Finished 4 of 7 @
As the Hong Kong season warms up, expert Tim Carroll is hitting top form with 4 winners on Sunday - get Thursday's exclusive Sha Tin tips online and watch them live on Sky Sports Racing.
This Thursday sees a 10-race card from Sha Tin, which gets underway at 6:00am. The feature of the meeting is race 7, the Group 3 National Day Cup (Handicap) (9:05am) over 5 furlongs.
Karis Teetan stole the riding honours at the weekend with a three-timer, which puts him in second spot - just four wins behind championship leader Joao Moreira. However, Vincent Ho and Golden Sixty were the stars of the show with Hong Kong’s new young champion taking out the Celebration Cup in stylish fashion on his return.
Once again, the Francis Lui 5yo displayed a booming turn of foot and it will be full steam ahead to International day in December. Beauty Generation, who was carrying the grandstand, lost no admirers back in second-spot (dead-heat), and connections will be keen for a rematch off level weights later in the season.
My Next Best (NB) on the card is BIG PARTY who runs in Race 7, the Group 3 National Day Cup 3 (handicap), (9:05am), over 5 furlongs. The Frankie Lor 5yo will make his seasonal reappearance having not been seen since May when placed over 6 furlongs at Group 3 level behind two of Hong Kong’s best sprinters in the recently retired, Thanks Forever, and Hot King Prawn. Gold Chest aside, all of these went over 6 furlongs last time and that’s where most of the field’s form lies. However, the selection was last seen over the minimum trip in December when a comfortable and quick winner of a Group 3. He is drawn low in 1, which usually isn’t favourable on the straight course, but in the small field I doubt it will make much difference, and the race does map for the selection to lay up in behind likely leader, Yee Cheong Baby, who has drawn alongside in gate 2. Finally, Zac Purton, who has won on the selection but hasn’t been aboard since last year, has been booked for the ride, which is always a positive sign.
My best bet (Nap) bet on the card is SUMSTREETSUMWHERE, who runs Race 8, the Class 4 Jinan Handicap (9:35am), over 7 furlongs. True, the selection doesn’t have a good strike rate, but his form has taken a big spike north since recently joining the David Hall yard, and there could be more to come. On paper he was a tad disappointing last time, but he met trouble from the stalls, which put him out of position, and did well to finish where he did. Prior to that he was only a whisker third behind the promising Angel Of My Eyes, who will be popular here, but the selection is 10lb better off with that rival this time around as connections opted for Jerry Chau’s claim. The race itself should set up in similar fashion to when they last met, with Angel Of My Eyes and a couple of others looking to go forward, and the selection - who has drawn gate 1 - on their tails with a perfect trail throughout.
My value best (EW) play is GENERALS DELIGHT, who runs in Race 10 on the card, the Class 2 Beijing Handicap (10:45am) over 7 furlongs. It is difficult to predict how punters see this one, but with Mighty Giant also lining-up, a winner of his last three and rising through the classes, I'd like to think we will get fair odds about the selection, even if he's towards the top of the betting. The Douglas Whyte runner won just one of his six local starts, but kept some good company in that time. On his penultimate spin he was beaten narrowly at Group 3 level, before finishing off the season with a slightly flat performance, despite not beaten far at Class 1 level. No doubt this is a decent looking contest with a couple of promising types, but it does represent calmer waters for the selection, and although his solitary local victory came over 1 mile, he did win two from three over shorter trips in Australia, and was Stakes placed over this trip. The race maps for the selection to trail the leaders, which should include Mighty Giant, who has drawn high in 13, and for our sake, will hopefully gas early to get across, leaving him vulnerable to the selection who should get the perfect sit in behind.
REMAINDER OF THE CARD
Hurricane Kunde, Marvelous Fan and Run Run Good are all debutants, and although none excelled at the trials, with Teetan, Moreira and Purton booked (in that order), any positive market moves should be noted. Sprint Forward was runner-up at Happy Valley three back over this trip from a similar mark and will strip fitter for his first-up spin.
PEGASUS GLORY defied market expectations when runner-up on debut over 5 furlongs earlier in the month. On that occasion he sat just behind the leader and ran to the line like a horse who looks suited by a step up to 6 furlongs. The selection, who is entitled to come on for the debut, has drawn low in the 2 gate and it’s likely he will be ridden prominently.
Happy Sebring was last seen in June when runner-up over 10 furlongs and looks a live player but has top-weight and is a closer in a race that on paper lacks pace. More Than A Horse, who goes from the foot of the weights, is yet to win in nine local spins, but did run with merit in defeat a couple of times and could be an improver in just his second campaign. London Hall may need the run given he will be having his first outing since May when very disappointing, but did win a couple of 10 furlongs races earlier in the year. He could easily bounce back.
