Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Conte merits consideration

The John Size-trained Conte deserves plenty of respect from a kinder draw in Race 9 in Sha Tin tomorrow.
The John Size-trained Conte deserves plenty of respect from a kinder draw in Race 9 in Sha Tin tomorrow.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (2,200M)

3 Pearl Furu won a similarly tactical race in May. He may end up in front by default and may be hard to catch from that spot.

2 Penzance could end up taking off early and might be able to find the winner's circle again back in Class 5.

1 Clement Legend has won his last two starts, sustaining a long run on both occasions. He will try to make it a true staying contest at some point and mustn't be ruled out.

5 Triumph has no weight and could be the fly in the ointment.

RACE 2 (1,200M)

4 Ezra makes his debut here. The grey son of Oratorio, out of Group 1 winner Emerald Beauty, looks to have plenty of natural ability and appears primed for his debut.

3 Intrepic mixes his form but is capable of getting into the finish with even luck.

1 Have Fun Together has gone off the boil a bit in recent starts. He is far from reliable but can't be dismissed.

9 Lightning Treasure can improve enough to figure here back up over 1,200m.

RACE 3 (1,000M)

6 Meridian Genius looks precocious and also looks to have been primed for this by Tony Millard. The son of Unencumbered (himself a precocious prospect) should be able to get into a good position from gate 8 and gets the nod.

11 Yichun Blitz has natural speed. He's drawn to capitalise and is in contention.

1 Multimillion ran well on debut before a good win as favourite last time out. He will need to cross from gate 2 but can't be completely ruled out.

3 Bumble Baby isn't without a hope.

RACE 4 (1,600M)

4 Friends Of Nanjing couldn't get into the race last time out. He's running out of chances but perhaps he's worth one more with even luck.

6 Heroic Guru is wayward at times but the talent is there. He's got a better draw and, if he can settle a little closer, he's a chance.

9 Golden Four is racing well of late. A win is coming soon.

10 Le Panache steps out for Chris So for the first time. He's been running well this season and a good run can be expected.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

12 Scarborough Fair is yet to win from 20 starts. He should be able to press forward in a race devoid of much speed and can stick on to score a first win.

1 Natural Flare, who finished second last time out, is also likely to press ahead and deserves respect.

7 Royal Prerogative is on a mark where he should prove competitive.

6 Hurricane Hunter is better than his current rating suggests.

RACE 6 (1,600M)

1 Romantic Chef relished the step-up to 1,600m and also new front-running tactics to win last time out. He should be able to progress from that and this race doesn't look much more difficult.

9 Chaparral Star was checked right near the line last time out and probably should have finished closer. He should run well again.

10 Chiu Chow Kid is racing well and should be included in this spot.

4 My Winner has put together a string of placings in his last three starts. He can finish around the mark again.

RACE 7 (1,400M)

8 C P Power showed last time out that his form was turning around. His three wins have all come over the Sha Tin 1,400m.

1 Cordyceps won impressively in July, but he hasn't quite lived up to that effort this season. But it won't take much for him to take a step forward.

9 Absolucool ran a good race at this course and distance two runs back. He's got another poor draw but is a player.

10 Touch Of Luck has run well enough in all three starts. The 1,400m should suit him now.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

2 Music Addition ran a game race on debut to just go down to Victory Machine. He has only to contend with another awkward draw, No. 12, the widest in the field .

3 Zero Hedge gets the inside gate with Joao Moreira reunited with the five-year-old. He's likely to be somewhere around the mark.

1 Handsome Bo Bo reutrns to Class 3 after a maiden outing up in grade in a 95-75 contest last time out. He actually ran okay in that spot and he's a chance if he can snare an uncontested lead.

10 Bulb Elite deserves consideration.

RACE 9 (1,400M)

2 Conte is back up in the weights here after almost beating Rattan in the Class 1 Panasonic Cup over this course and distance at his seasonal reappearance. He should take a step forward and deserves plenty of respect from a kinder draw.

7 Gold Chest makes his debut here. The full-brother to Group 1 Summer Stakes winner Fog Of War has trialled well and looks set to make an instant impact in Hong Kong.

5 Furore has drawn awkwardly, for his debut but the Pierro half-brother to Group 1 placegetter Blizzard has looked a horse bound for Sha Tin from the moment he debuted in Australia. His best effort down under was a third to D'Argento in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas over 2,000m in March.

6 Regency Bo Bo is next best.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

3 Sacred Ibis struggled in a 95-75 handicap last time out, but coming back to a traditional Class 3 suits.

2 Green Luck was a big winner at Happy Valley last time out. He comes to Sha Tin for the first time but there's no reason why he can't continue his upward spiral.

12 Pakistan Friend continues to race well and should enjoy a softer run from gate 2.

6 Razor Quest is working his way back to form.

RACE 11 (1,400M)

4 Sun Touch is a consistent type who often gets out and rolls on the speed. From a good gate, he should get every chance in this spot.

10 Follow Me was a big-margin winner under Tye Angland in his last start. He has points in hand and should be hard to beat here.

11 Happy Sebring has talent but he often finds ways to get beaten. If he can be held up for a late burst, he'll be flying late.

2 Taking Aim isn't without claims.

•Comments courtesy of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2018, with the headline 'Conte merits consideration'. Print Edition | Subscribe