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Davis Files: Sha Tin Preview - 15th 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+3 position

All Weather Track - 7,8


Race 1

#7 KA YING RESILIENCE was known as Vossmania when he was trained by the Hayes brothers in Australia. He won a barrier trial at Geelong earlier this year in good style, which proved to be a strong heat. He's since made his way to David Hayes' stable in Hong Kong and has impressed at the trials, particularly his latest trial at Sha Tin, where he showed good speed and won convincingly. Top jockey Zac Purton has ridden him in both of his trials at Sha Tin and will ride him for his debut. Barrier one on the straight track isn't ideal for a young horse like him but he looks like a classy individual and should prove hard to beat in this assignment.

#6 ANGELIC is a two year old by Harry Angel from the Douglas Whyte stable who I've liked the look of from the barrier trials. Whyte has given him three trials and he won the latest of those at Conghua, where he jumped well, put himself up on the speed and won comfortably. He's drawn to be up on the pace in the right part of the track and will be in this for a long way.

#4 SANTORINI looks the pick of the raced brigade in this event. He's been competitive in all three of his starts to date and appeared to be the winner last time out, until he was rundown in the final bounds by the impressive Thunder Blink. He should find a prominent position in the run and has the services of one of Hong Kong's leading jockeys in Karis Teetan. In a field with several newcomers in it, his prior racing experience will be an advantage, however, I wonder if he's got the same amount of natural ability that his key rivals appear to have based on their trials.

#8 KARATE EXPRESS has had three barrier trials to prepare him for his debut and I was taken with the way that he let down to win his latest trial at Conghua. Talented young rider Lyle Hewitson has elected to ride him in this contest which is a good push, as there are others in the race that he's been involved with. Given his breeding and the way that he's trialled, 1000m doesn't look to be his trip, but I expect him to be chopping his way through the field late to grab some minor money.

#13 SOLAR RIVER looked good in winning a recent barrier trial on the dirt at Sha Tin. He's come up with a decent barrier, he'll make his own luck in running and will have the in form Keith Yeung in the saddle. He should be thereabouts at the finish.

Selections - 7,6,4,8,13


R2 - 1,3,7,6,2

R3 - 11,2,4,3,14

R4 - 1,4,2,9,11

R5 - 2,1,3,9,10

R6 - 2,3,5,8,1

R7 - 7,2,12,6,5

R8 - 1,2,5,7,8


Race 9

#6 SUNLIGHT POWER has been in really good form this season and was desperately unlucky not to win last time out, where he was only narrowly beaten by Patch Of Theta despite only getting clear galloping room very late in the race. Trainer Ricky Yiu has made a slight gear change while from a weights and measures point of view, he comes up five pounds better off against Patch Of Theta this time around. The race looks like it will be run at a genuine tempo, which will allow him to use his turn of foot, and with any luck, he'll go very close to winning this.

#1 PATCH OF THETA has been flying along recently, winning three of his last four starts, including a victory over Sunlight Power last time out. He's also trained by Francis Lui, who's having an excellent season, and is fighting out the premiership with his former assistant Pierre Ng. He's only a young, lightly raced, progressive horse who's likely to rise in grade soon enough, while the booking of Hugh Bowman is an additional benefit. However, his last win looked workmanlike, he's got to lump the topweight here, meaning that he'll concede weight to horses like Sunlight Power, so while he's certainly capable of winning, he does look vulnerable.

#4 FANTASTIC FUN arrives in Hong Kong after he won both of his starts in Australia, where he was trained in Sydney by Chris Waller. He's now trained by Caspar Fownes, and I was quite taken by the way that he trialled recently at Conghua. He showed good speed that morning, settled up on the pace, travelled well and was beaten by a rising star of the sprinting ranks in Ka Ying Rising. From barrier two, he'll get every chance under Keith Yeung and while history shows it's very hard for tried horses from overseas to win first up in Hong Kong, I still think he'll be very competitive.

#2 BEAUTY FIT has been a model of consistency lately and should get every chance in this event. He's a natural on pace galloper, and with the rail out as wide as it can go, he'll be favoured by the likely track pattern of the evening. From the 1400m, he should get enough of an opportunity to come across and be up on the speed and in a race that lacks depth, he's one of the better chances. The Zac Purton/John Size combination is a bonus too.

#7 ACROSS DA UNIVERSE had won twice in Ireland prior to coming to Hong Kong and ran on well at his Hong Kong debut last time out. He should have improved from that run and can make his presence felt late once again here. He's one to consider from a place or exotic betting point of view.

Selections - 6,1,4,2,7


R10 - 8,2,7,3,9


Race 11

#4 KARMA was ultra impressive winning on Champions Day last time out, where he settled towards the rear of the field and flew home to score, on a day where it was tough to make up ground. He's since had a freshen up, which is particularly significant at this time of the season, as he'll be taking on several tired horses who are coming to the end of their tether by this point of the season. He's looked good in a recent barrier trial and his last win showed that 1600m is no concern for him. He'll need from some luck from the outside draw, but if he can get that, he should go close to winning.

#11 AEROINVINCIBLE ran on well last time out to finish in the placings in a race where he didn't get clear galloping room until it was all too late. He's a lightly raced, improving young horse with a lightweight and is trained by premiership hopeful Pierre Ng, while barrier three means that Andrea Atzeni should find an ideal spot in transit for him. He's a key contender.

#9 PRAY FOR MIR won both of his starts in Queensland prior to joining Cody Mo's stable in Hong Kong. Mo hasn't rushed this horse to the races, giving him several trials from March to now to have him ready to go come race day. I liked his latest trial over 1600m at Sha Tin, where he was up on the pace, travelled well and was only grabbed late. He's got a solid foundation from those trials from a fitness point of view, he'll make his own luck near the pace and while it will be tough for him to win on debut, he should be thereabouts at the finish.

#7 BEAUTY LIVE has dropped in the ratings over the last few months and suggested at his last run that a return to form is near. On that evening, he was forced to settle a long way back from a wide draw, but did finish the race off well along the rail. Frankie Lor's put the cheekpieces back on him and he's drawn a better barrier, so he shouldn't be conceding too much of a start to the leaders. His next win isn't too far away.

#8 ORIENTAL SMOKE isn't the most reliable horse but he did run well two starts ago and then had no hope from a wide draw last time. He's drawn wide again this time but there doesn't look to be too much pace on paper in the race and if he can get across easily enough, he can hold on for a placing. If the track happens to be rain affected, that won't be a problem for him either.

Selections - 4,11,9,7,8

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