Brett Davis provides exclusive preview of Happy Valley races.
#4 Fortune Hero has started decent odds in all eight of his race starts but tonight I expect that shall change. What's interesting about his presence this evening is the move by trainer Richard Gibson to change venues and distance, following three runs this campaign over the 1400m at Shatin. He's led in all three referenced runs but in the final stages been overhauled by the hard finishers with two of those efforts also at a higher level. The softer option of a 1200m race at Happy Valley combined with a 7lb claim make him very attractive and an each way price looks a viable option.
#1 Destin Jewellery was beaten by the barrier two starts back but both runs either side have been terrific suggesting he'll be the measuring stick tonight. With Moreira atop and barrier one, from which to jump, it's a forgone conclusion he'll be skinny in the betting. If your looking for value there's going to be other options but it's hard to argue against his overall winning chance.
#3 Wayfoong Charmer reserves his best for the all weather surface so if he doesn't win tonight you can follow up when he's there again. He's not quite good enough to win in class 4 so he's therefore he's well placed in this class 5 which his record does suggest. Despite preferring the dirt he's certainly capable on turf but he'll need the perfect ride from start to finish.
#5 Vital Spring is an aging galloper who's still maintains the zest to find the line hard over the final 200m. He'll be forced back early from the awkward gate and in the process give away lengths, but he'll definitely unleash at the leaders when it counts. It's worth observing if there's track bias as often when the rail is in position A the track can favour certain areas, either those steaming down the middle or alternatively the leaders nearer the rail.
#12 Tigerlad is the lowest rated in the line up but remarkably has never raced better. His recent effort at Shatin was courageous and tough when he burned the candle at both ends, before being cut down over the final stages. This is far easier than a straight 1000m race and Im feeling he'll be right there amongst it for a very long way.
Selections : 4,1,3,5,12
R2 - 6,3,9,5,10
R3 - 5,6,7,4,3
"The January Cup"
#5 Savvy Nine looks ideally placed to finally break his Hong Kong maiden status. It's quite incredible he's accrued over 4 Million HKD in prize money but yet hasn't won a race. With that in mind some may feel he's a non winner and it could easily read that way to the untrained eye, but he's as genuine as you'll find. Christophe Soumillon takes over the reigns from the perfect drawn and he's very much advantaged by the lighter weight. He's handled the valley well in the past and this looks his race.
#6 Glorious Dragon is still to reach his full potential and line in second up following a very nice return. Zac Purton shall need to work hard to achieve the 120lb he expects to ride at which is always a sign of confidence. The strong temp expected is going to suit and he's proven his liking for the surfaces. If afforded a run with cover plus a trail from the 800m, his recent trial suggests he can round them up.
#9 Insayshable has been circling dangerously his last few outings with barriers and interference going against him. There appears a strong tempo likely on this occasion which suits his race pattern ideally. With the minimum weight to carry and a course and distance he appreciates, he'll receive his best chance in a while to make something happen.
#4 Singapore Sling at his best tested the great Beauty Generation on a number of occasions when the now retired champion was at his prime. Fetlock and suspensory injuries the last 18 months have seen him struggled to recapture his once great ability but things appear close to change. The three runs back this campaign have displayed notable improvement and he'll certainly appreciated the easier opposition.
#3 Harmony Victory was runner up in this event behind Doctor Geoff last season carrying less weight but from an awkward draw. His form then was reading far better to what it is now so a lift is going to be required. However, he's drawn to do no work whilst receiving the run of the race which brings him in to the equation.
Selections : 5,6,9,4,3
R5 - 9,3,4,2,1
R6 - 10,3,1,7,2
R7 - 6,4,1,7,8
R8 - 5,7,6,2,9
R9 - 4,10,9,2,1
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