Japan's Neorealism can take QE II Cup

Hong Kong (Sha Tin) preview

RACE 1 (1,400M)

6 HASTILY FEET is yet to win after 18 starts in Hong Kong. He ran home nicely into third at his first start in Class 5, and he should be another strong chance again under Zac Purton.

4 REWARDING FLYER has run well at his last two starts down in Class 5. He can race handy with Matthew Poon taking 10 pounds (4.54kg) off and he should be able to get into the finish.

2 YOUNG DREAMER improved significantly at his first run in Class 5 under Kei Chiong. He gets a further claim with Dylan Mo jumping aboard and he should be able to stick on for a placing if he can get across to the lead.

10 DANEWIN EXPRESS is winless from 37 starts but is racing well enough. Perhaps he can get into the placings.

RACE 2 (1,200M)

1 MONEY BOY has talent. In time, he will move up to Class 3. But, for now, he is still physically weak. Back down in Class 4, though, he's capable of breaking through for a second win.

10 MASTER STEED returns to the races for the first time since late January, when he pulled up lame after a fair effort. Purton jumps aboard from a good gate and he does look to have been well prepared for this.

8 RELENTLESS ME is a Statue Of Liberty debutant with Joao Moreira in the saddle. Chris So has done well with his first starters this season, and although the horse hasn't looked anything special in his trials, he is worth including.

7 OWNERS' PRESTIGE has really caught the eye, flying home in his last two trials. He is a horse to watch.

RACE 3 (1,400M)

7 HURRICANE HUNTER has performed strongly in both races, both from wide gates. He has a middle barrier to contend with here. Moreira is aboard now and he looks primed for this.

11 AMBITIOUS HEART is honest but just can't break through for that victory. Douglas Whyte should enjoy a gun run from gate 1, although he has drawn either gate 1 or 2 in four of his last five starts.

6 DESTIN has been frustrating to follow, two good performances punctuated by two failures. He deserves another chance, but might be better for exotics this time around.

8 VITAL SPRING is still learning what the caper is all about. He doesn't look to have much of a turn of foot, but the step-up to 1,400m does look very suitable for him.

RACE 4 (1,400M)

3 SUCH A HAPPINESS made solid ground into second last time out in a race that was dominated by leader Orionids, putting a big margin on third-placed Starlight. With improvement, this looks a perfect opportunity to break through.

5 DOCTORS DELIGHT ran rival Noble De Love to a neck last time out, making up good ground with a sustained run. He should still be improving and can figure here.

11 ELECTRIC LIGHTNING has an awkward gate again, which might force him to get a long way back once more. However, he should be making solid ground late.

8 C P POWER has only finished outside the top five once in his 13 starts, but he is still yet to score a win. He is a horse that must be included in exotics.

RACE 5 (1,600M)

5 PENANG HALL was a dominant winner two starts back and really should have won last time out, if not for some trouble late in the straight. Matthew Poon keeps the ride here, taking his weight down to 118 pounds, and he can score again.

2 ROYAL PERFORMER has been steadily improving with every run and his last effort to be beaten just a neck was very strong. A win is near for him, especially from a good draw.

7 HOME RUN has been out of sorts since scoring a victory at the top of Class 4 in November. He has produced some nice efforts but generally has been around the mark. He can figure.

1 CITRON SPIRIT has been a model of consistency this season, with his runs well spaced. Hugh Bowman jumps into the saddle and he should be around.

RACE 6 (2,400M)


Hong Kong's only 2,400m handicap looks a fascinating race, attracting a number of four-year-olds that arguably should have been in the APQEII Cup. One of those is 3 EAGLE WAY, who finally gets up to 2,400m for the first time since winning the Group 1 Queensland Derby over this distance in June. He had to make a sustained run last time out over 2,200m and looked the winner until the closing stages, when he was just grabbed by stablemate Beauty Generation. This looks his race to lose.

6 GOLD MOUNT was also a winner over this trip in June, winning the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot when named Primitivo. He looked classy when winning at his Hong Kong debut over a mile, but things went against him in the BMW Hong Kong Derby last time out. Stepping up to this trip appears a plus. He is well-weighted, too.

