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 7 - (6) Victoriam
Next Best Bet: Race 8 - (2) Yee Cheong Baby
As usual we get things underway with a low Class 5 event over 1200m. (1) Corre Rapido drops back into Class 5 at his seasonal reappearance today. The last time he raced in Class 5, he won by 2.5L over this track and distance. Zac Purton rode him that day and he's back aboard today following a trial victory in which he was also aboard him. He travelled well in that trial and wasn't let go, so he had a bit more up his sleeve. Drawn well, he'll go straight towards the lead and be hard to run down. (6) Exponents also comes out of that same trial behind Corre Rapido. He was a few lengths behind but wasn't asked to do anything by Blake Shinn. He can go well from the low barrier draw. (2) Fortune Happiness gets Moreira aboard and comes up favourite. I'd rather be with Corre Rapido at the prices.
(2) Such A Happiness was a winner over track and distance in this class two starts back. Moreira rode him that day and jumps back aboard today. He should be hard to beat. (1) New Elegance drops into Class 4 for the first time. He's won in Class 3 so this is significantly easier than anything he's faced before in Hong Kong. Purton takes the ride which is a big indicator, especially for Frankie Lor. If they have him ready to go fresh, which I suspect they will, he will take plenty of beating IF he brings his best form. Two at decent odds are (3) Sunny Power and (5) Garlic Yeah. Sunny Power draws the inside gate and placed three times straight at the back end of last season, all at this track and distance. He's a bit of a non-winner but he gets his chance today. Garlic Yeah is the blowout; he's gone well previously over this track and distance without quite finishing in the money. From the good draw, he could run a bold race. Such A Happiness is the one to beat but he's short enough at even money. Something small on 1, 3 and 5.
Competitive Class 5 this over the 1400m. (5) Joy Master has come good in recent starts at the back end of last season. He's finished 3rd in his two most recent starts and both of those were in Class 4, so he should be super competitive in Class 5 today. He ran a 22.67 final sectional last time out, which should see him hard to beat if he can repeat that today. Moreira on, barrier 1, looks a great chance. Purton rides (12) Big Bully who has also seemingly come good in recent starts. He's placed in all three of his most recent outings, all of which were in Class 5 and two were over this track and distance. He had to go back from the wide barrier last start but he hit the line really well. Drawn better in midfield today and Purton sticks with him so he has solid claims. (2) Flying Noble drops back down to Class 5. Last time he raced in this Class he ran 2nd over this track and distance, which followed a win over this track and distance. He should be around the mark, while (3) Enormous Honour has his first ever start in Class 5, having previously done all his racing in Class 3 and 4.
He's only a winner of one race from 22 starts but I'll go with the Douglas Whyte-trained (3) Big Fortune. This horse makes his stable debut for the new trainer, having previously raced under the care of Peter Ho. That's a bit stable change and we saw Whyte turn one around last week with Adonis bolting in on stable debut. Drawn well, I think he can go close to winning this with the expected improvement. (5) Supreme Plus gets Moreira on board, replacing Umberto Rispoli who has ridden the horse previously. Expect him to go well. Purton rides the Casper Fownes-trained (6) Aurora Pegasus. He rode it on debut but jumped off after that. He's only had two career starts and can improve sharply in his second prep. The problem is Casper only trained two winners from 42 starters over this track and distance last season. (1) Momentum Happy has trialled well leading into his debut today but barrier 12 is a tough one to win from.
This is a bit of a lottery so won't be playing big here. The old boy (6) Grand Harbour could be the each way bet here at around $6.00. Expect him to punch through from barrier 1 to sit right up on the speed and he'll take a bit of beating from there. He goes well on the dirt and gets in relatively light with the claim for Alfred Chan. He's run top two in four of his last five starts. (1) Touch Of Luck is a bit of a cat, with one win and five placings from 11 starts. His sole victory came over the mile so perhaps this could be a bit short, but I suspect John Moore will have him sharp enough to go close here, and the booking of Purton suggests as much. He should sit on the back of a hot speed and be the fresh horse on the scene. His two previous runs on the dirt were good so he will be around the money. Will back both of those but the chances don't end there.
(5) City Legend is a complete non-winner but he might be able to run at least a place today. He's run 2nd six times over this track and distance and he's run 2nd in all three starts when third up from a spell, so he certainly gets things to suit him today. He really has a problem getting his head in front but he might look the winner at some stage today and there's $3.00 available for him to run a drum. (11) This Ones For You has done zilch so far but his recent trials have been encouraging. Maybe now he can start to convert that into race day form so I'd be prepared to have something small on him at double figure odds.
Will stick with the exciting (6) Victoriam who has won two of his three career starts to date. They've been his two most recent runs and have been by a combined margin of 4.6L. Both were over this track and distance and he should have no issues with the step up to Class 3 today. Just needs a good ride from the awkward barrier. (8) Invincible Missile has his fair share of talent but he's struggled to conver that into wins, with just one from his seven starts. He's drawn ideally in barrier 4 with Purton on and will be the horse Victoriam needs to run down. (5) Solar Wei Wei is always around the mark in these races, while (2) Cruising would be right in this on his best form.
(2) Yee Cheong Baby is undefeated so far in Hong Kong, consisting of two races and three trials. He led all the way on his debut at Happy Valley over the 1000m to win by 0.75L, before doing the same to score by 2L when stepping up to 1200m. He comes to Sha Tin for the first time today on the dirt but his racing style will be really suitable for that surface. He looks the winner.
Blake Shinn might find his first Hong Kong winner (if he hasn't already by this point) on (4) Winning Supreme. He's got a good record on this track and distance and from the inside draw he'll be right up on the speed getting the run of the race. He wasn't far off Coby Oppa last time we saw him and that horse would have won this if he lined up today. He should be hard to beat from the inside gate. (3) Young Legend gets Purton on from the wide barrier. He's another with a good record on the track and distance and the only negative for him is the gate. He can go well though. (6) Mega Heart and (8) Silver Fig next best.
Will be backing (11) Craig's Star and (8) Cool Team to close out the day here. Craig's Star is a horse I've backed at most of his starts. He's finished in the top two in five of his seven starts but only has one win to show for it. The freshen up due to the change of seasons may do him good here; in any case, he'll be right in the finish, hopefully with his head in front. Cool Team has only placed once in Hong Kong and that was over this track and distance under similar circumstances. Purton is a notable booking for Paul O'Sullivan here and if he reproduces the performance he did when he placed then he could be competitive again at each way odds.
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