Tim Carroll landed his nap on Sunday and has three selections with analysis for Wednesday's midday meeting from Happy Valley - live on Sky Sports Racing.
Midweek racing comes from Happy Valley on Wednesday with the nine-race meeting getting underway at 10.45am. Today’s card features a handful of class 3s as well as two trophy races namely; race 3, The Hong Kong Golf Club Centenary Cup and race 5 The Swedish Cup.
After Sunday’s emphatic performance at the International meeting with 5 winners to his name, Joao Moreira has well and truly cemented his position at the top of the jockeys’ championship as he looks to reclaim the title back from nearest rival Zac Purton. With both riders featuring in all bar one Purton will be looking ensure that the gap of 12 doesn’t get any bigger.
First up today is my each-way selection (EW) on the card, CHEERFUL STAR who goes in Race 4, The Class 4 Mesia Handicap (12.15pm) over 9 furlongs.
The Frankie Lor-trained gelding remains a maiden in Hong Kong after 19 starts but looks to me that he could represent some value today and is in with a strong chance of going close.
His last 3 runs have all been at Happy Valley and in all of them he has finished in the top four, and in dropping another 1lb today he has plummeted 34lbs from his opening Hong Kong mark and is starting to look dangerous. Furthermore, despite not having chalked off a first win in Hong Kong yet, CHEERFUL STAR has shown he knows how to win having won twice when known as Liwanu when racing in France under Andre Fabre.
The selection is usually ridden to close late, but from the low draw in 2 and without a lot of pace in the race, they may elect to ride him closer to the speed today.
In a race where none of the runners are overly consistent, the son of Excelebration, who runs from the foot of the weights and was unplaced only once in nine starts in France, looks a solid each-way play.
My best bet (NAP) on the card, FLAME LILY who runs in race 7, The Class 4 Robin Handicap (1.45pm) over 1 mile (1650m).
The Frankie Lor-trained gelding has had his last 7 runs at this city track over today’s trip and has been placed in the top 4 in all of them, including when he won over course and distance three starts back, which is the last time he drew a decent gate.
For a runner who likes to get on with it having been drawn high in his last two outings he had performed with plenty of merit and with no penalty from the handicapper for his last effort, in coming out of gate 5 today he should readily be up on the speed early.
With Casa De Forca (1) seemingly the only runner in the field who will take on the early lead I expect to see Moreira follow on his mount and take a sit just behind the leader in what is likely to be a very gentle pace. The make-up is such that things should play out nicely for those on the frontend giving The Magic Man one of his best chances of the day.
My next best pick (NB) on the card is SHINING ACE who goes in race 9, The Class 3 Sea Eagle Handicap (2.50pm) over 6 furlongs.
It will be interesting to see which of the two inform runners (3 and 5) goes off favourite. Either way I have pinned my flag to the mast and see the John Size-trained 4-year-old as my next best on the today over the 3, LE TERROIR.
After dead heating with the progressive Aurora Pegasus when last out whereby both runners finished nearly 3 lengths clear of the field, SHINING ACE looks in such solid form that the 6lb rise shouldn’t prove too much of an obstacle.
Adding onto this the selection has drawn favourable in 3 as such that he wont have to round the field as he did impressively when last out. We can expect to see Blake Shinn push forward and settle without having to use gas early, whilst his main danger (Le Terroir) has a tough draw in 10 and may need some luck from there.
With the 3 and 4 both drawn in neighbouring gates and both showing a tendency to be ridden for early speed the race set up looks ideal for the selection, and as such John Size’s runner can win for the third time this season.
Tim's Best Bets:
12.15pm HAPPY VALLEY (Race 4)
CHEERFUL STAR (EACH WAY)
1.45pm HAPPY VALLEY (Race 7)
FLAME LILY (NAP)
2.50pm HAPPY VALLEY (Race 9)
SHINING ACE (NB)
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