Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Light load favours Sangria

Sangria (foreground) is a live hope in the last race at Sha Tin tomorrow. He has drawn well and has no weight on his back.
Sangria (foreground) is a live hope in the last race at Sha Tin tomorrow. He has drawn well and has no weight on his back.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,400M)

1 Flying Noble had big support at his first two runs this season but wasn't able to score. He's dropped since to the point where he now makes his debut in Class 5. Derek Leung jumps back aboard from a good gate and he looks hard to beat.

5 Torney also gets the class drop for the first time. He, too, is drawn well. If he can find his best form, he should be around the mark.

2 Good Method has had a number of issues but he's always a chance in this grade.

11 Winning Boy, the nine-year-old half-brother to Derby contender Rivet, might have one more win left in him.

RACE 2 (1,200M)

4 Destin finally put it all together two starts ago to break through over the Sha Tin 1,400m. He then dropped in trip last time out and had little luck, making his eighth look better than it appears on paper. With a better draw here, he shouldn't get as far back and be a contender.

1 Golden Dash is still learning the caper but it is clear that he has ability. His debut win was strong and his two runs since have been solid. He's a chance.

3 Shanghai Dragon has run well enough in two races, although they are performances where he may have been flattered. Still, he deserves consideration.

11 Formula Galore has no weight to carry and should be around the mark.

RACE 3 (1,650M)

3 King Genki is a hard horse to catch. Nevertheless, he's always a chance in races over this course and distance, where he has stepped out six times for two wins and two placings. He should push forward and may even get an uncontested lead, although there are a few horses that may apply pressure throughout. Still, this race appears suitable for him and he will be in front for a long way.

5 People's Knight is another with a good course-and-distance record. He can't be overlooked.

7 Beauty Prince, his stablemate, will also race handy to have a say.

1 Fight Hero probably doesn't see out a strong mile, but he is a solid galloper on this surface. He can get into the placings.

RACE 4 (1,400M)

11 Presidentparamount has dropped 26 rating points from his last winning rating of 69. He hasn't shown a lot since transferring to Michael Chang in June. But his last run was better and it appears that he is capable of winning before he faces his first drop into Class 5.

13 Good Choice Ahead is a horse who looks like he should appreciate Sha Tin's bigger track. But his best form has clearly come at Happy Valley. Still, he's racing well enough to suggest a win is near - although perhaps a mile would be better.

9 Bingo is racing well but just can't break through. He's likely to run another strong race. Whether he can win is another story.

4 Noble De Love will be around the mark.

RACE 5 (1,650M)

9 Remarkable relished the switch to the dirt to win comfortably last time out. He steps back in trip from 1,800m to 1,650m and has to overcome a 10-point penalty. However, he has a better draw and, if the penny has truly dropped, he could easily take another step forward.

8 Top Ace performed well last season from limited outings, but he hasn't quite shown that form this season. Still, if he can return to his best, he's not without a hope.

2 Quick Return was poor last start but had been good before that. He cannot be dismissed.

13 Dutch Windmill is worth including in all exotics as he makes his dirt debut. He is eligible for Class 5 now and could sneak into a placing.

RACE 6 (1,650M)

2 Calculation makes his dirt debut here, although he did break his maiden on the Dundalk Polytrack. He has a running style which looks as though it would be suited on the surface, so he is worthy of consideration in this spot.

10 Travel First, like Winning Boy earlier in the day, is a three-quarter brother to Derby contender Rivet. Both of his wins have come over this course and distance and he is at a mark where he should be winning again soon.

9 Land Grant is consistent. With luck, he could get into the finish.

3 Royal Performer is racing well and cannot be overlooked.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

2 Not Listenin'tome definitely appears to be on a downward spiral but this might be his best opportunity to get a win this season. Matthew Poon's seven-pound (3.18kg) claim takes him down to 121 pounds, a weight he rarely gets a chance to carry. The race looks suitable for him, so don't rule him out.

6 Winner's Way, remarkably, steps out below 1,400m for the first time in Hong Kong. He did run over 1,200m in Australia, finishing second in a maiden, but he has been untried at the trip since. However, he gets in with a nice weight and, in a race with plenty of queries, he might be able to sprint over the top of his rivals.

9 House Of Fun looks well-placed with nothing to carry. He doesn't win out of turn and has probably found his mark. He deserves respect.

7 Archippus is a place chance.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

2 Harmony Hero makes his eagerly awaited debut here. He was unbeaten from two starts in Australia and both were impressive. In his last victory in August at Sandown, he sat wide before sprinting right away from Group 1 Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss. His trials have helped to solidify his reputation as an exciting galloper. While it is very difficult to win on debut in Hong Kong, he is a horse that looks to have points in hand and so he should be able to win here.

1 Lucky Dollar is capable of beating Harmony Hero upon his return to Class 3. He is always a player in this grade and he has a draw which should allow him to capitalise.

3 Infinity Endeavour is racing well and should be around the mark.

12 Super Wise also deserves consideration.

RACE 9 (1,400M)

9 Fiama finished off nicely at his first Hong Kong start. He may need further than the 1,400m he faces here, but the former Victorian galloper - who was named Ratoute Yutty when Down Under - is capable of figuring in this spot.

3 Jolly Convergence has not run at Sha Tin in almost a year. However, his last-start win was good and he should appreciate the step-up to 1,400m.

13 Sun Touch will go forward and, with no weight on his back, he can stick around for the minor money.

6 Volitation won very easily last time out. It's going to be hard for him to back that performance up, but he's still some chance.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

13 Sangria has a poor record at Sha Tin, but returns to the bigger track for the first time since he has been stepped up in trip this season. He has drawn well and, with no weight on his back, he'll be a contender here.

11 Sacred Ibis is a likeable horse who keeps finding the line strongly. He's sure to be charging home again.

12 Everest also has a feather weight and he has been racing well with blinkers applied. He can finish around the mark.

3 Bigwood, having his second start in Hong Kong, cannot be dismissed with some improvement.

•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 March 10, 2018, with the headline 'Light load favours Sangria'. Subscribe