Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Archippus ready for group 3 success

Jockey Zac Purton steering Archippus (right) to take the last race at Happy Valley on Dec 20.
Jockey Zac Purton steering Archippus (right) to take the last race at Happy Valley on Dec 20.PHOTO: HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB

RACE 1 (1,000M)

6 Refined Treasure makes his debut for trainer Tony Millard. The son of Lope De Vega comes from a strong sprinting family that include South Australian gallopers like Hucklebuck and Stirling Grove. He has trialled well and, even with a poor gate, can make a winning debut in a lacklustre race.

8 Peace Combination is always a chance in these sorts of races and has drawn to take advantage.

4 Noble Delight can show up on debut for trainer John Size and jockey Joao Moreira. 12 Beaut Beaut should be in the right spot and remains a contender.

RACE 2 (1,800M)

9 Equity Doctrine finally gets another good draw after having to do plenty of work in recent starts from bad alleys. He should be able to get into a good spot from the inside and he can find the winner's circle again.

11 Winningli is racing well but just can't break through. He has another poor gate but Derek Leung is a positive jockey change and he should be around the mark.

1 Best Effort is worth consideration down in grade and his last run should be forgotten. Veteran 4 Sempiternal deserves respect in his first run in Class 5.

RACE 3 (1,650M)

4 Quick Return's last two runs on the dirt have been terrific and, with a better draw, he's ready to get his first Hong Kong victory.

5 Great Joy is becoming frustrating to follow but should have won on the dirt two starts back. With luck, he will be right in the mix.

1 Endearing is racing like he would appreciate a mile now, especially on this surface, and Moreira returns to the saddle. He's in contention.

2 Gran Master hasn't been able to break through at the top of Class 4 but it is just a matter of time.

RACE 4 (1,600M)

4 Morethanlucky won only last time out, but it was still a decent effort. He's had a slight let-up since and should be able to resume his winning ways.

10 Let Us Win was a winner of the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1,500m) in Australia in 2016, which puts him among top Australian mares Winx and Foxplay on that race's honour roll. He hasn't matched their feats and has been largely disappointing in Hong Kong. But his last-start run on dirt was eye-catching and maybe he's now at a mark where he can figure.

2 Calculation and 1 Gonna Run both shape as contenders.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

1 Noble Steed won like a horse going places last start. He has to carry 133 pounds (60.45kg) now but, if he replicates his last-start victory, that should prove little trouble.

3 Travel Emperor hasn't quite lived up to his billing as a potential top-liner, but he raced well in his first attempt over 1,400m last time out. He should be around the mark once more.

6 Lucky Time has disappointed since a nice effort over the straight 1,000m in October. This distance should suit him and he is worth including.

4 Care Free Prince can improve.

RACE 6 (1,800M)

10 Aeroluminance is no star, but he's capable of winning a race off his current mark. His last run was good enough to suggest he can find the winner's circle shortly.

7 Har Har Heart sprinted powerfully to win last start. He now steps up to 1,800m and, if the penny truly has dropped, he should be difficult to topple.

1 King's Man drops back to Class 4 for the first time since a win in May. He is drawn to take advantage and can figure.

6 Good Days is heading the right way and can't be overlooked.

RACE 7 (1,000M)

2 Archippus is one of the true marvels of Hong Kong racing. A remarkably consistent galloper, his honesty has seen him earn his first attempt at stakes company at start 46. The half-brother to Australian Derby winner Tavago has made his name as a sprinter and, with form around most of these, he looks capable of gaining a first Group 3 victory.

4 Premiere has won all three of his starts this season and looks to have returned a better galloper at four years of age. He looks the horse to beat.

5 House Of Fun, his stablemate, almost defeated him in November and has run well enough in his last two. He's a chance.

1 Not Listenin'Tome has carried weight successfully over this trip before, including a win in this race two years ago. He can't be dismissed.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

3 Sleep Education ran a nice race at Happy Valley last start, catching the eye when flashing home for seventh. The half-brother to Group 3 winner Horse Of Fortune should appreciate more ground eventually, but it wouldn't surprise to see him get over the top of these here.

10 Starship is racing like he is on his mark, although he looked more progressive late last year. Now is the time for him to step up.

12 Amazing Star gets Moreira aboard for the first time and should prove hard to catch. 5 Mickey Rich trialled well on Tuesday and can come to hand quickly.

RACE 9 (1,400M)

2 Simply Brilliant, the first son of that world-famous thoroughbred Frankel to run in Hong Kong, has impressed in two starts. The galloper, formerly named Senator, looks near a win and should get every chance to break through with a step-up to 1,400m.

3 Ping Hai Star was sent out at a prohibitive quote last time out but proved unsuited racing on the speed, weakening to eighth. Expect him to be ridden quieter and he can bounce back.

8 Super Wise and 10 Amazing Moment both return to turf and deserve consideration.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

3 Good Standing looked like he was going to race clear first-up, but his condition gave out late and he had to settle for fourth. Stepping up to a mile suits and, while he may still need another run, the 1,300-pound galloper doesn't need to improve too much to win.

13 Rise High disappointed in his last run but looked to be heading the right way before that. He deserves inclusion again.

14 Happy Agility is likely to be ignored by the market again but can place.

2 Dragon Lips can show up at his first Hong Kong run.

• Comments by Andrew Hawkins, courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2018, with the headline 'Archippus ready for group 3 success'. Print Edition | Subscribe