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What to watch for in the second half of the 2022-23 Hong Kong racing season

We’re officially at the halfway mark of the season – Sunday’s Sha Tin card was meeting 44 of 88 – so let’s take a look at the state of play.

Size again in the box seat

A record 12th title is proving a touch elusive for the legendary John Size, but the 11-time champion again turns for home in front after amassing 35 wins through the first 44 meetings of the 2022-23 campaign.

This time 12 months ago, Size led his one-time assistant trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen by four wins – 47-43 – before having to settle for second best for the second consecutive year after Lor stormed home to win 90-84.

While he’s had 12 fewer wins through the first half of this campaign, Size again holds a slender lead over Lor with a 35-33 advantage.

Time isn’t exactly running out for the 68-year-old to break his deadlock with George Moore and become the first handler to 12 titles in the city – he’ll become the first Hong Kong trainer to continue past 70 and could train until he’s 75 – but he’ll be eager to get it in the bag soon all the same.

He hasn’t reigned supreme since the 2018-19 season, with Ricky Yiu Poon-fai, Caspar Fownes and Lor taking out the past three titles after Size won the previous four on the bounce.

As usual, Size looks to have a nice cohort of gallopers capable of reeling off multiple victories between now and the end of the season, and that firepower looks enough to get him across the line, but it’s hard to see him pulling away from the chasing pack in what shapes as one of the more even title races.

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