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International Racing: Happy Valley Best Bets – September 18th 2019

20190910 HWBLOG Happy Valley 2

Eight races on the Happy Valley Turf presents a nice competitive mid-week card for punters and the highlight on the card appears to be the first race, a Class 2 event over the 1000m. 

The third race brings us the best bet on the card, in the form of AMAZING SATCHMO who drops into Class 3 company today and will be looking to take advantage of the slightly weaker opposition, with Zac Purton up. Race 5 is where we find our value bet on the card, in the form of GIFT OF LIFELINE. He has been in good consistent recent form, with his eye-catching finish on show and with Karis Teetan sticking with the ride, he could provide punters with a bit of value.

Best Bet: AMAZING SATCHMO (Race 3)
Value Bet: GIFT OF LIFELINE (Race 5)

Race 1 – 13:15
Selections: 9 – 2 – 3 – 7 – 1
We kick off this night racing fixture with an intriguing Class 2 event. 12 runners go to post in what appears to be the highlight event on the card and we have sided with the Hong Kong debutante to land the majority of the prize money. BEAUTY RUSH has his first start on the island and he brings with him an impressive career record from Australia, where he notched up 4 wins from 8 starts and that included a Gr3 in his latest effort. He is yet to line up over a 1000m and does return from an eight-month rest, but he showed plenty of early toe in his barrier trial on the All-Weather track and should have the class to prevail here. MOMENT OF POWER is a horse with prodigious early speed and with a course and distance record of 7 from 18, he knows how to set himself up for a big late challenge over this trip. From gate 8, he may not be able to find a rails run but he will be prominent and if the top selection does faulter, he should be there to pick up the pieces. He can be excused for that last start, but with the 10-pound claimer up today he looks very competitive. SPEEDY KING is another contender who appears to enjoy this course and his trip record is also more than respectable. He was disappointing on the All-Weather track last time out and he will enjoy reverting back onto his favoured surface today. Having contributed a few solid efforts in this class prior to that last start, he looks more than capable of landing in the winner’s box and must be respected. HONG KONG BET debut’s in this class after some solid performances against slightly weaker opposition. Karis Teetan knows him well and he retains the ride once again. He too, has a useful record over this course and distance and from gate 2 he should be competitive.

Race 2 – 13:45
Selections: 3 – 7 – 4 – 1 – 8
A small field of 8 runners will line up at the start for this Class 4 event over 1650m and we have sided with the 6-year-old son of Bel Esprit, to land top honours here. He goes by the name CHARITY WINGS and he drops further in the ratings, after finishing just off them in his last four outings. He has had a few luckless efforts of late and from gate 6 with Purton up today, he will be looking for a much smoother passage. All three of his career wins have come over this course and distance and conditions look ripe for him to add another one to that tally today. BUNDLE OF ENERGY is still a maiden after 16 attempts, but his form is certainly going in the right direction, having finished just off them in his last three starts.  He drops slightly in trip after that eye-catching finish last time out and his followers will be buoyed by the fact that he retains the services of Moreira for this run, drawn 5. From just off the early pace, he will be looking to mount a late challenge and he must be included. NITRO EXPRESS doesn’t have much early speed, so pole position seems a bit wasted on him and he’ll be using this good fortune to ease into a mid-field position, just off the rail. The son of Nadeem has been dropping in the ratings for some time now and he faces the top selection on favourable terms here (5 pounds – 10/07/2019 and 6 pounds – 26/06/2019). He’s not out of his depth here and must be included. GOD OF DRAGON is the top weight and he will be looking to turn that dismal Hong Kong record around. Dismal, considering he is yet to win from 19 starts on the island and carries an overall career record of 4 from 26. With that said, he has been in good – consistent recent form and now drops into a lesser class where he has a nice chance to regain his earlier form. Karis Teetan sticks with him and he’ll be in with a fair shout.

