Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Ivictory set to bounce back after a lapse

Ivictory can be very hard to hold out if he can track the speed in Race 3 at Sha Tin tomorrow.
Ivictory can be very hard to hold out if he can track the speed in Race 3 at Sha Tin tomorrow.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,200M)

8 Ruminare will have to attempt to cross from his wide gate but he's proven effective when getting out and leading in the past. He failed at his only start on this surface, but it was early in his Hong Kong career and there are a number of pointers to suggest he should figure here.
7 Rochford ran a bold race as the favourite a couple of weeks back, just going down to Star Superior. A similar effort will see him go close again.
12 Jimson The Famous
was third in that same race. He's on a mark where he's capable of bobbing up at any time.
9 Scarborough Fair deserves respect.

RACE 2 (1,400M)

2 The Full Bloom returns to Class 5, where he is always hard to beat. He's a winner of two of his three starts in the grade and he also returns to the Sha Tin 1,400m, where all three of his career wins have come. Zac Purton jumps aboard and he looks set to win.
5 Ambitious Speedy has run well enough at his last two starts to suggest he's a chance yet again, even from a wide gate.
9 Triumphant Light is out of form but he's capable of getting into the frame with even luck.
1 Savvy Seven can improve down into Class 5, while the drop in trip may prove a positive.

RACE 3 (1,000M)

1 Ivictory has been well below his best in his last three starts, ever since running Hot King Prawn to 3/4 lengths when conceding him plenty of weight over this course and distance in October. He has to concede 20 pounds (9.09kg) to every other runner but, aside from Wishful Thinker, he actually should be conceding more on official handicap ratings. If he can track the speed, he'll be very hard to hold out, even with the weight.
2 Wishful Thinker has an electric turn of foot on his day. The race could collapse, even with just six runners. If that's the case, he'll be the one charging late.
5 Styling City is sure to have plenty of admirers after his win from seemingly nowhere last time out. That said, he's already 12 pounds out of the handicap and it's tough enough already for a three-year-old to figure against this company. He's a chance, but he's unlikely to be as great a chance as the market will have him priced.
3 Jumbo Luck is next best.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

7 Joyful Contender ran a terrific race last time out, just going down by a short head to Golden Effort. Purton jumps aboard from a better draw and he shapes as the one to beat.
2 Generous Heart returns to the dirt with the drop in grade. The son of D'Funnybone has never won on this surface but he gets his chance. 3 Hearts Keeper has had a storied career in Hong Kong, winning eight times from 71 starts - no mean feat in the tough Sha Tin environment. Seven of those wins have come at this course and distance and his last effort suggested that he could easily score one more time before he retires.
10 Nice Kick can finish somewhere around the mark.

RACE 5 (1,650M)

4 Famous Warrior steps out on the dirt for the first time, and perhaps the biggest query is how it has taken him so long to try the surface. Pedigree-wise, the dirt looks a shrewd move - he has strains of the legendary Mr Prospector on both sides - while his racing style suggests that the greater momentum required on the surface will prove ideal. He's a big player.
11 Imperial Concorde rarely runs a bad race at this course and distance. He hasn't raced in nearly three months, having been withdrawn from an intended start in November, but freshness may prove best with him.
3 Top Laurels is racing well and can't be overlooked.
7 Starship, like Famous Warrior, tries dirt for the first time and is another bred for the surface with Mr Prospector appearing on both sides of his pedigree. His last two efforts have been fairly average since winning in early November, but he can bounce back.

RACE 6 (1,400M)

12 Hurricane Hunter finally broke through down in Class 5 last time out, winning with ease despite a troubled passage mid-stretch. He gets up in grade with no weight on his back and it won't take much for him to win again.
6 Alpha Hedge has run well in his last two starts. He may appreciate the step-up to 1,400m and he deserves consideration.
3 The Createth has been racing into form and he looks to be approaching a win. He must be included.
9 Golden Four will be somewhere around the mark yet again.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

1 Super Leader steps out on dirt for the first time. Like Famous Warrior a couple of races earlier, it is amazing in that he hasn't tried the surface yet, given that his pedigree - with both Mr Prospector and Northern Dancer on both sides - says that the dirt should prove a plus. He gets blinkers on for the first time and steps out for Caspar Fownes for just the second time. Really, he just looks a winner.
6 Gift Of Lifeline has trialled well and looks primed for his first start. He's another with Mr Prospector and Northern Dancer on both sides, but he also has strains of Secretariat on his dam's side as well. He will likely appreciate further than 1,200m but he's the main danger to the topweight.
11 Star Superior ran home boldly to score last time out. Back up into Class 4 isn't ideal but he's one who is likely to continue in good form for a couple of starts yet.
12 Travel Successor has no weight and is one to watch.

RACE 8 (1,800M)

3 You Have My Word has proved consistent since scoring a shock win in March. Victor Wong takes his weight down to a reasonable mark and he looks a leading player in this spot.
6 General Dino has now had 21 starts in Hong Kong without a win, but he's run a number of good races over 1,800m at both courses. He has a wide gate, although it's not that bad from this start, given there is about 750m or so before the first bend. If he can get cover, he's a threat.
11 Happy Rocky isn't far from getting to the cellar grade. Still, he's run well enough of late to suggest he's a chance.
12 Le Panache is honest and should be in the mix.

RACE 9 (1,400M)

12 Follow Me could not have been more impressive two starts back under a typically smart Tye Angland ride before the three-year-old just came up short behind Taking Aim last time out with Joao Moreira up. Moreira is aboard again here and he should have no excuses for failure in this spot.
8 Sumstreetsumwhere has finally found form in his last two starts, going some way to living up to his reputation from New Zealand. Purton takes his first ride on the four-year-old and he bears close watching.
6 Penang Hall is likely to be big odds but he is a legitimate value play. He's produced many good efforts at the course and distance and should enjoy every chance just beyond midfield.
14 Cordyceps can't be discounted with no weight on his back.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

This race is sure to be crucial for the Hong Kong Classic Mile, the first leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series on Jan 27.
9 Charity Go ran a huge race fresh out on the speed before he was bizarrely taken back to last in his most recent outing, even though that race had no speed (and didn't appear to have any speed pre-race, either). Purton takes over from a good draw and he's the one to beat.
1 Furore will be suited back to set weights in the Classic Mile, but he stuck on well in his first outing and he is only going to take benefit from that. He may need this run to bring him to his peak for the Classic Series.
8 Tigre Du Terre just failed to run down Insayshable fresh, a very good first effort in Hong Kong. He looks to still have upside and he's not without claims.
12 Enrichment has somewhat flown under the radar as a Classic Series hopeful, but his first start was good enough and he should only be improved for that run.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'Ivictory set to bounce back after a lapse'. Print Edition | Subscribe