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Davis Files: Sha Tin Preview - 08th June 2024

3 minute read

Brett Davis provides exclusive preview of Sha Tin races.

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

Rail - C Course

Race 1

#1 MY INTELLIGENT has top weight and another wide gate to deal with but remains the horse to beat. Previous efforts at Happy Valley against superior opposition stand out amongst this races form and the rise to 1400m won't be off any concern. There's plenty of speed drawn right across the gate so I expect Zac Purton to bide his time early before eventually finding cover in the run. If that all works out then he 's the runner they'll all have to hold off at the end.

#14 REGENCY HAPPY STAR has found bother at his three previous attempts and is a runner of definite interest now he's change stables. He's the lowest rated galloper contesting this event and it seems apparent that he struggled with the demands of previous trainer Tony Cruz. A change in head gear, drop back in distance and new environment enlightened his spirit in a recent trial and on that basis he's a genuine chance.

#2 THE CONCENTRATION was somewhat of a surprise winner last start however there was inward movement on the dividend board during the final moments of betting. He remains in the lowest grade following the aforementioned win and should position handy in running from the good draw, without burning gas. Therefore, with only a 3lb penalty increase at the weights he commands respect.

#5 JAZZ CLUB has been a liability for connections since arriving from the stable of Roger Varian where he won a 2yo race comfortably at Windsor in 2021. There's been a few hiccups with soundness along the way and acclimatisation has also been an issue but he maybe worthy here today. Something has clicked his past couple of runs and when you consider he arrived on 73 points, he's a must included.

#8 BEAT HOLLOW should lead this field despite the wide barrier draw and in the process take running down. He's a one trick pony that would prefer a 1200m race because he struggles to find the line with any strength. Nevertheless, with the rail out along way those on speed can often find a little more and with a senior rider back aboard he'll be rated better.

Selections - 1,14,2,5,8

R2 - 7,3,10,8,1

Race 3

#7 KA YING VICTORY recently made it two from two down the Sha Tin straight when he cut down BABY CRYSTAL to score. He's the 3yo on the up taking on the older horses once again and a minimal weight penalty of 4lbs reads well. He has tactical speed if required but appears best when slightly held up, which was precisely the situation when he belted home with gusto last start to score.

#1 WE ARE HERO hasn't enjoyed the most prosperous campaign but he can't be underrated down the Sha Tin straight. He won four races over this course and trip last season and clearly displayed enjoyment for running in a straight line. The fact Hugh Bowman jumps back on is a tip in itself considering he's the only jockey to have won on him full stop. The wide draw entitles him to trail the early speed without having to manoeuvre about before crunching hard at the end.

#2 BABY CRYSTAL is difficult to oppose following an excellent season where he's continued to improve run to run. He's yet to finish further back than 2nd over this course and distance and with 7lb claiming apprentice Ellis Wong booked he should be in the finish. The inside draw is a slight disadvantage from previous outside gates but he does possesses the natural speed to offset.

#5 FLYING HIGH has continued to slowly trickle down the ratings mountain and is almost ready to win. He's a course and distance specialist that's fit and rearing to go and is far better drawn in barrier 10.
He's also the recipient of a 4lb weight relief in this 1000m sprinting event which adds up to him closing the gap.

#4 PLEASANT ENDEAVOR finds it difficult to win races consistently at class 3 level but is normally good for a minor place. There are no concerns regarding the barrier draw, rider booking or course and trip it's just his ability against opponents at the weights. He's honest and won't be faraway but appears an exotic hope at best.

Selections - 7,1,2,5,4

R4 - 1,4,2,10,5

R5 - 5,10,11,7,1

Race 6

#2 LO PAN SPIRIT recorded outstanding sectionals in his victory debut before doing a bit wrong at his second start. He wasn't happy being restrained through the early part of that race and subsequently pulled himself into defeat. There are no opposing runner's here that can match his initial speed which has him finding the rail and the outright lead. If given his head from there onwards he'll be difficult to run down.

#4 SUPER INFINITY gave away ground at the start and over raced on debut which ended up costing him the race. He'll be lengths better for the experience and with Zac Purton aboard shall definitely start race favourite again. He's loaded with talent and has plenty of races to win but could easily make mistakes at a short quote. He's the runner to beat from the little we've seen but you'll be forced to endure a nervous wait.

#12 GANGNAM STAR was on his way back to class 5 until last start when he blasted home from well back to just miss out. He's yet to win, but there's definitely talent there and with a light weight and good draw is a danger. He consistently gives away a start but has the turn of foot to recover, so he can win if he completes a faultless dispatch. A definite inclusion for multiple exotics.

#1 BOWSER has displayed good closing speed in most of his efforts to date and is ready to step up to 1200m again. With a good beginning he may end up securing the run of the race which would see him a real chance to win. Conversely, if he doesn't muster well, which he's regularly done in the past, then he'll be on the back foot with a large portion of ground to make up.

#11 GLUCK RACER suffered numerous set backs during his prime so we've never really seen him at his best. A recent win in class 5 highlighted his wellness which has certainly been absent from his performances for a while. Another courageous effort up in grade was then witnessed last start so he's at least worthy of inclusion.

Selections - 2,4,12,1,11

R7 - 7,9,3,5,8

R8 - 1,5,7,3,11

R9 - 3,9,6,1,4

R10 - 7,4,2,1,9

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