INDEPENDENT HORSE RACING NEWS

Prophet’s post-mortem: Dragon set to roar with better draw

A decent barrier will go a long way to finally returning Marvel Dragon to the winner's list, while the jury is out on the strength of two of this meeting's short-course races.

Sha Tin, Sunday January 1

Summary/track condition: For most of the New Year’s Day meeting, the Jockey Club’s ‘Lucky Start’ promotion seemed apt as a run of well-supported runners saluted. Divine Era, Supreme Lucky, Chili Baba, Lucky Sweynesse and Super Sunny Sing put smiles on faces but the late scratching of Beauty Eternal and We Are Hero left punters with some flesh wounds later.

On Lucky Sweynesse: An unlucky beaten favourite in the Hong Kong Sprint showed again that he is a genuine Group 1 horse but this race was handed to Zac Purton on a platter. Purton would have been giggling to himself as Silvestre de Sousa was allowed to let Healthy Happy amble along at three-lengths slower than standard speed. Once left with that race set-up, there was no way the 1400-types would be able to outsprint a genuine 1200m horse, top weight or not.

Blackbook

R2 No.1 LE PLUS VITE (4YO; Pierre Ng)

13th of 14 (beaten 17.25L); Class 5 – 1400M – (40-0); Win Odds: 6.1

Was never out of trouble and De Sousa eased up at the end, citing concerns about the horse’s action. For a more detailed description of this particular horror show, see the 263-words by stewards in the racing incident report.

R4 No.8 MARVEL DRAGON (7YO; Benno Yung)

7th of 12 (beaten 6.5L); Class 4 – 1200M – (60-40); Win Odds: 9.2

Definitely forgive Marvel Dragon, he just knows no other way other than three-wide, no cover. Desperately needs a decent barrier draw. The winner, Supreme Lucky, looks to be going places so we can trust the form out of this race.

R7. No.1 WINNING DREAMER (6YO; Frankie Lor)

4th of 10 (beaten 1.5L); Class 2 – 1200M – (100-80); Win Odds: 12

Vincent Ho had a day out, riding four winners and featuring later in our ‘Ride of the day’ section. This particular effort wasn’t up there, however. Race position is key for Winning Dreamer and when Ho gave up his spot to eventual winner Ima Single Man early, the race was over. I’d prefer to see this horse in a Class 1 or even a G3 with a lighter weight, rather than lumping top weight against progressive rivals.

R10 No.10 WE ARE HERO (5YO; Manfred Man)

4th of 14 (beaten 0.5L); Class 3 – 1000M – (80-60); Win Odds: 2.60

This was a horror watch overall, but I am prepared to forgive the 2.6 chance. The five-year-old was jumping 12-points but it was the roadblocks in running, not the ratings rise, that caught him out here. Given the luckless run, We Are Hero is likely to be a short-priced favourite next start but it should be noted that he would have burst clear if given any clear running late. 

Treat with caution

RACE 5 & RACE 10

The jury is out on both of these races overall. The time was poor for both, and a north-easterly wind might have played a part. I will stay ‘neutral’ for now but We Are Hero aside, I am sceptical on the form out of these races.

R6 No.6 COMING PATCH

Coming Patch was due to find the right race and with enough speed early to give the backmarkers their chance he had his day, but the slowest closing speed of the day suggest he had all favours.

R9 No.2 ATULLIBIGEAL

This race turned into a debacle once Beauty Eternal came out. Atullibigeal held on to win but the race already lacked depth before the favourite was scratched and eventually rated lower than both Class 4s for me. I’ll have to oppose the form from the race, and especially the winner, next time. 

Ride of the day

ANTOINE HAMELIN, R3 No.10 Happy Fat Cat

The French jockey may have got all of the favours on Coming Patch, but he deserves the credit for Happy Fat Cat’s victory. 

Hamlin was decisive from the start; he crossed to the fence and controlled the race in what was a perfect front-running ride.  

Vincent Ho deserves an honourable mention. He had a banner day with four wins and the best of them was aboard Metro Warrior up the straight.  He crossed from barrier two to be one-off the outside fence, dictated from there and avoided trouble. 

Best training performance

CHRIS SO, R11 No.12 Super Sunny Sing

Chris So has transformed Super Sunny Sing from a petulant youngster to a much more versatile and mature four-year-old that should win more races.

Hong Kong form analysis direct to your inbox? Sign up here.

A A A
SHARE

HONG KONG RACING

EXPERT RATINGS, TIPS & ANALYSIS

SUBSCRIBE NOW

    Subscribe now & get exclusive weekly content from Asian Racing Report direct to your inbox

      Expert ratings, tips & analysis for Hong Kong racing