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Davis Files: Sha Tin Preview - 10th May 2024

3 minute read

Brett Davis provides exclusive preview of Sha Tin races.

Racecourse : Sha Tin.
Racecourse : Sha Tin. Picture: The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Rail - C Course


All Weather Track - 2,4


Race 1

#13 GENERAL WINNER put in his best run for quite some time at his latest outing, at what was his first start for Douglas Whyte's stable. He got back in the run and was held up for clear galloping room early in the straight, but I really like the way he attacked the line once he balanced up and got into the clear. Barrier ten this time means that he shouldn't have too many traffic issues and hopefully Karis Teetan can find a spot with some cover from there. He's got a light weight, he should have taken improvement from that last run and looks like he's found the right race to break his maiden in.

#1 ALWAYS AWESOME hasn't raced since January but has had two starts to get him ready for his first up assignment here. This is his first start in class five, while significantly, Hugh Bowman and David Hall team up with him and they boast a formidable partnership. From barrier three, he'll get every chance in the run. He's got all the key factors on his side for him to run to the best of his ability in this contest, in what is the weakest that he's contested in his entire career.

#8 PERFECT PEACH is a well rated horse who's won at a higher level than this in the past. I liked the way that he finished off the race last time out over 1200m and the step up to 1400m is clearly in his favour. He hasn't had much luck at the barrier draw in recent times but hopefully from stall two, he can settle closer in the run than what he has been lately. This is his third run back from a freshen up, he should be at peak fitness and he has the services of Lyle Hewitson, who's got a good record on him. He's definitely one of the contenders.

#4 MASTER OF ALL was backed into favouritism last time out in a similar race and duly saluted. On that occasion, he beat several gallopers that he meets again here and once more, he maps to get a decent run from barrier six. In saying that, he did get everything in his favour last time, he only won by half a length and he has five pounds more to carry this time. It's also tough for horses in this grade to rack up successive wins. I think it will be challenging for him to win this but I do think that he'll be competitive.

#14 FORTUNE MASTER is a two time winner over this course and distance who was getting home well in the race won by Master Of All last time. He's got no weight to carry, he's been racing well without winning and is likely to put in a competitive showing once again.

Selections - 13,1,8,4,14


R2 - 3,1,2,5,7

R3 - 10,1,2,3,9

R4 - 8,1,6,5,3

R5 - 3,6,1,9,7

R6 - 3,1,7,11,6



Race 7

#5 THE BEST PEACH hasn't been a regular winner this season but he has been a model of consistency and this is a winnable race for him. At his latest run, he finished sixth behind C P Brave but he was only beaten by two lengths and should've finished closer, as he struggled for much of the home straight to get clear galloping room. He's a get back, run on style of horse and while he will need luck in running, I can see him getting a suitable pace to run at as there are a few horses in this event that like to roll forward. The drop back in distance won't be an issue and Karis Teetan retains the ride and has a very good record on the horse. He's the one to beat for me in a race with several chances in it.

#2 FLAMING RABBIT also comes out of the C P Brave race and was gallant in defeat on that occasion, as he was taken on by All For St Paul's out in front and still did a great job to stick on for third. The drop back in distance to 1600m looks to be in his favour and Lyle Hewitson has a terrific record on him. If they leave him alone out in front, he'll be tough to run down, but my concern is that he'll be taken on in front which will enable a swooper like The Best Peach to charge past him late.

#7 CHANCHENG GLORY has had an outstanding season, winning four races before coming within a whisker of causing a major upset in the Hong Kong Classic Cup. The 2000m of the Derby was probably a bridge too far for him, but he's enjoyed a freshen up since then and is returning to his favourite distance of 1600m. He's only got a light weight to carry, he's proven that he's tactically versatile and he has the formidable Francis Lui and Vincent Ho teaming up with him. The wide barrier draw is my main query with him, but if he can overcome that, then he's certainly a winning chance.

#4 HELENE FEELING enjoyed a strong start to the season, winning at Happy Valley on International Jockeys' Championship night, and then went on to contest the Four Year Old Classic Series. His best result across those three races was his runner up effort in the Hong Kong Classic Mile, and he's enjoyed a freshen up since then. I liked the way he trialled recently at Conghua, he's drawn well, he has a good record at the distance and gets the services of champion jockey Zac Purton. On the other hand, he is giving weight away to some quality horses and there are doubts about the strength of the form of this year's crop of four-year old's in Hong Kong, but casting that aside, he has enough in his favour to make his presence felt.

#3 MR ASCENDANCY is an incredibly honest horse who's won two of his last three starts. That winning run came to an end last time out but he still performed creditably behind the in-form Moments In Time. He can win on any track in Hong Kong, he'll take up a handy spot in the running and won't be too far away at the business end of the race.

Selections - 5,2,7,4,3


R8 - 14,7,3,5,4

R9 - 8,4,2,5,1



Race 10

#2 STELLAR EXPRESS has been working his way towards a win in Hong Kong and didn't have much luck last time out in the race won by Phioenix Light. From barrier eleven, he was forced to cover ground throughout the race, and under the circumstances, I thought he did well to be beaten less than four lengths. This time around, he's drawn perfectly in barrier two, he has Hugh Bowman riding him and is prepared by one of Hong Kong's best ever trainers in John Size. I like the form lines that he brings behind Baby Crystal from his runs earlier this preparation, he maps to get the run of the race and in a race that lacks a bit of depth, he's one of the major contenders.

#1 EIGHTY LIGHT YEARS is enjoying an excellent season and was a class above his rivals when he scored last time out. He still appears to have rating points in hand and is an uncomplicated horse who's likely to go forward and make his own luck under the riding of Zac Purton. Given that they're on the two best horses, the tactical battle between Bowman and Purton is going to be fascinating and from his better draw, it wouldn't surprise me if Bowman forces Purton to do a bit of extra work to get across and lead here. It's also worth noting that compared to his last start win, Eighty Light Years is forced to carry seven pounds more this time around and is conceding weight to all of his rivals. For mine, he's one of the two winning hopes in the race.

#5 GUSTOSISIMO is a former Sydney based galloper who acquitted himself well at his Hong Kong debut last time out. From a wide draw, Vincent Ho elected to go back, and he was doing his best work over the last 150m of the contest. He's sure to have benefited from that first up outing and he's drawn significantly better in gate four this time. Look for him to finish much closer to them this time around.

#7 GRACIOUS EXPRESS hasn't been able to register a win yet in Hong Kong but he has performed well in all three starts to date under Ricky Yiu's training. He brings the right form lines behind Eighty Light Years and Phoenix Light and has the services of in form Australian jockey, Brenton Avdulla. The wide draw is of significant concern and he could be forced to cover a lot of ground, but if he ends up with a decent position in transit, he's entitled to be thereabouts at the finish.

#10 BEAUTY MISSILE is like a number of these horses in that he's still trying to open his winning account in Hong Kong. However, he has figured in the placings on several occasions, he's better off at the barrier draw this time around, he's been allocated a relatively light weight and I think the step back in distance to 1200m is in his favour. 

Selections - 2,1,5,7,10

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