Brett Davis provides exclusive preview of Happy Valley races.
#5 Virtus Star lines up for a potential third consecutive win tonight following a long maiden status that lasted through his first twenty one starts. Confidence is a remarkable emotion and both horse and rider would be glowing like a Christmas tree with two wins and two seconds from his last four starts. Remaining in class 5 is a big plus and with pace drawn either side a very similar scenario to last start, when he box seated, is likely to again eventuate. The handicapper penalised him five pounds for the victory and tonight there is a couple of new comers contesting, which he hasn't met before, so perhaps there is other alternatives. However wining form is good form particularly in this class and I'm happy to stick with him once again.
#4 Baby Storm is a speed horse who has the advantage of gate one and a strong fitness base following two runs over a longer trip, however, on the down side he must carry weight with no claiming rider aboard. If he steps well it's likely he'll receive plenty of favours enjoying a cushy run from the outset, giving him ample energy to call upon when it gets down to the rumble. The miles in his legs should hold him in a very commanding position when push comes to shove.
#9 Green Generation is a get back a grind style galloper who's put together some decent runs this campaign. He'll sit back and play the patience game during the first half and Moreira who takes the reigns shall be hoping they gas each other up front. There's plenty of pace options in this which may drag him into the race at the right time. If that's not the case then it's up to the magic man to get him motivated before the others, otherwise he'll be left with to much to do.
#1 Run The Table is stepping to the longer trip of 1650m for the first time and also makes his class 5 debut. His effort last outing was more than respectable and that particular race was won by a horse that's quite decent. The gate is no concern because he'll settle back and work in to the race nicely at the end. He's fit and should he cope well stepping to the mile the lack of depth to this race could easily be exposed.
#2 Telecom Missile draws well and receives the 7lbs claim in his fourth attempt at a class 5 race.
He's trained by Dennis Yip and steps to the 1650m for the first time, to be frankly honest both situations make me anxious.
If this event was a 1200m race I'd be prepared to almost put him on top, but it seems to me that he's only here because there's no class 5 at 1200m.
Selections : 5,4,9,1,2
R2 - 7,4,1,6,9
R3 - 1,9,2,12,3
R4 - 3,1,8,9,2
R5 - 3,8,2,1,9
R6 - 5,4,8,1,7
R7 - 4,2,1,6,5
#1 Holy Heart recorded the majority of his races last season on the all weather surface where he didn't win, but did put together a handful of competitive efforts over varying distances. In the off season trainer Francis Lui sent him to the Conghua training complex and upon return he immediately racked up a dividend. It's understandable he's been raced primarily on the all weather in Hong Kong because his form overseas was either on the Tapeta or Polytrack. Interestingly, there was plenty of money for him first up so perhaps he's not just one dimensional.
#2 The Rock heads to the valley for his city debut and the sharp turning track shouldn't be a concern following his nice trial win here in early November. The 4yo by Dutch Art is raced by Eddie Yau who's had plenty of handy horses over the years, headed by the Hong Kong International Mile winner The Duke. This lads got plenty to find if he's going to get to those heights but he's far from fully furnished. The draw tonight is a touch tricky but that looks the only real issue.
#10 Angel Of My Eyes has the least experience in this field and a horror drawn for his debut at the valley. However he's progressing well and I thought he ran terrific at shatin last outing, his first assignment in the better company. He's hasn't sighted the big city lights and grand stand at Happy Valley which could be concerning and intimidating. But I'm happy to take the chance as he'll be a nice price and possibly overlooked as a winning chance.
#9 Leap Of Faith boasts a victory over the above mentioned #10 Angel Of My Eyes and he achieved that the hard way, sitting deep from the outside barrier first up at Shatin. Both these lightly raced 4yo's are just receiving their taste of the increased pressure involved with class 3 racing. I'm a strong believer they'll both be winning in this grade shortly and their presence tonight must be acknowledged.
#8 Toycoon has taken time to fully settle but there's been a sprinkling of encouragement amongst his nine outings so far. He's third up this evening and in his second campaign of racing and showed some class when winning overseas. I'm expecting him to improve and is worth including in the multiples and wider exotics.
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