Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: International Racing - Wednesday 20 May 2020

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Wednesday 20 May 2020

Neil Morrice Best Bets & Tips

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Wednesday's racing taking place at Happy Valley and Will Rogers Downs.

Other International racing tips for Wednesday:
Happy Valley - Winning Form
La Teste De Buch
Pinjarra Park
Sunshine Coast
Anthony Delpech: Happy Valley
Neil Morrice Tips

Happy Valley Best Bets 

Race 1: No6 - GINTOKI
Trainer: T Yung - Jockey: Zac Purton

I’m banking that Purton will enjoy a bountiful start to the day, and first up for the Australian is GINTOKI, a horse the jockey knows plenty about as a four-time winner in his homeland. That said, it’s the first time he’s ridden the six-year-old who is trying to break his duck in Hong Kong at the fourteenth attempt. What attracts me to Gintoki is the way he flashed home into the money when returning from a five-month absence over course and distance last month. The form horse is undoubtedly FARM BUMPER, who after winning here in March has been cruelly denied in two decisions by the camera. He returns from a month’s break and has to figure. HAPPY GOOD GUYS has included courtesy of two wins here this season and the luxury of a good draw.

Prediction: 6-8-2

Race 2: No9 - DIONYSUS COLLIN
Trainer: Francis Lui - Jockey: Zac Purton 

This will hopefully result in a carbon copy of Race 1 with Purton steering home a horse he’s never ridden before. DIONYSUS COLLIN is the horse in question, looking to end a frustrating sequence of near-misses with no fewer than five runners-up slots in his last seven starts at the Valley. Sometimes a horse like this requires kid-glove treatment from on top to see him home, and I think Purton can provide it. A market check is advised for DRAGON COMMANDER who could benefit from a step back in trip, while SALTO OLIMPICO is also considered, having with an earning run last time looked like he might be coming out of the wilderness.

Prediction: 9-5-7

Race 3: No2 - AMAZING LUCK
Trainer: Paul O’Sullivan - Jockey: Zac Purton

If history repeats itself for AMAZING LUCK he should be good enough to win this. Key to his chance is the fact that the last time Purton rode him he prevailed over the course and distance, combined with the fact he’s back in a Class 4 and caught the eye with a frame finish three weeks ago that shows he’s ready. From a good gate on the inner BLOOMING SPIRIT is worthy of inclusion, having notched two wins, a second and a third in a season that’s been parsimonious in appearances yet bountiful in return. He’s also drawn to enjoy a clean trip. The same applies to FOCUS, who takes solid form to the table from a similarly attractive gate.

Prediction: 2-5-3

Race 4: No3 - BE READY
Trainer: Frankie Lor - Jockey: Zac Purton

BE READY has signalled that he’s living up to his name with a series of earning runs without actually winning. However, those have brought him to the boil for what should be a conversion in the smallest field of the day. Larson, the horse that’s beaten him the last twice, looks like a horse going places, while since having blinkers added three runs back my selection has shown improvement. He’s still relatively inexperienced and just needs that Midas touch to get him home in front. CLASSIC UNICORN looked very good last year but has not been straightforward. This is only his sixth race in Hong Kong and second at the city track. However, his eye-catching effort on return from a break a month back indicates he’s retained a lot of his ability. After two recent denials at the Sha Tin and Valley tracks, FLYING GENIUS figures to again play a leading role. He’s closely handicapped with the main pick.

Prediction: 3-4-5

Race 5: No3 - HARMONY N HOME
Trainer: Danny Shum - Jockey: Alfred Chan

In the hope that the wide gate won’t prove too much of a detriment, HARMONY N HOME gets the vote in an open contest. He’s got very few miles on the clock, went down fighting in a blanket finish here earlier in the month and has the capable Alfie Chan taking off 7lbs. A pea out of the same pod is LUCKY QUALITY on whom Karis Teetan breaks from the inner. This is another unexposed potential improver that could easily prove the answer, having caught the eye in a big way last time. Blinking to the next lightly-raced contender takes us to ARES who is by Zacinto, a very smart two-year-old when raced in the UK. He’s shown with a win and a second from as many starts this campaign that he should again be bang there under Purton.

Prediction: 3-8-1

Race 6: No2 - SIMPLY FLUKE
Trainer: Doug Whyte - Jockey: Joao Moreira

The best route to goal in this may be going with the horse with the points on the board. Enter SIMPLY FLUKE. He’s never looked back since switching to Dougie Whyte’s stable and after two wins over the course and distance under Moreira rates the one to beat in his hat-trick bid under the same jockey and at the same class level. JADE PHOENIX is still inexperienced and can prove a danger to all. Admittedly his best run when head bobbed by President’s Choice has taken a knock, but on first visit to the Valley he’s still a must include. From a good spot on the inner INTERSTELLAR also goes in, having delivered his best effort for a while when last seen two weeks ago.

