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happy valley 14/06/2023 top picks sport preview

Happy Valley 14/06/2023 – Top Picks

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Selections

Happy Valley – Wednesday 14th June

After all the drama of the Heavy Rain and Thunderstorms at Sha Tin this weekend, those involved with Wednesday’s meeting at Happy Valley will be hoping for a calmer setup for this 9-race card. The season in Hong Kong is beginning to wind down towards its summer break and as a result this isn’t the strongest card, but our team of Racing experts have looked through the 9 races and found 3 selections to take note of.

Race 2 – Shouson Hill Handicap – (7:15HK)

Flying Silver

Trained by Danny Shum, this 4-year-old son of Gleneagles has already had a very productive campaign, with 3 wins from his 9 starts, all of those victories coming over todays 1,800-meter trip.

Tactically versatile, he came scything through the field in the closing stages to win here in February before 2 perfectly respectable runs in deeper races than this and he remains on a workable rating of 60 which keeps him in Class 4. Stall 8 should be fine, with Happy Angel (2) the most likely pacesetter to try to get close to. There didn’t appear to be too many front runners in this field, so the fact that Flying Silver has proved himself to be versatile this season could be important as the race is unlikely to be run at extreme fractions. He began his winning streak on a lowly rating of 40, but there were no obvious signs that his run of improvement had peaked in his most recent starts and unlike many of his rivals, he still looks capable of further progression.

His 9th placed finish in a Class 3 Handicap can be easily forgiven as he was trapped 3-wide around the first turn and never able to get on terms against some better rivals. He saw out the race well, coming wider in the straight to record closing sectionals of 11.84s and 11.85s and it wasn’t a disastrous first try in a higher grade. The drop back to Class 4 should suit (his last 2 wins have come in C4 races) and there is a good chance he can add a fourth win to his seasonal tally.


happy valley 14/06/2023 top picks sport preview(1)

Race 4 – Wong Nai Chung Gap Handicap

Happy United

This could prove to be the most informative race of the night, with several unexposed sprinters who look capable of further improvement, particularly when we head into the new season in September. Top of that list is surely Zac Purtons mount, Happy United.

He is a son of Sweynesse trained by Jamie Richards and it was impossible not be impressed by the way he dominated a handicap over this course and distance 6-weeks ago. That was his fourth start in Hong Kong and his second under Purton, who had ridden him too close to the pace the time before and allowed him to coast home when his chance was gone. This time was different. Having broken well from stall 7, he sat behind the leader travelling strongly before taking up the running with 300-meters to run and putting the race to bed in a matter of strides before holding off the challenge of the fast-finishing Young Life Forever.

Whilst he may have benefitted from a clever piece of race riding by Purton, who had him in the ideal position all the way around the turns, he is likely to get an almost identical setup here and a rise to a mark of 55 may not really reflect the improvement that he is capable of. Drawn in gate 6, he is likely to get a lead to track from either Multi Super (1) or Super Winner (4) who have both gone forwards in the past. Given how strongly he travelled behind the leader last time, a repeat fo that effort may well be enough to double his career tally.


Race 5 – The Cricket Club Valley Handicap

Howdeepisyourlove

The wide draw may have put a dampener on the chances of Nordic Dragon in his bid to land the hat-trick, but even in his current form, he may struggle to get the better of Howdeepisyourlove.

Trained by John Size, he has already won 4 times over this course and distance this season, including a win at this level back in April and he went straight into the tracker after and unlucky second place last time. That race was won by Eason, who reopposes again on Wednesday, but the short-head defeat recorded in the form book does not tell the whole story. In a race run at an extremely strong gallop, Howdeepisyourlove was forced to do a lot of the hard work chasing down the leaders from mid-division and having caught the early pacesetters, he paid the price for running 23.64 and 22.16 opening splits in the closing stages. Having hit the front with 50-meters to run, he was picked off by the fast-finishing Eason, who had run a steadier 24.56 opening split time.

The pair were the only 2 with anything left at the finish and a 3lb swing at the weights, coupled with a more evenly run gallop, should be enough to see him reverse that form from a decent draw in gate 5.


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