Tim Carroll

Hong Kong racing returns to Sha Tin for an early morning Sunday card - live on Sky Sports Racing - and Tim has three selections - with analysis – now online.

This Sunday sees racing from Sha Tin with a strong looking 10-race card on both the turf and the all-weather (dirt) tracks. The highlight of the meeting is race 9, the Class 2 Tailorbird Handicap (10.10am) over the 6 furlongs.

My Next Best (NB) on the card is CROWN AVENUE who runs in race 1, the Class 4 Hwamei Handicap (6am) over 9 furlongs on the turf.

The 7yo from the Charlie Yip yard doesn’t win out of turn but he certainly has a golden opportunity to return to the winners’ circle here in a race where the majority haven’t shown much of late.

Family Leader looks the main danger and is the only recent winner in the contest, but that was at Happy Valley and he’s has never really got to grips with Sha Tin having been placed just the once from nine starts.

The selection is effective from a mile up and should enjoy going over 9 furlongs first up.  In a race lacking any real pace I would imagine Purton would be keen to keep him close to the lead.

Crown Avenue has been placed at his last four spins and despite running third last time, he drops a further 1lb to a mark of 50 which is 8lb lower than his last winning mark, needless to say he looks attractively handicapped and should take plenty of holding out.

My best bet (NAP) on the card is BUDDIES, who runs in race 8, the Class 3 Swallow Handicap (9.35am) on the dirt over the mile (1650m).

The 4yo from the John Moore yard has won three from eight starts and was last seen finishing unplaced from a high draw when on the speed over the mile on the turf here at Sha Tin in July when they went too quick up front.

There are several signs that the selection is ready for a first up tilt here. Purton is a notable booking with the duo combining four times for three wins. Plus, it’s worth noting that they have elected to start first up over a trip two of his three wins have been over, having started off over shorter last preparation. 

The race maps nicely for the selection as he should either lead from the low draw or sit in behind Tang Fleming (8) who looks the only other contender for the front.

Speaking of the draw, Buddies has drawn in 2 and that will help him no end, having won two from two when drawn lower than 5.

The selection has only been on the AW (dirt) track three times for two wins and a placed effort, and that’s no surprise as horses who like to sit on the front end can being very tough to run down on the dirt.

The son of So You Think still has plenty of upside, and with all the positive signs that he has been readied for his first up assignment, he looks one of the more solid bets on the card.

My each-way (EW) is RAGING STORM who runs in the feature, race 9 on the card, the Class 2 Tailorbird Handicap (10.10am) over 6 furlongs on the turf.

The 5yo form the John Size yard has won five of his 15 starts and was responsible for a very good effort running third last time out when he had two of these (Lucky Hero, Team Spirit) well beaten in behind.

Four of his wins have been over course and distance and he tends to run his best races when ridden cold, thus ideally he wants plenty of speed and that is exactly what’s on offer here.

At least half a dozen of these like to go forward and it would be hugely surprising if they don’t run along at a good clip. The selection is drawn in 6 and will probably sit in the second half of the field, and although he may need a bit of luck late on, the race will be run to suit.

The Magic Man, Joao Moreira, is on top and knows the horse well having been on board for all five wins to date, and with a little bit of luck the combination should go close to making it win number six, hopefully at a decent price. 

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