Let Laughing Lord give you that bright start
Hong Kong (Sha Tin) Preview
RACE 1 (1,400M)
10 LAUGHING LORD looked a horse capable of breaking through in Class 4, but he just lacked that closing kick to score. He's now nearing the bottom part of Class 5 and he gets Joao Moreira aboard. The draw is awkward, but this looks his best chance to break through.
3 PLAIN BLUE BANNER is an honest conveyance in this grade and should be somewhere around the mark.
8 GOLDEN CANNON is likely to jump out and lead here under apprentice Kei Chiong. He managed to stick around for some minor prize money last time out and similar can be expected here.
9 POWER DRAGON has an awkward draw but, if he can get an easy run under Zac Purton, then he is on a mark where he should be able to make his presence felt and must be included in those exotic bets.
RACE 2 (1,000M)
3 BRAVO WATCHMAN clocked one of the quickest breeze-ups at a Magic Millions sale in 2015, and he has looked a picture in his trials since. He gets Joao Moreira and the favourable outside gate over the straight 1,000m. It will be imperative for him to get a good start here.
4 CORRE RAPIDO has been much better breaking away in his hit-out and has had a good preparation. He gets the services of Zac Purton and a debut win wouldn't surprise.
6 MULTIGOGO has talent and has also shown speed at the trials. Don't be surprised to see him in the mix.
Of the raced brigade, 11 LONDON MASTER looks to be on a mark where he can win again and he has also drawn favourably. Can be thrown into the mix for those quartet bets.
RACE 3 (1,200M)
7 FLYING GODSPELL improved in his second start to finish second to Elite Spirit, an effort which saw him sent off even-money favourite last time out, when he finished sixth. This appears a race with limited speed, so with Kei Chiong now booked, expect him to shoot across to lead from gate eight.
8 RESPECT is consistent enough but wins are few and far between. The blinkers go back on and perhaps Moreira will allow him to challenge for the lead. Can be coupled with Flying Godspell for a wager on the forecast tote.
6 BOLSHOI BALLET rattled home for third at his first try on the surface. He will have to go from the wide gate but he'll be finishing over the top of them if they go too fast.
5 DIAMOND MYSTERIOUS has always looked capable of scoring on this surface and he gets in-form rider Nash Rawiller. He's tactically versatile, but it wouldn't surprise to see him on the back of the speed here.
RACE 4 (1,400M)
8 RATTAN ran like a galloper in need of ground at his first start over 1,200m, a seventh, and that showed when he ran into second over 1,400m last time out. It would be better if he was stepping up to a mile now, but from gate 4, perhaps he can snatch a victory.
4 ROYALE ELEGANCE has been right on the cusp of a victory all season, hitting the board at his last four starts. He steps up to the 1,400m for the first time since October, and his last victory did come over this course and distance.
6 GLENEALY PRIZE returned to form last time out, coming from last to run third over this course and distance. He's been a disappointment, but with a good draw, he can win again.
2 OUTLAWED flopped at his first run in Class 4 can do something with Zac Purton aboard.
RACE 5 (1,800M)
6 GORGEOUS KING has been disappointing in his first few starts, save for a shock second in June over 1,200m at his first run for Tony Millard. He produced his best run since at his last start, coming from a long way back to run third. A repeat of that should see him hard to beat.
7 WHAT ELSE BUT YOU ran on nicely enough at his first Hong Kong start over the Happy Valley 1,650m. He should improve for a more positive ride, which looks more likely from gate 5.
9 HO HO FEEL has been hit and miss this season. He produced a good run over this course and distance on international day, charging into third, before finding absolutely nothing over the Happy Valley 2,200m last time out. He's capable of bobbing up.
8 HAPPY ROCKY, who is taking time to come right again. He does appear to be trending the right way.
RACE 6 (1,400M)
The drop in class proved the catalyst for 2 PENANG HALL to return to form last time out. He suffered a chequered passage and was unlucky not to win at his first attempt at the 1,400m. He has drawn awkwardly but can maintain his good Class 4 record with a big effort.
3 GENEROUS HEART is yet to run a poor race in his first three starts in Hong Kong. It looks a matter of time before he breaks through and he should get an ideal run in transit with Zac Purton.
11 C P POWER appears another who will be breaking through soon. He's been in the mix without winning, and the step up to 1,400m looks a logical move.
1 CARE FREE PRINCE was competitive in similar circumstances earlier this season with Nash Rawiller taking the reins, and with the Australian back aboard, he is one to watch.
RACE 7 (1,800M)
1 HORSE OF FORTUNE is a solid horse who just finds it a bit too tough against the big guns. His biggest win came over this course and distance in November, when he held off last Monday's G1 Stewards' Cup winner Helene Paragon to win the G3 Sa Sa Ladies' Purse, a race that featured six reopposing rivals. He should get things his own way out in front, or if he does face competition for the lead, he can take the box seat.
The fresh horse on the scene is 8 HELENE CHARISMA. He was the winner of the G1 Grand Prix de Paris (2,400m) at Saint-Cloud in July last year. He arrived in Hong Kong as a Derby aspirant, and did no harm to those ambitions with his first run here, a ninth in the Hong Kong Classic Mile to Rapper Dragon where he clocked the third-fastest final 400m. He did not look fit then and is sure to have taken great improvement. With Joao Moreira aboard, he is the horse to beat.
2 FLAME HERO and 5 ROMANTIC TOUCH ran third and second respectively to Secret Weapon in this race last year. They are both honest horses who can show up if everything goes right for them.
RACE 8 (1,400M)
3 CALIFORNIA WHIP has proved a ready-made commodity since his Hong Kong debut in December, not always the case with some of these high-profile imports. He placed at his first two starts before winning effortlessly on the dirt last time out. He still looks to have ratings points in hand and this looks a stepping stone to better races later in the season.
There's not much of baldy-faced 1 NEW ASIA SUNRISE, the nuggety chestnut just tipping the scales at 1,000 pounds, but he's tenacious and rarely produces a poor effort. It remains to be seen whether he's on his mark, but he should be on or near the speed and he'll be tough to pass late.
5 WESTERN EXPRESS disappointed in the Hong Kong Classic Mile but he faced a wide run off a slow pace, so he can be forgiven for that effort. He looks like he is best when ridden cold off a solid tempo and allowed to produce one big run late, and he might get the set-up he desires.
8 SPICY SURE is another who should push forward under apprentice Kei Chiong. He's near a mark where he can probably score another victory.
RACE 9 (1,200M)
2 E-SUPER had been disappointing in his first three runs back from a long injury break, but his last run - his first on the Sha Tin all-weather track - was good and if his tactical speed is utilised effectively, he could make quite the dirt horse. Expect Neil Callan to push towards the leader on E-Super, and if he gets things his own way, he could break through at the top of Class 3.
5 STAR OF YAN OI has drawn awkwardly but he has run bold races at his three starts on this surface and if Zac Purton can somehow weave a passage from gate 12, then the Perfectly Ready five-year-old is the one to beat.
11 BEAR RAPPER failed at his only run in Class 3 when he pulled up lame. He had won nicely on the surface down in grade and although he returns from a long layoff here, his trainer David Ferraris is flying with these types of horses currently and he could pop up.
6 ARIZONA BLIZZARD is his own worst enemy - the ability is there, but he gets fired up pre-race and often throws away his chances with his poor temperament. If he stays calm, then he is more than capable of winning off this mark.
RACE 10 (1,200M)
5 DR LISTENING gave his supporters heart palpitations before he won as favourite last month as Joao Moreira struggled to extricate him from a gap, before the four-year-old had to pull out all stops to hold off the late surge of Happy Agility. He will take great improvement for that win and expect him to win for the fourth time at start six.
8 BLAZE STAMINA won twice last year off a similar mark to what he finds himself on now. He gets Zac Purton aboard from a good draw and he maps to enjoy the run of the race.
1 HANG'S DECISION scored a surprise win last time out that saw him catapulted to the top of Class 3. It's a tough place for any horse, but he is consistent enough that he should be somewhere around the mark again.
3 WHY WHY steps out for trainer Almond Lee, the fourth handler of his Hong Kong career, for the first time here. He's a horse more than capable of winning off a mark of 76, but it remains to be seen how screwed down he will be at his debut for Lee.