1 BEAUTY GENERATION won the main lead-up to this race three weeks back, prevailing by a short head over Eagle Way. He meets him six pounds worse and looks unlikely to beat him again, but he can still get into the placings.

13 ANDOYAS has won three races at Happy Valley. This is a major step-up, but he needs this sort of trip and with only 113 pounds on his back, he could be an exotics player.

RACE 7 (1,400M)

2 HAIR TRIGGER has steadily improved at each of his three starts in Hong Kong so far, and now looks ready to enter the winner's circle here. The Australian import has always looked to have talent, and with a good draw, he gets his best chance yet to break through.

8 REGENCY BO BO can't catch a break, having been second at four of his last five starts. He has another awkward draw, so while he shapes as the horse to beat here, he might be one worth opposing, too.

7 GREEN ENERGY ran all right for his first start in Hong Kong when fifth to Victory Marvel, who has since won two more races, at Happy Valley in February. He missed a bit of work after a trial in early March, but looks to be back in good order for this.

1 JOLLY CONVERGENCE has looked good in two efforts since returning from a freshen-up. He should be ready to produce his best here.

RACE 8 (2,000M)


This is a high-class race, even with only eight runners. However, there appear three winning chances on paper.

Japanese visitor 5 NEOREALISM didn't perform up to scratch when ninth to Beauty Only in the Hong Kong Mile, but his form otherwise has been solid. His best has come over further, including a two-length defeat of Maurice in the Group 2 Sapporo Kinen over 2,000m in August (with horses like Nuovo Record also in behind) and his last-start victory in the 1,800m Group 2 Nakayama Kinen, where he defeated two Dubai Turf winners in Vivlos and Real Steel, among others. He should be able to settle forward in a race that lacks speed and he looks capable of giving trainer Noriyuki Hori another Hong Kong win.

The hype around 8 PAKISTAN STAR has only grown as the season has developed, and he has reached levels that even the most optimistic of supporters would have doubted after his griffin win in July. He will be even better next season, but the four-year-old formlines look strong so far and a repeat of his last-start second in the BMW Hong Kong Derby will see him go very close.

1 WERTHER has had an injury-interrupted season but has still performed strongly, including a win in the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup two starts back. He will be peaking for this and he did race away for a wide-margin success in this race last year, albeit on shifty ground.

Most of the field could go in for fourth, but it might be worth playing 4 BLAZING SPEED in exotics. Hong Kong's blue-collar galloper always runs an honest race and he looks set to get a nice run in transit here.

RACE 9 (1,200M)

12 HAPPY HAPPY STAR appeared to resent being stuck in behind horses last time out and he was very disappointing. However, with a better draw, he should be able to take a prominent position with only 118 pounds on his back and will be a force to be reckoned with.

11 CHEER WIN was heavily backed at Happy Valley last time out but just couldn't reel in Trump. He should get a cosy run from barrier 4 under Chad Schofield and should be able to make his mark here.

6 LUCKY DOLLAR is an interesting debutant. He looked a very promising horse in the making in Australia when named The States, winning two from two in Victoria. He has not raced for 15 months, but he has trialled well and should come to hand fairly quickly.

2 PRIMERO has been moderate in three starts to date, but his last effort wasn't too bad. He gets down in weight now with Matthew Poon's claim and could be an improver here.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

4 EASTERN EXPRESS has been a major disappointment this season after two good early-season performances. He has been given plenty of time since his last effort at Happy Valley in January, and has looked back to his old self in recent trials. Expect him to bounce back.

South African import 8 NASSA appears a stakes horse in the making. He looked very good pre-arrival, and hadn't raced for 15 months before he stepped out for the first time in Hong Kong. That day, he caught the eye when running seventh to Western Express. He might still need more runs under his belt but he is worth watching here.

1 SEASONS BLOOM is the form horse, having performed admirably in the Four-Year-Old Classic Series behind Rapper Dragon. However, he has to shoulder 133 pounds here, a tough ask for any horse.

2 SIMPLY INVINCIBLE gets Matthew Poon's 10-pound claim, which makes him very well weighted here.