Race 3 – 14:15
Selections: 1 – 3 – 4 – 6 – 9
AMZING SATCHO drops back into Class 4 company today, having fallen 9 points in the ratings in his last five starts. He hasn’t been disgraced against stronger opposition, but is far more at home in this class, given his two career wins here. He has gone close on two occasions over the course and distance and will be looking to convert this good opportunity into another win. Purton takes the mount and he looks the right one. CIRCUIT NUMBER ONE appeared to show a bit of greenness in that debut run, just over three months ago. He just tired late on that occasion and the rest would’ve allowed him to mature from that run and strengthen up nicely. The son of Holy Roman Emperor will have plenty of scope to improve on that debut effort and he gets the pacifiers removed this time. Teetan up, he’ll be a big runner from a handy position. NABOO STAR has been fancied in most of his last few starts and he has duly given his followers a good run for their money. Things went awry last time out and judging by the stipes comment, he was still very green in running. That was only his sixth career attempt and as such, he can be forgiven for that indifferent performance. A notable concern would be the absence of Zac Purton, who has opted for the top selection, but from a useful draw he deserves consideration. SANGRIA has been dropping in the ratings and he should enjoy this drop-in trip, at the course where he landed his only victory to date. He is reunited with his regular rider, Callan and with his recent luck with draws continuing, he looks a worthy inclusion.

Race 4 – 14:45
Selections: 9 – 7 – 3 – 5 – 10
A tricky Class 4 event greets us in the 4th race on the card and we have opted for CHEEKY BEE to do the business for punters. He has only had the 12 career starts and now makes his stable debut for Millard. The change of scenery may have done him the world of good, coupled with the fact that he continues to drop in the ratings. That was a disappointing effort last time, when the rider felt something amiss with the horse and eased him out of the race. Nothing untoward was found post-race and as such, we’ll put a line through that run. In his penultimate start, he rallied late over the course and distance and a repeat of that run should bring him into contention, with Teetan up. SMART OF YOUTH makes his course debut today and he showed an abundance of natural speed in his barrier trial, to warrant respect here. He looks likely to take up the early running from pole and Purton will be hoping to keep him rolling all the way to the line. The son of Niagara won’t need to be a world-beater, to land a win on debut in this field and he must be included. TAKINGUFURTHER showed useful improvement last time, when having the blinkers and tongue tie replaced with a visor. That was after showing big improvement in his penultimate start, on his course debut and a pattern of preference for this course may be developing here. He returns to the same course and distance and lands himself another useful draw. Having only had the 4 career starts, he still has plenty of scope for further progress and the son of Exceed And Excel looks a threat. LIGHTNING TREASURE won his last start, but that was not without controversy. Having been switched at the 150m, he proceeded to bump the eventual 2nd placed horse and an objection was later lodged and overruled. That was on his return to the course and distance after two promising efforts over this trip, at the Sha Tin track. He lands another useful draw here and with his course and distance record in mind, he must be included.

Race 5 – 15:15
Selections: 2 – 8 – 1 – 7 – 11
GIFT OF LIFELINE has been knocking on the door in his last four starts, after notching up his maiden win prior to that.  He drops back to the 6 furlongs today, after two good efforts at Sha Tin over the 1400m with the blinkers on. Back at Happy Valley today, he lands a wide draw but that shouldn’t deter his followers too much. There appears to be plenty of early speed in the race and with his late turn of foot in mind, he will be better off biding his time towards the back half of the field. He is yet to finish outside of the first three places, over this course and distance and with that in mind, he looks the right one here. KING’S TROOPER is a lightly raced son of Denman, with only four starts to his name. He hasn’t been completely disgraced in his last few starts and has shown some potential. He jumps from pole today, with Moreira up and with natural improvement expected, should be right there. VERY RICH MAN is the early speed in the race. His profile suggests that he will take up the early running from a good draw and THE ABRAXAS will be forced to move up alongside from his poor draw, thus enhancing the early pace. The former has just been fading late in his last few efforts against stronger company and there will be less chance of that happening in this class today. With the 3-pound claimer retaining the ride, he looks a threat. DOLLAR REWARD put up a solid effort on the All-Weather track last time out, landing his second career win at the 39th time of asking. Back on the Turf today, he has the pacifiers removed and Purton takes the mount. If he is able to overcome that slightly trickier draw this time, he should be right there at the finish.

Race 6 – 15:45
Selections: 8 – 12 – 2 – 11 – 6
SUPER ELEGANCE was everything but his namesake last time out when finding traffic late on before making contact with another runner thereafter. He proceeded to become unbalanced in the final stages and that put pay to his effort. Nevertheless, it was an improved run and he did very well to finish 2nd. He has been on an upward trajectory in his last few starts and the cheekpieces certainly helped last time. They remain on here, as does Chad Schofield who retains the ride from pole and he looks the one to beat. TANGMERE has been dropping in the ratings in his last few starts and he has been finishing just off them, as he starts to look more and more competitive. He was cramped for room early on in his last start and was completely outpaced thereafter, as a result of the steady tempo set in front. Back up in trip today, he will benefit from a much more sedate gallop and a repeat of his penultimate start over the course and distance should bring him right into contention. Moreira takes the mount this time and if overcoming the tricky draw, will go close. ARCADA steps up to this trip for the first time, after showing some promising form over slightly shorter of late. He has been finishing just off them in his recent outings and may have gone a lot closer last time, had it not been for a wide draw and some interference when travelling through the 500m mark. From gate 6, he gets the 10 pounds removed from his back, as a result of his claiming apprentice and on current form looks a likely challenger. CLEMENT LEGEND steps up to Class 3 opposition today, after that good latest effort when confirming his preference for this course. He may want a bit more ground but has gone close over this trip before and against this tougher class he appears to have a useful galloping weight to shoulder. On current form, he should be in the shake-up.

Race 7 – 16:15
Selections: 6 – 12 – 1 – 11 – 5
RELIABLE TEAM looks like a smart sort in the making, notching up two wins in two starts over this course and distance. He hasn’t had it all his own way, having overcome wide draws in both of those victories. Purton rode him on both occasions and both times he was forced to chase him up to find a prominent early position, yet he still had enough in the tank to see off the late challengers. He steps up to Class 3 opposition this time and Purton retains the ride. The son of Reliable Man should have plenty more to come and a hat-trick of wins looks likely. SPLIT OF A SECOND has been just off them in his last few starts and he is once again rewarded with a handy draw. He may have finished closer last time, had it not been for him being hampered through the 450m mark and a 4th placed finish was rather commendable. He gets the 3-pound claim this time and with his useful course and distance record in mind, he must go in. FANTASTIC FEELING jumps back into Class 3 company today and although he has been relatively well beaten in his last three starts, one only has to look four starts back to find his last outing against this opposition. He finished third in that run, over this course and distance and incidentally that was the last time Callan rode him. Having dropped 5 points in the ratings since then, he looks much better off here and a rails draw will further boost his chances. All 6 of his wins in Hong Kong have come over this course and distance and he must be in with a big shout this time around. FANTASTIC FABIO gave a solid account of himself last time out, when stepping back into this class. That was after two good efforts when going very close to winning, under this apprentice. He has a clear ‘go-forward’ profile and with the 10-pound claimer regaining the ride, he will most certainly take up the early running. With that solid course and distance record in mind, he must be included.

Race 8 – 16:50
Selections: 5 – 11 – 4 – 1 – 8
The last race on the card sees 12 runners go to post, in this Class 3 event and we’ll be looking to end on a high. BLITZING is the preferred choice here and he will be looking to continue his good run of form with a smart effort here. The son of Jimmy Choux has received some strong support in the betting markets in his last two starts and on both occasions, interference dented his chances. He returns to the course after a 4-month absence and with Teetan regaining the ride from pole, he will be sure to fight out the finish. He has a very encouraging course and distance record and looks to be the right one here. For second, we are going with the son of Star Witness – LE TERROIR. He has some very good recent form against slightly weaker and now steps into Class 3 company. Having featured prominently in the betting in all of his last five starts, he will now find things tougher and the handicapper looks like he is on to him. With that said, he has a useful record over this course and distance and with Moreira taking the ride he must be respected. MY ALLY finished just behind the top selection four starts back and that was his last start over this course and distance, before stepping up to the 1650m. Having won his last start, he drops back to the 6 furlongs here for his stable debut and he will be in with a firm shout if his 1000m barrier was anything to go by. That was back on 10 September, when leading all the way. Purton takes the mount first up for the Moore yard and if overcoming gate 10, should be right there. The top weight, JOYFUL UNION has picked up the one win in his 4 starts in Hong Kong, taking his career record to 3 from 8. He has no issues with settling off the early pace, in order to set himself up for a strong late surge and those tactics will be utilised once again from gate 6. The 2-pound claimer retains the ride and if continuing on his current trajectory, he will be in with a good chance here and must be considered. 

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