Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, May 17th.
10 races at Sha Tin this afternoon on the C+3 course, the widest rail position.
Check out our preview and betting tips below!
Best Bet: Race 6 - (6) War Of Courage
Best Value: Race 7 - (3) Xiang Yin
This might appear to be the single worst horse race in the history of Hong Kong racing, but that's pretty standard for this class of race. I think these are about finding a set up and that appears the case with (2) King Print who drops in class today and Zac Purton goes straight on for his first start in Class 5, which is always a big lead. Dennis Yip isn't exactly training a stack of winners but it's hard to make a case for a lot of horses in this race and this looks to be a long-range plan with King Print. Apprentice Jerry Chau rode a double at his first meeting in Hong Kong last weekend and he's booked to ride (7) The Joy Of Giving. He was beaten a long way first up but he did miss the start on that occasion, and he was 3.8L off the winner last start. He's had no luck with barriers this prep - he drew the outside gate in his first two starts this prep and has come up with 11 today. Wouldn't surprise me to see him ridden forward today third up with the apprentice on. He's actually got a decent record at this distance with a win and two 2nds from five starts. He's a bit of value at $8.00. (4) Enjoyable Success has been reasonable in his past two starts, while Moreira goes on (10) Sky Gem for Casper Fownes.
Another tricky race, this time a number of horses line up on debut. Going to side with a couple of the debutants and hunt a bit of value. (5) Dr Eq has had six trials up in Conghua leading into his first career start, and while they've appeared quite unflattering, Moreira goes straight on for race day. He draws wide which is a big plus down the straight. He's $8.50. The other one I'll be backing is the Francis Lui/Vincent Ho runner (6) Easy Dazzling who is $41. He's also had five trials and hasn't finished closer than 8th, but Vincent Ho jumps off the Casper Fownes runner to jump on for race day. (1) Goko drops back the 1000m at Sha Tin which is his pet track and distance. Jerry Chau's claim brings him down to a very winnable mark in Class 4.
Two or three horses I'm keen on here. I've been with (4) Dream Warriors most of the prep and he's been ridden poorly most of the prep. He gets Purton on today and gets the added bonus of a good draw in barrier 5, which means he doesn't have to be too far off them, and equally he doesn't have to be bustled up from a wide draw. He should just be able to find a spot midfield, relax and finish off like we saw him do earlier in the prep. (2) Fortune Happiness had no luck last start when caught wide. He gets a much better draw in barrier 2 today and Vincent Ho takes over. He does his best racing over the 1200m here at Sha Tin so he also gets back to his pet track and distance. He's the value in the race at $11. (1) Super Eighteen is the other one I'd be including at $15. He draws barrier 1 here which is a huge plus on the C+3 course over 1200m and he gets in with no weight. The barrier has a 23% success rate this season.
(9) Stunning Imapct was backed off the map at big odds last start and he should have walked in. It was horrible viewing for those that were on the plunge, held up terribly in the early parts of the straight before finally getting clear and powering to the line to be beaten a narrow margin into 3rd. Jockey change today with Teetan taking over from Derek Leung but he does have the wide draw to negotiate which does make it a bit tricky. It shapes as an interesting race, because (4) Heza Beauty gets his chance to bounce back. He was awfully disappointing last start when a short-priced favourite. The start prior, he bombed the start by several lengths before running home to be beaten less than a length. He's been back to the trials since last start and Moreira sticks with him for John Size. Draws well and gets his chance.
(6) Chevalier Prince ran well at big odds on his debut last start. Purton had trialled him leading into hsi debut but jumped off to ride another horse on race day, but he gets back aboard today. He ran the fastest final 400m in the race last start and pulled up with mucus, so he should improve if anything today. Drawn well and looks the one to beat, but I do concede the $2.30 is well and truly short enough. (4) Sprint Forward ran well first up before enduring a tough run from a wide gate last start. Moreira goes on today and he should be right in the finish at $7.50. (2) Triumphant Horse draws well and gets his chance to win back in Class 4.(13) Lucky Missile should appreciate 1400m.
(6) War Of Courage looks one of the bets of the day here. He's yet to miss a placing from six career starts and he was my best of the day two starts ago when he won over this track and distance. The form out of that race has been good and he hmself came out and ran well again last start stepping up to 1200m. He draws barrier 14 here which is absolutely ideal down the straight 1000m and he looks quite clearly the one to beat. The danger I thought was (11) Good View Clarico who comes off successive wins in lower class, but Zac Purton can't make the weight and he's replaced by Ben So here, which is a huge downgrade. Interestingly, Purton also jumps off (9) Diamond Brilliant to ride the top weight (1) Smart Folks who makes his Hong Kong debut at big odds.
Two I'm keen to back here. (6) Gift Of Lifeline doesn't win out of turn but he really gets his chance to put another one on the board today. He's been running well without having a race really run to suit, and he hasn't had luck with barrier draws either. He does today as he comes up with barrier 1, which should allow him to just find the rail in the run, like he did last time he won. Chad Schofield is in very good form. (3) Xiang Yin is value at $14. He ran well first up after settling last so don't worry about the 5.8L margin he was beat. He ran 3rd second up last preparation and he gets a perfect draw in barrier 4 today so he should be able to improve and if he's closer in the run, I can see him being right there in the finish.
There's a few real teases in this race but the one that interests me is (2) Super Oasis who makes his stable debut for leading trainer Ricky Yiu and he wastes no time putting Zac Purton on. Last time we saw him he finished a long way down the track in the Derby, but he's trialled well since his arrival to the new yard and comes up with barrier 1 today which is a big help. He wasn't beaten all that far two starts ago over 2000m so he's certainly got the ability.
This is a good race with a handful of winning chances but the interesting runner is (2) Taking Aim who makes his stable debut for Douglas Whyte having previously been in the care of John Moore. It will be a good effort if Whyte can turn around a Moore runner, but he's had plenty of success doing that with other horses this season. He books Zac Purton straight away for his first start and draws barrier 1, so he really has his chance to put a win straight on the board which is often the goal for trainers when they get a horse from another stable.
Very keen on (3) Inner Flame who returns from a spell today. He won his first three career starts, all over this track and distance, before failing last time we saw him. He stepped away slowly and just never looked likely but he clearly didn't pull up all that well because he hasn't raced since. He has been back to the trials and all looks well, so if he gets back to his best he'll be awfully hard to beat here. Notably, Moreira jumps off the John Size runner to jump on this horse. (11) President's Choice looks the one that can test him and he gets the aid of barrier 1 which is a big advantage over 1200m on the C+3 course, but I still have Inner Flame on top of him. Interesting to see (2) Superich has been dropped back to 1200m.
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