Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Join Grant's Big Party

Jockey Grant van Niekerk has partnered emerging star Big Party to win his last two starts and the combination can do the hat-trick in Race 9 at Sha Tin tomorrow.
Jockey Grant van Niekerk has partnered emerging star Big Party to win his last two starts and the combination can do the hat-trick in Race 9 at Sha Tin tomorrow.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,000M)

5 Aethero displayed an impressive turn of foot at his only trial at Sha Tin and a win on debut looks within reach. 6 Gala Night was hard-held in his trial and appears to be doing everything right. He remains a big watch. 7 Winning Method won his first trial, then placed in his second. He's capable of making an impression. 4 Sparkling Knight quickened nicely to score at his most recent trial. He'll be thereabouts.

RACE 2 (1,200M)

10 Lucky Storm should find the lead from draw 4. The blinkers should see him hard to catch again. 4 Otouto narrowly missed by a neck at his latest run. He's a two-time winner over this course and distance. 2 District Express struggled at Happy Valley last start but will improve back to Sha Tin. 8 Starlot is a steady improver. He isn't without claims.

RACE 3 (1,000M)

4 Aquila gave a nice kick to score in his latest trial by over four lengths at Sha Tin. He's forward enough to win on debut. 10 Marvelous World will have matured from his debut sixth at Sha Tin. Zac Purton on is a bonus. 3 Sunshine Universe scored two impressive wins at Sha Tin over 1,000m before his last-start sixth behind the talented Voyage Warrior. He can't be discounted. 8 Hong Kong Win is doing everything right and he did enough in a recent trial at Happy Valley.

RACE 4 (1,400M)

10 Shining Ace looked the winner at the 300m mark, only to be run down by Golden Sixty. It wouldn't surprise to see him go one better. 3 Voyage Star led all the way in his first Hong Kong win two starts back. He'll find the front under Purton and make his own luck. 6 Beauty Energy will get his chance. He closed strongly to finish a length off the winner last start. 12 Diamond Legend will find himself in the right spot from gate 5.

RACE 5 (1,800M)

9 Best Effort is likely to employ the same front-running tactics with Alfred Chan's 10lb (4.54kg) claim. 10 Proud Sky won well two starts back. He's capable of returning to the winner's stall. 3 Young Glory kept on for third last start and it wouldn't come as a surprise to see him go close again. 1 Virtus Star has made his way down to Class 5. He's struggled of late, but he's shown some ability.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

5 Flying Victory led in his most recent trial and, if he does that here, he's capable of reversing his form. Purton on is a good push. 6 Victoriam closed off well in a recent trial under a strong hold. He'll make his presence felt. 7 Yichun Blitz has placed in his last two starts and, if he gets a race run to suit, he'll get his chance. 4 Brave Baby stuck on well for third last start behind the ultra-talented Golden Sixty. Don't overlook.

RACE 7 (1,600M)

3 Winning Controller is an on-speed runner who should use gate (6) to hit the front. 6 Dor Dor was slow out last start but he made up a stack of ground to finish third. He'll close in strongly. 14 Dashing Dart has finished runner-up in his last three starts. He'll figure with only 118lb on his back. 12 Smart Rocket has finished third in his last two starts. He'll use the draw to push forward.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

5 Team Spirit led and won well last start. If he can cross in and lead, he'll prove tough to reel in. 6 Alcari should get into a nice spot from draw 2. He's been consistent this term without winning. 1 Gamechangers has crafted an impressive record (7: 1-2-1) this season and a return to form would not surprise. 10 Charizard, a last-start winner, steps up to Class 3 but he should get a race run to suit.

RACE 9 (1,200M)

4 Big Party is an emerging star. The flashy grey has won his last two starts with Grant van Niekerk aboard. He can do the hat-trick feat. 3 Racing Fighter has finished inside the placings in his last four starts, including a win. His consistency holds him in good stead. 5 Honest Way won well last start and, given his recent form, he must be given a chance. 10 Aerohappiness is not without claims.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

9 Earth Trilogy struggled on the speed last start after being caught three wide for the first 200m. He's much better ridden off the speed, which is where he is expected to settle from the widest gate (14). 4 Southern Superstar impressed on debut when finishing third. He kept on well behind Bigwood and he'll be much better for the run. 5 Unicron Jewellery was in the right spot when he won two starts ago. Third in his latest, he's shown no sign of training off. 10 Defining Moment flew home to finish a narrow second behind Not Usual Talent last start. He'll get his chance if he produces another eye-catching run.

RACE 11 (1,400M)

4 Champion's Way is looking for his fifth consecutive win. He has to contend with the widest draw (14), but he has done so in his last two starts with ease. 14 Kasi Farasi is a winner of his last two starts. He gets down in the weights and, from the wide draw, he'll be running on with a light load. 1 Good Standing will need to lug 133lb to win, but his success three starts ago was excellent. He struggled at Class 1 level in his latest run, but before that was excellent in this grade. He'll go close. 3 Superich is a model of consistency (10: 3-3-2). He'll give himself every possible chance.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Join Grant's Big Party'. Print Edition | Subscribe