GOD OF DRAGON can be hard to catch, but did win twice last season, including over course & trip on his penultimate start. He’s 6lb higher in the handicap here, but looks the most likely to take it up in a paceless race, and could get a soft lead.
Natural Storm was last seen in July winning over 9 furlongs when having three of these in behind, and looks a major player despite being worse off at the weights. Starship picked up the silver medal on his return and won over course & trip off a 2lb higher mark last season, but has a poor strike-rate. Fast Pace is a lightly raced 5yo who comes with a health warning, but showed enough in two starts to suggest he could be handy if they can get him fully wound up.
GOOD DAYS is another who is difficult to catch and is no winning machine. However, he was 1.5 lengths behind Natural Storm last time and is 8lb better off here, plus he had to be snagged back from a high draw that day before rocketing home late. This time, the race should set up more favourably, and Purton maintains the partnership.
Easy Fit (Joao Moreira) and Everyone’s Delight (Zac Purton) are both debutants who have shown enough in their trials to suggest they could be above average - any markets moves should be noted. Hero Star was runner-up in two of his last three over course & trip last season, and will strip fitter for his return.
LUCKY QUALITYrepresents the in-form yard of Caspar Fownes, and was last seen picking up the silver medal on his return at Happy Valley over this trip earlier in the month. The superbly-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro had only 8 starts, and although yet to win, was placed on four occasions. Chances are he will be better over further, but with a spin under his belt, looks the one to side with here.
Power King moves up in grade, but looks above average and could be a contender for place purposes from the foot of the weights. High Rise Soldier was a dual winner in Australia, and although has yet to taste success in Hong Kong, is another with strong each-ways claims. Take What You Need was also a two-time winner in Australia yet to win in Hong Kong, but has solid each-way claims based on several decent efforts.
SKY FIELD will go off at prohibitive odds and is the most likely winner on the card, but due to the likely short quote we won't make the Caspar Fownes’ 4yo the Nap. The selection is up 9lb for winning last time and only just qualifies for Class 3 company. He is definitely on his way to pattern-company, and baring bad luck, can use this as a stepping-stone along the way.
The Abraxas is the class dropper, and despite being a maiden after 25 starts, should be respected given he has been placed recently at a higher level. Moneymore won on his seasonal reappearance when having his first stars for David Hayes, and only goes up 5lb in the handicap. Fox Cheunger is 6lb higher in the handicap than his only win, but subsequently ran with merit in defeat on several occasions, and holds a live chance.
TELECOM MISSILE didn’t show up during his first campaign last season, but had trialled strongly before resuming with a decent runner-up slot to Moneymore. He only meets his rival on 4lb better terms, but given he was just half a length behind and remains on an upward curve, it would be no surprise if he turned the form around in a race that looks there for the taking.
Uncle Steve won off a higher mark than this last season and ran with promise on his return, but once again has drawn high. Heza Beauty won two starts back and although unplaced after that off this mark, should have more improvement to come. Flying Victory has low milage for a 5yo and could surprise, while Circuit Hassler won over course & trip last time but goes up in grade, and will find this more challenging despite carrying 15lb less.
MARVEL DRAGON was purchased out of Australia having won both starts. He failed to fire in the first part of last season, but hit his straps later on with several promising efforts, including when winning over course & trip in May off a 5lb lower mark. He then backed that up when placed from a tough draw off this mark in a race that worked out well. He is having his first start of the season and wears first-time blinkers, but that suggests connections have readied him for a first-up tilt.
Today's Tote Placepot will be races 5 through to 10. All up we will be playing 27 combinations (1x3x1x1x3x3), which will cost £2.70 for a 10p stake and so on. Good luck.
LEG 1 - 1 SKYFIELD
LEG 2 - 2 TELECOM MISSILE 8 MONEYMORE 10 FOX CHEUNGER
LEG 3 - 2 BIG PARTY
LEG 4 - 4 SUMSTREETSUMWHERE
LEG 5 - 2 UNCLE STEVE 4 MARVEL DRAGON 5 FLYING SPIRIT
LEG 6 - 2 MONGOLIAN KING 3 GENERALS DELIGHT 8 MIGHT GIANT
Tim's Best Bets:
9.05am SHA TIN
BIG PARTY (NB)
9.35am SHA TIN
10.45am SHA TIN
GENERALS DELIGHT (EW)
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