Sparkling Dragon blowing hot
Wednesday's Hong Kong (Happy Valley) preview
RACE 1 (1,000M)
9 CARRY TO WIN has finished runner-up in seven of his 25 starts without a win. He's running out of chances but his consistency warrants respect, especially in this class. He could and should win this.
8 WHISTLE UP did a stack of work early from the wide gate to sit on the speed last start, which saw him fade to third. He's again drawn wide but could finish in the money.
4 SHOWING CHARACTER got off the mark over 1,650m three starts ago. Dropping back to 1,000m probably isn't ideal but he's drawn to push forward.
7 SHOW MISSION is always worth including in these races.
RACE 2 (1,200M)
2 ORIENTAL ELITE displayed a powerful turn of foot early in the season and last start he appeared to recapture it when closing for third. He's shown that if the run presents itself, he's capable of running them down.
5 LITTLE THUNDER steps out on debut. He had an impressive trial effort on the turf at Sha Tin and he remains a big watch.
4 GUNNAR kept on well for second down the straight at Sha Tin. He's ready to step up to 1,200m.
8 PRECIOUS SWEETIE has got talent but it remains to be seen how high he can climb.
RACE 3 (1,800M)
9 FAMILY LEADER has taken a while to acclimatise to life in Hong Kong but his last two runs have been particularly good. He should be fit coming off a nice placing over 2,200m last start.
10 BUNDLE OF ENERGY has been consistent without winning. He gets Joao Moreira aboard which signals intent and from the gate he should be in the mix early.
1 YOU HAVE MY WORD has been racing well with his only win this season coming with Zac Purton in the saddle.He's ready to get the job done again.
5 MCQUEEN turned his form around to finish second last start. He's not without a chance.
RACE 4 (1,200M)
2 RELIABLE TEAM made all to score impressively on debut last start. He's capable of repeating that effort against a relatively weak field.
3 BULB ELITE led and faded to fourth last start. He tries the same again and, while he lacks the determination to win, he's capable of finishing around the mark.
7 LIGHTNING STEED has been uninspiring but he's a factor with Neil Callan on his back.
1 CALIFORNIA GUNGHO should relish the drop to Class 3.
RACE 5 (1,650M)
8 GARLIC YEAH mixes his form but this isn't an overly strong race. He's returned to a suitable distance and he's worth taking a chance on with even luck.
9 SMART ROCKET is racing in career-best form, having missed the placings only once. Strong booking of Zac Purton signals intent and he's a player in this spot.
10 SHANGHAI DRAGON is the likely leader of the race. He's drawn to find the rail early and, if he races unpressured, he's capable of another top three finish.
4 C P POWER is consistent and will be thereabouts.
RACE 6 (1,650M)
11 LOOKING GOOD is racing in career-best form. He's landed four top-three finishes from his last five outings and a win is nearing, especially from the inside gate.
1 CHEFANO was caught flat-footed last start and he's much better ridden midfield with cover. He's still a major player.
9 ALL YOU KNOW has gone close on a number of occasions this season. He should have more than one win next to his name this season and he gets an excellent chance to build on that tally.
5 MY ALLY should be thereabouts at the finish.
RACE 7 (1,200M)
5 SPARKLING DRAGON has impressed in each of his four starts since the transition to Tony Millard stables. This race should be run at a fast pace and, if he can find the right spot just behind the leaders, he should be able to have the last crack at them.
8 STAR LUCK is one of those who is likely to push forward and lead. He'll find the rail which suits, but he won't be alone and, with the pressure on up front, there are concerns.
4 MAGIC LEGEND has refused to win. He's drawn a touch awkward but if they go hard up front, then he's another who will be finishing fast.
11 JUMBO PRIZE has hit the ground running, finishing outside of the top three only once across his short four-start career. He's going places and this is well within his ability.
RACE 8 (1,650M)
7 MR SO AND SO was set a task from the rear last start but to his credit, he managed to close strongly for third. He's spaced his runs since coming out of a Hong Kong Derby campaign and he's shown steady improvement with each outing. He's capable of winning.
10 FAT TURTLE makes the interesting leap from 1,200m to 1,650m. He's untried over this distance but we suspect if he finds a soft lead under Zac Purton that he is going to be there for a long way.
8 NOT USUAL TALENT has made a name for himself finishing fast from the tail-end of the field. Suspect he'll try the same again and, if he gets a race run to suit, there should be no excuses.
12 PERFECT MATCH is four from seven across his short career. He makes his Happy Valley debut and, if he handles the tight turning course, then he's expected to be thereabouts in a competitive race.
COMMENTS COURTESY OF THE HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB