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Davis Files: Sha Tin Preview - 6th July 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

AWT - 2,4

Race 1

#1 KARATE EXPRESS looks well placed to provide Francis Lui with the perfect start to the meeting as he tries to wrestle back the lead from his former assistant Pierre Ng in the battle for the trainers' premiership. This son of Alabama Express made a promising start to his career last time out, as he was held up for much of the business end of the race but once he found clear galloping room, he quickly put the race away and won nicely. He does have extra weight to carry this time as a consequence of that win, but he looks a progressive type, he's drawn well and the way that he attacked the line, as well as his breeding, suggests that he'll have no issues stepping up to 1200m. He's beaten most of these before and is clearly the one to beat again.

#9 KA YING RESILIENCE is the main danger to Karate Express. He jumped as the favourite last time out and while he found Karate Express too good on that occasion, he still performed well to finish second. He should have improved for the run and meets Karate Express seven pounds better off at the weights, while Zac Purton retains the ride. The step up in distance to 1200m shouldn't be a concern, however, what does concern me is where he'll find himself in the run from barrier ten.

#7 CASHISCASH looks to be the best of the newcomers based on the barrier trials. Trained by Douglas Whyte, he's had two barrier trials and showed good pace in his latest trial where he finished third and wasn't placed under too much pressure. Look for him to settle handy to the speed and I can see him being competitive here and then building on that form next season.

#4 SANTORINI has been racing well throughout this griffin series but continues to find one or two better than him. That was the case last time out where he finished third behind Karate Express, after settling close to the pace. He's drawn well in barrier one, he'll make his own luck in running and has the right form lines to be competitive once again. He's got each way claims.

#10 PATCH OF COSMO has been competitive in his two runs thus far, including a good run on debut over 1200m. Look for him to go forward for the in form Luke Ferraris and he's capable of finishing in the placings.

Selections : 1,9,7,4,10

R2 - 1,5,2,10,11

R3 - 1,4,3,6,10

R4 - 3,5,9,12,2

R5 - 4,1,2,7,5

R6 - 3,11,6,12,7

Race 7

#5 BEAUTY FIT looks well placed to pick up his second win for the season in this event. He's a tough, genuine campaigner who ran very well to get third behind Sunlight Power last time out, despite the fact that he was forced to sit three wide throughout that event. John Size has booked Hugh Bowman for the ride this time and importantly, he's fared well at the barrier draw in barrier four. He maps to get an ideal run in transit, he's got a good record over 1400m and importantly, he meets Sunlight Power nine pounds better off at the weights. He's one of the better winning hopes in what shapes as quite an open, competitive race.

#1 HASTEN DELIGHT is another runner of significance for Francis Lui as he's also a winning hope at a time when Lui needs as many winners as he can get in this premiership battle. This son of Star Turn is on the quick back up after a decent performance down the straight on Monday, although he did find a couple of his rivals a little sharp for him over 1000m. The rise in distance to 1400m should suit him and importantly, he can capitalise on the lack of pace in the race by going forward and giving them something to catch, provided that he doesn't have to work too hard to get there. Expect him to be in this for a long way.

#3 SUNLIGHT POWER is in a rich vein of form and is continuing to work through his grades nicely. He showed a terrific turn of foot to win last time out and 1400m is his pet distance. As a winner of three of his last five starts, it's hard to knock his form, however, my two concerns are the extra weight that he has to carry and whether the race will be run at a suitable pace for him.

#12 THUNDER BLINK is a very interesting runner rising in grade from his two starts in griffin company. It's a tough ask for young horses like him to take on the older horses, but he has won both of his starts, he's got the lightweight and I did really like the way that he got to the line under his own steam in a recent barrier trial. He's a fascinating contender in this contest.

#8 FANTASTIC FUN put in a creditable performance to run fourth at his Hong Kong debut, where he found himself in the worst part of the track. He's drawn well this time in barrier two, he has Vincent Ho in the saddle and is expected to improve second up in this event.

Selections : 5,1,3,12,8

R8 - 2,8,1,4,14

R9 - 5,9,2,8,12

Race 10

#9 STAR CLUB put in an eye catching run for fourth on Champions Day at the end of April, where he settled at the rear and flew home on a day where it was tough to make up ground. He's been in very good form this season and has been freshened up since that last run, which I think is a positive factor at this point of the season. Zac Purton jumps back on after winning on him two starts ago and trainer David Hall has enjoyed a really good season in 2023/24. There looks to be good pace in this race, he's well in from a weights point of view and I think that he'll be finishing off over the top of them late.

#5 LO PAN SPIRIT is a progressive horse who won easily last time out over this course and distance, taking his record to two wins from three starts. He steps up to class three for the first time, meaning that he has less weight to carry, he's got a high cruising speed and showed last time out that he can find again when he needs to. The rail out should assist horses close to the pace, and off what he's done so far, he's a legitimate contender in this.

#3 FULL CREDIT is also a horse on the rise, boasting two wins from his last three starts. He also likes to roll forward in his races and fought tenaciously to hold his rivals at bay last time out, which was in this same grade. He's come up with a good draw in barrier three, so he shouldn't have to work to be on the speed. He does have to give weight away to another improving horse in Lo Pan Spirit and I worry about those two horses getting into a speed battle, but on current form, he's one of the main hopes in the race.

#6 MODULAR CONSTRUCTION did a great job to run third at his latest outing, after he was forced to sit three wide throughout the race. That was his first run for some time, so he's likely to improve from it and he's from one of the leading stables in town at the moment. He's an incredibly consistent horse who is yet to run a bad race, but I would have been more confident about his chances if he'd drawn a better gate than barrier nine.

#11 VICTOR THE RAPID stuck on well for third at his Hong Kong debut and should come on from that performance. He's got a light weight, he'll make his own luck in running and is one to consider for the place or in your exotics.

Selections : 9,5,3,6,11

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