Saturday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

New elegance looks good

New Elegance (purple cap) is coming off a fairly good last-start effort. He shapes as a likely winner in today's Race 7 at Sha Tin if the pieces fall into place.
New Elegance (purple cap) is coming off a fairly good last-start effort. He shapes as a likely winner in today's Race 7 at Sha Tin if the pieces fall into place.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1  (1,200M)

9 Victor Emperor hasn't won in almost two years, that victory coming over this course and distance in this grade. His sole Class 5 attempt over the Sha Tin 1,200m since then resulted in a good fourth at the season-opening meeting in September and he is coming off a strong second last time out, too. He's the one to beat.

4 Peace On Earth has not raced over the Sha Tin 1,200m since May, 2015. His three track-and-trip efforts have been good enough, though, and his win two runs back was solid enough. He can't be overlooked.

2 Diamond Legend should enjoy a cosy run midfield. If he is presented at the right time, he's a chance.

5 Our Honour is a place chance.

RACE 2 (1,800M)

9 Dazzle Winner has got into the top four only twice from 11 starts, including a course-and-distance start two runs back. He has a good draw and no weight, so he may figure at odds.

2 Indigenous Star stayed on well for second last time out. A win is near and he's a leading player.

4 Young Glory is getting down to a mark where he can break through.

5 Fortune Patrol got into the placings last start for the first time at his 16th Hong Kong start. If he can go on with that, he's a contender.

RACE 3 (1,200M)

1 Midnight Rattler has to deal with an awkward draw. However, he's a Class 1 winner who is now in Class 4 and a win in this grade is near, as he has shown at his last two starts. If he's able to get into a handy spot without doing too much, he's the one to beat.

5 Coby Oppa steps out for the first time. He's got natural talent and, as long as he jumps on terms, he's a contender.

4 Alphabet Invention is another who can figure on debut with blinkers applied.

6 Dor Dor should take plenty of improvement from his first start over the straight 1,000m. Getting up to 1,200m should suit, too.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

1 Super Star won nicely at his first start before sitting deep last time out and just sticking on fairly. He gets into a better draw now. With a softer run, he will be hard to beat.

7 Solar Wai Wai catches the eye of the debutants. Purchased out of the NZB Ready To Run Sale after clocking an impressive 10.28sec in his 200m breeze-up, he looks to have plenty of natural talent. He has trialled well enough and is a player at start No. 1.

9 Flying Lover has dropped 20 points in the ratings through 17 starts. He might be able to get into the finish at odds.

3 Break Record also debuts and is one to keep safe.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

4 Chairman Lo showed plenty of race sense on debut, only just going down to Speedy Dragon. Trainer John Size is adept at, among many other things, progressing his horses early in their careers and Chairman Lo should be mighty hard to beat.

1 Joyful Family gets down into Class 4 for the first time. Crucially, he steps up to 1,400m for the first time, a trip that looks like he needs, and he can improve drastically.

8 Absolucool gets blinkers on for the first time and also gets the best draw of his Hong Kong career - still not great, but better. He bears close watching.

11 Hinyuen Swiftness is racing well enough to get a placing.

RACE 6 (1,650M)

2 Shamport gets down to Class 4 for the first time. He's been disappointing for the most part in Hong Kong, although he has shown flashes of talent at times. Now that he's down in grade, he deserves plenty of respect in this spot.

4 Chater Thunder has won two from eight over this course and distance. He may need to shed a few ratings points but he's always capable of getting into the finish.

7 Radiant Bunny stayed on well last time out. He's now gone 22 Hong Kong starts without a win but he should get a chance to break through before he drops down to Class 5.

12 Sunshine Universe has claims, too.

RACE 7 (1,800M)

5 New Elegance mixes his form and has only won once from 13 starts in Hong Kong. However, he's coming off a fairly good effort last start and he shapes as a likely winner if the pieces fall into place. Jockey Zac Purton taking the mount over Tianchi Monster is some push too, although it can be dangerous overthinking jockey bookings in Hong Kong.

6 Tianchi Monster did race away for a nice win three weeks ago. He steps back in trip, but looks capable of progressing now.

3 Dances With Dragon, a Group 1 winner in New Zealand, finally snared his Hong Kong breakthrough last time out. He steps up to this trip for the first time in his new location, although he did run fifth in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas over 2,000m almost two years ago. Still, this looks a suitable race now.

4 Willie Way is next best.

RACE 8 (1,400M)

13 Right Choice won well on the dirt on debut before a good-enough run at his first turf outing last start. He gets up into Class 3 now with blinkers on and no weight on his back. He also has a good draw for the first time. He's hard to beat. His main danger is a familiar foe.

14 Happy Force beat Right Choice last time out. He's won his last two at the course and distance and makes his own luck, so he is always a chance even now he's up into Class 3.

11 Smart Charade is his own worst enemy but his effort to sweep home from near the rear to win under Yasunari Iwata on HKIR day was noteworthy and he can't be ignored up in class.

6 Circuit Hassler can add some value to the exotics back to 1,400m.

RACE 9 (1,650M)

8 Glorious Artist has a win and a second from two course-and-distance runs. This 105-80 event seems to suit him well as he gets in with a feather weight and he should enjoy every chance from gate 6. He's a player.

6 People's Knight scored last time out, with the only real surprise being that he was sent off at 16-1. People's Knight is always a chance in these sorts of races and he can't be ignored.

14 Elusive State has proven something of a revelation this season. He did win two of his final three starts for trainer Derek Cruz in July. But he's progressed from a rating of 57 to 80 after three big wins this preparation. It's rare enough for a horse to make his Class 2 debut at his 28th Hong Kong start, but given the form he is in, he's a danger with 113lb (51.26kg) to carry.

1 Fight Hero always seems to find the 1,650m a touch too far, but he's a place chance even with the big weight.

RACE 10 (1,200M)

12 Invincible Missile did have the advantage of the rails draw on debut but the way in which he won was terrific. He steps up to Class 3 now from a poor draw but he can take another step forward .

11 Shimmer And Shine steps out for trainer Caspar Fownes for the first time. He looked a sprinter on the up as a three-year-old and he doesn't have any weight to carry. He's a player.

14 Tornado Twist sprinted nicely to win second-up. He gets a good draw and must be respected.

6 Loving A Boom can get into the placings.

 • Comments courtesy of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'New elegance looks good'. Print Edition | Subscribe