Country Star on course for third straight win
WEDNESDAY'S HONG KONG (HAPPY VALLEY) PREVIEW
RACE 1 (1,650M)
6 TRAVEL AMBASSADOR ran a nice race at his first start for Richard Gibson three weeks ago. He should take improvement for that effort and can win.
4 MONEY WINNER has had plenty of opportunities but hasn't broken through in 20 Hong Kong starts. He should enjoy a nice run.
10 WONDERFUL TIGER has been mixing his form. If he can jump on terms with Zac Purton aboard, he might be able to get into the finish, especially from his good draw.
9 SHOWING CHARACTER is very interesting at 1,650m for the first time.
RACE 2 (1,200M)
3 ROYAL CHOCOLATE ran well over this C & D at his second start in October last year. He should appreciate further. However, fresh, this might be a good starting point and he may be worth a bet first-up, especially with the drop in grade.
4 HURRICANE HUNTER is sure to have many supporters with plenty of flashing lights - the booking of Purton, the addition of blinkers, the drop in grade and the change of trainer.
2 NEVER BETTER has to overcome the outside gate but he's consistent enough to get into the placings.
11 TRENDIFUL has run well in two starts. He still looks to have points in hand on his current mark.
RACE 3 (1,000M)
1 MR RIGHT disappointed last time out. However, he might be worth one final chance with Dylan Mo taking five pounds off his back.
4 GENTLE BREEZE is progressing the right way. He won't get as kind a run here, but he's still a leading player.
7 SPECIAL STARS has a very tough ask ahead of him, as not many horses can win over the Happy Valley 1,000m on debut. Still, he's trialled well enough, so a good run can be expected.
9 LUCKY LUCKY deserves a break.
RACE 4 (1,200M)
2 VICTORY POWER's time is coming. Victor Wong replacing Zac Purton would normally not be seen as a positive, but getting the seven pounds off his back might just prove the decisive factor.
1 NOBLE DELIGHT looked far from his peak physically fresh and ran a good enough race. Expect major improvement.
7 CHAMPION SUPREME should be suited stepping up to 1,200m at his second start. Zac Purton sticks solid and he has a far better draw.
10 OPEN HOUSE is not without place claims in this spot.
RACE 5 (1,650M)
8 CHAPARRAL STAR never looked like winning last time out. That was after another second at the C & D the start before. This field is easier than last time out and he should be hard to beat.
3 GENERAL DINO has disappointed this season but he's a horse capable of turning it around at any time.
5 ALL YOU KNOW has run well in three starts this season. Drawn well again, the grey can find his way into the finish.
9 GODSPEED is a fascinating runner. He's on a nice mark if he can demonstrate the potential he showed this time last year.
RACE 6 (1,200M)
3 COUNTRY STAR has been very impressive in his last two starts and looks a horse bound for Class 2, if not higher. He will be very short. However, expect him to justify the short quote with a third straight win.
4 GREEN LUCK ran well for fifth on debut. He should progress off that effort and expect a gallant performance.
12 AMBITIOUS HEART is a place chance back to Happy Valley, while 11 SUPER LEADER isn't without claims if he can find a position from the outside gate.
RACE 7 (1,800M)
1 HELENE CHARISMA has failed to live up to his G1 Grand Prix de Paris win pre-import. He does appear to be at a mark though where he can break through. This looks as good a race as any for him to pick up a first Hong Kong win.
2 BIGWOOD sprinted nicely down the outside to score a first Hong Kong win last start at Sha Tin. He heads to Happy Valley for the first time, but he should enjoy every favour and he will be hard to beat if luck falls his way.
10 SANGRIA should appreciate getting back to 1,800m, while 5 NAMJONG PLUS is capable of winning again if the race sets up properly.
RACE 8 (1,650M)
8 RED WARRIOR couldn't have been much more impressive in two C & D wins in Class 3. He gets into a good barrier and, dropping in weight, there's no reason why he can't continue his progression.
6 SUPER CHIC really should find this trip short of his best, but he has run well at both C & D attempts and he's just been consistent in recent months. He's a logical threat.
4 LITTERATEUR still has his quirks but he's much more tractable than he once was.
1 PACKING DRAGON can run a placing on the speed.