Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, November 17th.
Today is main lead up to the Hong Kong International Races, with the G2 Jockey Club Mile, G2 Jockey Club Sprint and G2 Jockey Club Cup all on the program!
Check out our preview of the key races below.
We saw the shocking defeat of (1) Beauty Generation in the G2 Sha Tin Trophy last start, his first loss after 10 consecutive wins. They elected to take a sit behind the leaders on that occasion but we won't see that again. Expect him to lead here from barrier 1. I'd forgive him for that loss. You'll notice that he ran a bit flat in the same race last year and even though he won, it was only by half-a-length. He then came out and won this race by 3L. Last start he carried top weight of 133lbs, with the next highest 119lbs, which was the winner, so he gave at least 14lbs (6.5kg) to every other runner. Under today's conditions, Beauty generation carries 128lbs and every other runner carries 123lbs. So he's giving every other runner just 2kg. At the weights he's an absolute moral.
The other runner that's completely thrown in at the weights is (1) Exultant. He ran a really good race first up over 1800m in the G3 Sa Sa Purse, beaten about a length into 3rd. He carried top weight on that occasion and gets a huge weight swing in his favour today from the runners he lined up against last start. He drops to 58kg today while most of the other runners rise in weight. He'll be much better off with that run under his belt and he's quite clearly the best horse in the race so I expect him to bounce back into the winner's stall today. (3) Rise High caused the upset over Beauty Generation last start and deserves respect. He was only first up in that race so can improve again. Steps up from 1600m to 2000m which is a slight query as he's never run at the distance before. (6) Time Warp ran well first up and can do so again. Hugh bowman flies in to ride (8) Furore who was disappointing last start but gets his chance to bounce back. Moreira sticks with (5) Dark Dream who will also need to improve quite significantly on what he showed last start.
What a race this is! We've got five Group 1 winners already in the field, along with all the best new kids on the block. (1) Beat The Clock was last season's G1 Centenary Sprint winner and carries top weight here as a dual Group 1 winner. He's won three of his four starts when first up from a spell. He's had 10 starts at the track and distance for five wins and five placings. Moreira rides for John Size and he'll be right in the finish. He ran 3rd in this same race last year. (2) Mr Stunning has won the last two G1 Hong Kong Sprints. He ran 2nd in this race last year but he was second up on that occasion, whereas he comes into this first up this year. I think he'll need the run. (4) Hot King Prawn is an interesting runner. He looked as if he'd be the next big thing in the sprinting ranks but he failed in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint last time we saw him. That was 49 weeks ago and this is his first run since. He had a colic operation earlier this year, hence the long layoff. He's trialled four times to get ready for this and it will be interesting to see how he comes back because on his day he's right up there with the best of them. He doesn't get an easy race to return in though! Then we get down to the new kids on the block. (11) Regency Legend has won six of his seven career starts and returns from a spell today. Last time he raced, he beat Seasons Bloom, who we saw come out and win the G2 Premier Bowl a few weeks back. He's undefeated first up, undefeated at the track and distance and gets Purton on board. This is his stiffest test but he looks well and truly up to the grade. (14) Aethero is one of the leading contenders for next month's G1 Hong Kong Sprint. He's a freak. First up they tried to ride him with cover to see what he did, but he hated it, overraced fiercely and cooked himself. But they reverted to the tactics of letting him run last start and he bounced back in phenomenal style, breaking the track record under hands and heels! The query for him today is he gets back up to 1200m, which is the distance he ran over when defeated first up, but he should handle it. The horse he beat by 4.5L last start came out and won its next start easily so his form more than stands up. With just 51.5kg on his back, he goes on top. Purton would be riding him but can't make the weight for those wondering.
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