There is a good card at Happy Valley (Hong Kong) on Wednesday early afternoon and, while I would not purport to be an expert on racing in the former colony, I hope to have unearthed a couple of each way selections who might give us a good run for our money. Please gamble responsibly in these extraordinary and unprecedented times.
In the opening nine-furlong handicap, I am going to take a chance on Fantastic Boy (12.15) who steps up in trip from a mile for the first time. The each way selection – 6/1 at Unibet– has been dropped a couple of pounds in the weights since his last start when he was slowly away from his poor draw and met trouble in running at the top of the straight.
Yes, his best runs have, arguably, been at Sha Tin but he wasn’t beaten far at Happy Valley three starts ago and the booking of Karis Teeton catches the eye. A son of Showcasing there must be a concern as to whether he will appreciate today’s additional furlong, but he has a good draw in stall two and is open to a bit more improvement having had just the seven career starts to date.
I like the booking of the “Magic Man” Joao Moreira for Charity Grand (12.45) in the opening Mile Handicap on the card. The selection looked to be coming to hand when staying on into fourth over 7f at Sha Tin last time and today’s additional furlong should suit. The selection is drawn in stall two and is weighted to reverse C&D running with likely market leader Happy Warrior on C&D form from last February. The selection’s C&D record reads 312 and he is 3/1 at Paddy Power.
The most interesting runner in the 6f Handicap is Sunny Lad (2.15) – formerly trained in Newmarket by John Gosden and known as Honest Albert when owned by the trainer’s wife. The gelding only had three starts in Britain winning two and finishing runner up in the other on tapeta at Newcastle over 7f.
The 4-y-old has only had the one start in Hong Kong when running well over a mile when he showed plenty of pace from his poor draw. He is well berthed in stall four today and Vincent Ho takes over in the saddle. He may need further both in trip and time to acclimatise to his new surroundings, but he gets a tentative each way vote at 33/1 with William Hill. Their opening show of 50/1 was too big.
Diamond Brilliant has been fitted with blinkers, then a visor and last time out cheek-pieces as connections try and eke out a bit more improvement in the five-year-old. At a best-priced 6/4 he looks a favourite worth taking on although he does have the assistance of Moreira.
Green Reign (3.15) is deserted by the “Magic Man” in favourite of market leader Flash Famous in the second handicap over a mile. The lightly-raced each way selection is stepping up to a mile for the first time, however, and deserves a crack at the additional couple of furlongs having been campaigned exclusively at 6f in his previous six runs. He is generally a 5/1 shot and most firms are betting 4 places.
Take care and be lucky