Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) race analysis

Nothingilikemore than hk classic mile

Nothingilikemore has proven to be the standout four-year-old in Hong Kong and should win the HK$10 million (S$1.7 million) Hong Kong Classic Mile in Race 9 at Sha Tin.
Nothingilikemore has proven to be the standout four-year-old in Hong Kong and should win the HK$10 million (S$1.7 million) Hong Kong Classic Mile in Race 9 at Sha Tin.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,000M)

5 Thou Shall Sing makes his debut for trainer Chris So. The half-brother to Amelia's Dream, one of Australia's speediest fillies of recent years, looks primed for a winning debut with the advantage of a good draw.

12 Hot Hot Pepper is now 0-in-23 in his career but he's been crying out for a better draw. He gets it here over the straight 1,000m, so can figure.

11 Beaut Beaut is next to him in gate 10 and can be around the mark.

3 Noble Delight is expected to improve from the advantageous second-from-outside gate.

RACE 2 (2,000M)

2 Amritsaria won for the first time in 18 starts only two runs back. He's dour and one-paced, but he's drawn a nice gate. If he can get out and roll on the lead, he can win again over this course and distance.

7 Sweet Bean is a Class 5 mainstay, always consistent in this grade. He can run another bold race.

1 Audacity has drawn awkwardly but has to go in on his last two runs.

8 Fair Comment, a son of 2010 Group 1 Underwood Stakes quinella So You Think and Dariana, steps up vastly in trip and can run a better race.

RACE 3 (1,400M)

2 Healthy Joyful rallied well for second to Conte last time out. He is better suited in Class 3 at this stage and, although he is an infrequent winner, he deserves to be ranked highly.

1 Biz Power improved second-up with a step-up to 1,200m. He should relish stepping up in trip again to 1,400m. He may even emerge as a Classic Cup contender should he perform well here.

9 Intrepic gets in with no weight, thanks to apprentice Matthew Poon's claim. He's at a point where he can win again.

13 Energetic Class should be ready to rumble third-up.

RACE 4 (1,400M)

13 Destin is racing well but just hasn't been able to break through for a victory. However, he's drawn the right spot to be able to make his presence felt.

1 Travel Emperor hasn't lived up to his early billing by jockey Joao Moreira as a stakes horse in the making. However, he's been good back in this grade, particularly with the step-up to 1,400m.

5 Lucky Time has disappointed in three starts since a good win in October. If he can find his feet, he's a chance at odds.

9 Red Elysees can figure if he runs to his best.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

1 Sun Touch is becoming frustrating to follow but he clearly appears to be on the cusp of a victory. This race might finally provide him with his first Hong Kong win, with everything appearing set for him.

5 Brilliant Dream almost won on New Year's Day, when he was just outgunned by Wushu Champion. He's at a winnable mark and deserves respect.

7 Empire Star has drawn awkwardly again but is sure to be somewhere in the mix.

2 Avellino is second-up after a long break but he can figure at odds if things fall into place.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

7 Super Hoppy ran particularly well at his first two starts before a terrible effort last time out. It's best to draw a line through that run and take him on his previous two efforts, which would have him as a major player.

6 Hard Promise has been slowly improving with racing and his last two efforts have been good. He's in the mix.

9 Infinity Endeavour has won two of his last three outings. He's sure to have his admirers but he may be better suited with the step-up to 1,400m.

12 California Archer ran more to his true form second-up and should be nearing his zenith third-up.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

7 Dances With Dragon, a New Zealand Group 1 winner, ran home powerfully first-up over the 1,000m, which, on all of his overseas form, should have been too short. He steps up to 1,200m and, although he has to overcome the outside gate, he is worth following.

1 Mr Genuine has run a number of good efforts over this course and distance. He is racing well enough to threaten.

10 Momentum Lucky is nearing a mark where he can win again.

9 Lucky Wan Feng is first-up since June but has the ability to win in this grade if he puts it all together fresh.

RACE 8 (1,400M)

3 Pingwu Spark was very impressive on the way that he picked himself up off the canvas last start and sprinted home to score. This race doesn't look any tougher and he's a big horse, so the weight shouldn't be a concern.

4 Racing Supernova needs things to fall his way if he is to get into the finish but he's a logical threat.

6 Eastern Express is racing well in these races without winning and deserves inclusion off a good mark.

11 Easy Go Easy Win won nicely on his Hong Kong debut and can figure up in grade.

RACE 9 (1,600M) HONG KONG CLASSIC MILE

1 Nothingilikemore has proven to be the standout four-year-old. Even when tasting defeat for the first time last month, he ran a remarkable race, beaten only narrowly. He takes a drop in grade for this and, on ratings, he should be winning.

2 Exultant has plenty of quality. The nominal Derby favourite has some good mile form, including a third to Churchill in the Irish 2000 Guineas when named Irishcorrespondent. The drop back in trip after winning over a mile last time out is a concern but he's the logical danger to the favourite.

9 Lockheed has had no luck in two Hong Kong starts and should figure if he can find a clear passage.

10 Morethanlucky is one who looks capable of outperforming his handicap rating.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

4 Conte has emerged as potentially one of the brightest lights after three straight wins to begin his career. The son of Starcraft has won each of his starts by two lengths. While he now finds himself at the top of Class 3, he looks capable of continuing higher.

3 Simply Brilliant has finished second in each of his three Hong Kong starts and the Frankel four-year-old looks most likely to fill second again.

8 Roundabout and 9 Ultimate Glory are racing well enough to get into the placings.


•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 January 20, 2018, with the headline 'Nothingilikemore than hk classic mile'. Print Edition | Subscribe