Prediction: 2-4-8

Race 7: No1 - MAGNIFICENT
Trainer: Peter Ho - Jockey: Dylan Mo

GREEN REIGN is a horse that has to be winning soon but with the assist of his rider’s 3lb claim top weight MAGNIFICENT is taken to make an overdue breakthrough. Having gone down narrowly in successive races over course and distance the selection can reclaim the cutting edge that saw him deliver at the Christmas meeting here. Green Reign has a happy knack of taking home a cheque, but from gate 12 he may struggle to win. It could, therefore, be left to the favourably gated NORDIC WARRIOR to cause Magnificent most problems.

Prediction: 1-12-3

Race 8: No2 - GOLDEN DASH
Trainer: Danny Shum - Jockey: Zac Purton

GOLDEN DASH has proved with two pleasing efforts that after an enforced spell on the sidelines he’s retained much of his ability. His connections claimed off him on each occasion, and after chasing home one of today’s foes BEAUTY AMIGO here, he possibly made a big move too early that blunted his energy for the finish in the race won by California Red. Now the goalposts have moved with Purton on board for the first time since winning on the six-year-old last summer, and from the rail the Australian should know just when to press the accelerator. Proven in this grade and on a hat-trick is CALIFORNIA RAD. He’s probably got more to offer, though breaking one from the outer can’t help in a race as competitive as this.

Prediction: 2-5-7

Race 9: No2 - SHINING ACE
Trainer: John Size - Jockey: Joao Moreira 

This is the best race on the card but also one of the trickiest puzzles to unravel. AMAZING STAR now races of a mark of 100 after converting on four of his five outings this season and has to give away plenty of weight. Three-times winner this term SHINING GEM looks to be getting better with every run, while WINNING METHOD could easily get involved off his current rating, receiving weight from most of his foes. But if he can maintain his admirable consistency, SHINING ACE may be the one to deliver from an inside gate for Moreira. He should enjoy a good run through and give another endorsement to the very promising Computer Patch, whose shadow he’s chased in three consecutive races.

Prediction: 2-1-11

Will Rogers Downs Best Bets 

Race 3 (Maiden Claiming): No10 - WOODS OF CONGAREE
Trainer: Martin Lozano - Jockey: Benny Landeros

WOODS OF CONGAREE has picked up minor prize money here and on three occasions suffered the handicap of his rider putting up overweight. It cost him when a heavily bet 5-4 favourite two runs back, and hopefully, history won’t repeat itself. Moro Boss needs to improve from an inauspicious start, but could easily do that for leading connections. However, the greater experience of World should see him get involved in just a second start for his trainer, while the same can be said about In The Nic Of Time.

Prediction: 10-1-9

Race 4 (Maiden Special Weight): No7 - LUCKILY
Trainer: Shane Seaton - Jockey: Ken Tohill

Unwanted in the market on both her latest races on the sprint course here, LUCKILY nevertheless did nothing wrong in taking home the runners-up cheque. She appears to be progressing and looks a more reliable play than Julliard Honor, who needs to step up from a satisfactory first run for leading connections. Jollyville shaped pleasingly on first run for her new barn and rates the main threat to the selection in a weak heat.

Prediction: 7-10-5

Race 5 (Allowance): No7 - MILTONTOWN 
Trainer: Robertino Diodoro - Jockey: Ty Kennedy

Compromised by his pilot’s 2lb overweight when foiled in his hat-trick bid by Dame Plata last time, MILTONTOWN can regain the winning groove at the main expense of Hunka Burning Love. The selection has graduated through his allowances since joining his trainer with a sequence of good efforts here and at Delta Downs. He’s possibly more likely to produce his best than his main rival, who landed some good bets on debut at this track after getting claimed out of an AOC at Keeneland. Dame Plata was a 28-1 no-hoper when foiling the main pick and has to show it wasn’t a fluke, which might not be easy.

Prediction: 7-2-6

Race 9 (Allowance): No1 - ROOKIE SEASON
Trainer: Scott Young - Jockey: Floyd Wethey Jr

Looking to step up the class ladder, ROOKIE SEASON is in the right part of the zone to thwart some in form foes in a competitive heat. He might have most to fear from Word To The Wise, on whom many fingers were burned on first run for his trainer in an allowance earlier in the month. Speaker Van proved the villain of the piece that day but isn’t guaranteed to confirm the placings. Wil Of Fortune looks to be progressing, and could also get into it.

Prediction: 1-6-8

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