Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, September 8th.
Today is the first meeting of the new Hong Kong racing season, with 10 races on the card to get stuck into.
We've previewed every race on the card below!
Best Bet: Race 3 - (6) Regency Gem
Next Best Bet: Race 4 - (5) Joy Master
Really keen on the favourite (3) Crown Avenue. He's been right around the mark in his four most recent starts, placing in all of them, and he is knocking on the door for another win. Purton only rode him in one of those races but he's back in the saddle today after piloting him in a recent trial. He's got a good record over this track and distance and he's drawn beautifully in barrier 5. Coincidentally, from 12 races last season over the 1800m on the C+3 course at Sha Tin, barrier 5 was responsible for five winners, a 42% winning strike rate. Plenty of boxes are ticked for Crown Avenue to win again.
Looks a race of two chances. (3) Enfolding and (4) Deal Maker last met back in July, just before the end of last season. That was over this track and distance and Deal Maker won comfortably, scoring by 2.8L with Enfolding in 2nd. That was his stable debut for Jimmy Ting, who seems to have improved him greatly. Today they meet again, with Deal Maker riding 4.5kg in the weights, which certainly makes it interesting. Purton is booked for Enfolding today and last time he rode the horse it went down by a neck. Deal Maker will sit further forward in the run and Enfolding will have the task of running him down. I'll stick with Deal Maker who could have more to come at just his second start for the new trainer, but expect Enfolding to be taking ground off him late.
Again there doesn't look to be a whole lot of depth to this race. (6) Regency Gem probably should have won first up after two good trials. He was held up early in the straight and when he finally got clear he stormed to the line to be beaten a short-half-head. Barrier 10 is a slightly tricky one but I think with clear running he'll be able to come over the top of these. (2) Le Panache draws favourably in barrier 1 but he was 1.3L back in 4th in that same race behind Regency Gem, who ran about 0.26secs quicker for his final 400m. I don't think he can turn the tables despite the good draw. (1) Mister Monte ran 2nd in his first start in Class 5. He actually finished ahead of Good Runners Way in that race, which is the horse that beat Regency Gem last start, so we can tie him in that way. The negative with this horse is the fact he's won just one race from 34 starts.
Competitive race this one. The two I'm most interested in are (2) Kwai Chung Elite and (5) Joy Master. Kwai Chung Elite ran 2nd to Adonis two weeks ago, which was his first start in Class 5. That was over 1200m so the pace was obviously a touch faster than a 1400m race but his final sectional broke 23 seconds, which is good enough to see him go close again today. Joy Master has absolutely no luck in his last start. Moreira rode him from barrier 1 and he got badly held up in the straight before being checked at the 300m mark. Completely forget he went around in that race. Prior to that he'd run consecutive placings in Class 4 and his final sectionals from those races are better than anything else in this race. Purton goes on today and the wide draw isn't actually the worst thing. Barrier 14 had the best winning strike rate over this distance on the C+3 course last season, so there is hope from barrier 13. He's a good each way bet. Happy to go with him on top and something small on Kwai Chung Elite.
(6) Monkey Jewellery rises in weight to carry 60.5kg today but these lightly-raced Size horses can often continue winning once they've won one. He's had the off-season to freshen up after his last-start victory and he can go on with it today. (7) Colorado High might be the value at double figures. He ran on well from the back of the field behind Monkey Jewellery last start, recording 22.08sec final sectional. (5) Lucky Guy will be around the mark.
Two I like here. I'm siding with another Douglas Whyte-trained runner having their first start for the new trainer in (6) Victory Power. He's yet to win a race from 16 career starts but he's been around the mark plenty of times in these sorts of races and Douglas Whyte has already proved he can improve horses greatly. He's drawn well and I'll back in the trainer to record another winner with a stable transfer. (4) King's Race has only had one start where he ran 4th. That was a decent race and his sectionals from that race would see him competitive here. He's had a bit of time since that first run to mature and if he's improved a bit with that time, then he'll be very competitive here at each way odds.
He has to carry all the weight but (1) Buddies looks very hard to beat. He loves this track and distance, with two wins and a 2nd from three starts. Purton jumped off last time he raced and unsurprisingly the horse didn't perform, but the champ gets back aboard today after riding him in a recent trial. He'll go straight to the lead and he'll prove very hard to run down from there.
(4) Racing Fighter could be a good each way bet in what looks a pretty competitive Class 2 over the 1200m. We're getting $5.50/$2.15 for a horse that's placed in his past seven starts, including three wins. He's won his past two and what I like today is the fact Zac Purton takes the ride on him again. He rode this horse last start and in his recent trial, and he chooses to stick with him over (7) Fat Turtle, who is also in the market and who he also rode in his recent trial. Barrier 11 is a little bit sticky but I think the price is decent. (3) Raging Storm hasn't shown his best in a little while but he showed at the end of last prep he might be coming back into form. His best would see him go close to winning this. Those are the two I'd be looking to back but it's a tough race.
$7.00 looks a good price for (8) Looking Good here. He's placed in his last four starts and he was beaten a head and a short-half-head in his two most recent ones. From the good draw, he should be very competitive because this is no harder to what he was going close in at the end of last prep. The favourite (3) Happy Fun is only lightly-raced and has plenty more to come, you'd think. The booking of Purton catches the eye and he's undoubtedly the one they have to beat, especially from barrrier 1. I'd be happy to either back Looking Good E/W with $7.00/$2.40 on offer, or back Looking Good and save on the favourite Happy Fun at $2.40.
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