double or triple that if Purton wanted. This is a really good test for him today because he's got a few really key negatives against him. He steps out of Griffin company for the first time, so he takes on the older horses today. He's drawn barrier 14 so if he's going to get across and lead, he's going to be made to work for it. He's carrying 56kg in Class 3 at his first attempt, so it will be a good effort if he is to win. But he's well and truly good enough. (7) Aerohappiness looks the logical danger after a win and two placings in his past three starts. He's racing well. (13) Diamond Brilliant should also be rated a big place chance. He won two starts back and finished off very strongly last start at his first attempt in Class 3.
One of the harder races of the day to find a winner. (1) Grand Chancellor has finished top two in his past three starts. Drops back to Class 3 after running 2nd in Class 2 last start but rises in the weights as a result. He meets stablemate (3) Classic Beauty again - he beat Classic Beauty by half-a-length two starts back but gives him a 2.5kg weight swing today. Purton also goes on Classic Beauty for the first time today. He normally likes to lead so from barrier 12 expect him to come across in a hurry in search of the rail. He's placed in all three starts at the track and distance. (12) I Do could be the value at $11. He's lightly raced with just seven career starts and comes off a 2nd placing over 1800m here last start. If he can come across from barrier 10 and slot in behind the leaders - which the speedmap has him doing - he'll run a very good race with the featherweight. No confidence here.
Think the robots have had a bit of a meltdown with the market here because (10) Beauty Applause opened $3.00 and is now as short as $1.30 in some places. There is still $2.30 available at 365 if you can get on. Otherwise, wait til race time because the $1.30 will drift. He should be able to lead here in any case as there doesn't look a great deal of speed in the race. He steps up to Class 3 for the first time after saluting under top weight in Class 4 last start. Looks the most likely winner. (7) Private Rocket won his first race in Hong Kong last start, where he stepped up to 1400m for the first time since arriving. He's now got two wins and a 2nd from three starts at the distance. Draws wide today so will need a good ride from Vincent Ho. (2) Coby Boy isn't hopeless at big odds. He dropped to Class 3 last start and finished his race off relatively well, despite finishing back in 7th. Drawn to sit much closer in the run today.
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