Selections and Analysis for Wednesday’s race meeting at Happy Valley (23/12/20).
Race 1: #1 Perfect To Play, #4 Virtus Star, #6 Nitro Express, #10 Bravery And Power
Race 2: #2 Glorious Lover, #11 Run The Table, #4 Incanto Prepared, #7 Kiram
Race 3: #4 Oriental Amigo, #3 Ambitious Heart, #11 Management Supreme, #2 Nordic Warrior
Race 4: #9 Happily Friends, #3 Tom's Style, #2 Nextmodel, #4 United We Stand
Race 5: #5 Focus, #3 Rewarding Together, #9 Little Player, #1 Jolly Good Heart
Race 6: #9 Super Axiom, #5 Man Star, #3 Grateful Heart, #1 Ima Single Man
Race 7: #12 Rich And Lucky, #1 Reel Bizzy, #3 Namjong Plus, #2 Easy Go Easy Win
Race 8: #1 Stanley Park, #10 Kinda Cool, #2 Mig Energy, #9 Flying Bonus
Race 9: #3 Shining Gem, #1 Will Power, #5 Classic Unicorn, #4 Explosive Witness
Race 1: Neptune Handicap
#1 Perfect To Play gets a welcome drop to Class 5 after struggling of late up in grade. He's drawn well and the booking of Joao Moreira for this contest commands respect. #4 Virtus Star is looking for his fourth consecutive win. He's racing well and remains in Class 5 which suits, although the wide draw is against him. #6 Nitro Express is holding his condition and does get the services of Christophe Soumillon who is, fresh off a Sunday double at Sha Tin. #10 Bravery And Power slots in light with Vagner Borges up. He's next best.
Race 2: Uranus Handicap
#2 Glorious Lover narrowly missed over this course and distance two starts ago and if he manages to replicate that performance here, then he is the one to beat. #11 Run The Table is shooting for back-to-back wins. He got the job done in style last start and although he's up to Class 4 now, he does rate strongly with next to no weight on his back. #4 Incanto Prepared is another looking for a second consecutive win. He draws well and is capable of stringing two together. #7 Kiram can return to form with the right run as a winner off his current figure in this grade.
Race 3: Saturn Handicap (2nd Section)
#4 Oriental Amigo closed nicely last start and off that run, he does shape as the one to beat. He's a solid improver who can go on with it from the inside draw. #3 Ambitious Heart is looking for back-to-back wins. He draws well and gets his chance again in Class 4. #11 Management Supreme is consistent. He's lightly raced and on the up but hasn't had the best of the luck drawing a good barrier, which once again could be his undoing. #2 Nordic Warrior is competitive in his spot. He'll be thereabouts.
Race 4: Jupiter Handicap
#9 Happily Friends mixes his form but has shown that a win is nearing with the right run. If he can offset the wide draw here then he's a leading player in this contest. #3 Tom's Style is better than his record suggests. Suspect he can figure in the finish with positive ride and he just might be worth a play at odds. #2 Nextmodel is the likely leader. Jerry Chau's seven-pound claim suggests this and he slots in well at the weights as the joint-second highest rated horse in the contest. #4 United We Stand is looking to snap a streak of three runner-up efforts. He's racing well, draws well, and gets his chance once again with reigning champion jockey Zac Purton up.
Race 5: Saturn Handicap (1st Section)
#5 Focus was entitled to drop out after racing three-wide and off the pace last start. He's better than that and from the good draw, with a positive ride, he is worth taking a chance on at a price. #3 Rewarding Together won well last time out and he remains in Class 4 following that effort. He draws well and is capable of scaling into Class 3. #9 Little Player deserves respect with Zac Purton hopping up for the first time. He just needs to overcome the tricky draw. #1 Jolly Good Heart steps down to Class 4. He draws well and chances are he rolls forward to try and lead which will, give him every opportunity.
Race 6: Venus Handicap (1st Section)
#9 Super Axiom couldn't have been more impressive when winning on debut and with that win under his belt, he once again shapes as the hardest to beat. #5 Man Star caught the eye on debut with a close-up fourth. He rates strongly off the low draw but like most of these, does appear up against it. #3 Grateful Heart has won two out of his last three starts. He appears to have a number of rating points in hand and does, shapes as a main danger. #1 Ima Single Man was an impressive talent in Australia prior to export as a G2 winner and, his sole Hong Kong run suggests that he has acclimatised well in such a short space of time.
Race 7: Mars Handicap
#12 Rich And Lucky slots in light with next to no weight on his back and does, get the services of championship leading jockey Joao Moreira. This contest suits, his last run was solid and he is the one to beat down in the weights. #1 Reel Bizzy is a model of consistency and is unlucky to not already be a multiple winner this term. Still, although his task isn't made easy from the wide draw, he does get the services of Zac Purton to offset this minor drawback. #3 Namjong Plus rarely runs a bad race and does draw well. #2 Easy Go Easy Win improved last start and does step out for the in-form Jerry Chau/Douglas Whyte combination who on Sunday, bagged a race-to-race double. He bears close watching.
Race 8: Venus Handicap (2nd Section)
Christophe Soumillon takes the reins aboard the speedy #1 Stanley Park who could prove tough to reel in from the good gate. He'll roll forward and the look the winner a long way from home. #10 Kinda Cool is looking for back-to-back wins. He's up to Class 3 now which makes things trickier but he does appear to still have a number of rating points in hand. #2 Mig Energy draws well and should be able to get the run of the race from gate three. #9 Flying Bonus is next best. He's another who will roll forward and try his luck close to the speed.
Race 9: Mercury Handicap
Tricky contest to close out the card with but #3 Shining Gem rates strongly off the back of a strong first-up showing. He draws well and should only be fitter that return run, which yielded a short-head second to Golden Dash, who he meets again. #1 Will Power is a dirt specialist as a five-time winner on the surface. He's untested at Happy Valley but his sole run on the turf did return a mediocre eighth. Suspect with further improvement now he can make his presence felt. #4 Explosive Witness is looking for his fourth consecutive win. This is a difficult contest but he brings winning form and does break from a good draw.
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