Saturday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Speedy Dragon for hat-trick

Speedy Dragon (partly obscured) has put two wins together in his last two starts and has struck another suitable race at Sha Tin today.
Speedy Dragon (partly obscured) has put two wins together in his last two starts and has struck another suitable race at Sha Tin today.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,000M)

10 Ruminare has been a disappointment throughout his Hong Kong career. That said, he now gets right down in the weights and, if he can muster the speed to get somewhere near the pace-setters, he could finally break through for a first win.

7 Happy Sound won over this course and distance earlier this season, but he was pretty flat when trying it again in December. His last two efforts were just fair, but back to this trip, he's not without claims.

3 District Express drops sharply in trip. It might just be the making of him and he's capable of progressing off a last-start third.

5 Massive Move has performed well over this trip and looks well-placed.

RACE 2 (1,800M)

3 Lucky Shiny Day ran well on dirt a couple of times up in Class 4, including once behind potential Dubai World Cup aspirant Elusive State in July. He now gets onto the likely preferred surface for the first time in Class 5, with Joao Moreira engaged, and it does appear as though this is his best chance yet to score a first win.

11 Corre Rapido is a frustrating horse to follow. After 19 winless starts, it's hard to believe he was sent out a 2-1 favourite on debut ahead of a horse that's now become a Class 2 mainstay, Bravo Watchman. Still, if ever a win is going to come, it's likely to be on dirt over a mile or 1,800m. This might be his time to shine.

8 Court Ruler - not to be confused with the 2009 Queensland Derby winner - showed a first sign of life last time out. The dirt looks a good move and he's not without a hope.

13 Little Fantasy is racing well enough to win with no weight.

RACE 3 (1,000M)

7 Shining Ace, trained by John Size, steps out for the first time. A Size first-starter should always be respected and he's trialled well enough to suggest he can show up at start No. 1.

2 Meridian Genius had a torrid passage on debut, but his last outing suggests that the natural ability exists for him to be able to break through quickly.

6 Lucky Thought should excel over further, but he looks to have been well-prepared for his initial outing and is in contention .

4 Brilliant may be overlooked by the market but his quiet trial in preparation for this suggested he was one to watch first time out.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

4 Speedy Dragon has put two wins together in his last two starts. It remains to be seen how much higher he can go but he has struck another suitable race and can't be completely dismissed.

9 Wonder Express has trialled nicely ahead of his debut. The eye-catching gelding looks a ready-made racehorse and can win on debut.

2 Glenealy Generals won narrowly on debut when drawn well over the straight 1,000m. He has the same gate but it becomes a nasty draw over the 1,200m. Still, he appears capable of backing it up.

8 Loriz isn't without claims at start one.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

10 Hurricane Hunter won nicely in December before having absolutely no luck under Zac Purton last time out. If he has just an ounce of luck in this spot, he's the one to beat.

9 Fun Times has improved with every start. His last effort behind Picken was good. Even though 1,600m would be better for him, he's a contender in this spot.

1 Chairman Lo has finished second in his last two starts. He's gone up five points, so essentially a win, for those placings. Still, he's likely to be somewhere around the mark again.

6 Family Leader can finish in the placings.

RACE 6 (1,650M)

11 Alcazar returns to the dirt but steps up to the 1,650m for the first time, which looks a smart move. If there is a solid speed up front, he should be able to enjoy a nice trail and, if he can settle, he can finish off over the top.

8 Radiant Bunny is amazingly still a Hong Kong maiden after 23 starts. He feels like he's been around forever, but there's enough in his recent form to suggest he could get into the finish .

3 Good Fit is racing well and always deserves respect in these sorts of races.

9 Art Of Raw is finding form again and could run another nice race without surprising.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

3 Tornado Twist has been very impressive in his last two starts, scoring two big wins. There's no reason he can't make it three on the trot, given he looks to still have points in hand.

7 Mighty Maverick ran poorly last time out when unable to adopt a forward position. If he can end up near the speed, he's the main threat to the favourite.

8 Diamond Rhyme drops back to 1,200m, but he also gets blinkers for the first time and he looks interesting.

10 Sonic Fighter pulled up with an irregular heart rhythm last time out. He's competitive if he can return to his best.

RACE 8 (1,650M)

4 Top Laurels stepped out on the dirt for the first time last time out. He couldn't find a clear passage through but he fought back strongly late. He has been racing well this season and can score a second Hong Kong win with some luck.

10 Unicron Jewellery failed to hit the board in two course-and-distance attempts, both off a similar mark. He is racing well though and looks a chance in this spot.

6 Tang Fleming is an outside hope.

RACE 9 (1,800M)

2 Marzouq disappointed fresh over 1,400m. However, he didn't have the clearest of runs and ended up in an awkward position before making steady late ground. Stepping up to this trip should suit and he can figure despite the wide gate.

11 Happy Sebring ran well in his first course-and-distance start last time out. He deserves respect in this spot.

3 Rule Thee is racing honestly and can't be ruled out.

1 Classic Beauty drops to Class 3 for the first time. The former London Icon gets blinkers for the first time and creates interest.

RACE 10 (1,600M)

11 Enrichment has run well in two Hong Kong starts, both well-spaced. The Size-trained galloper, who was Group 2-placed in Australia when named Belfast, finally gets stable rider Joao Moreira aboard and looks set to put his best foot forward as he aims towards next month's BMW Hong Kong Derby.

7 Circuit Number Two has been off the scene since October, having had some minor issues after a last-start course-and-distance third. He is another who looks a Derby horse in the making, having been a stablemate of Enrichment's when both were in Australia. He's worth including.

6 Good Standing is not on the Derby path and missed his opportunity at the classic last year. He's had a chequered Hong Kong career, but will get into the finish one of these days.

8 Epic, formerly known as Merlin Magic, can run a bold race on his Hong Kong debut.

• Comments courtesy of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2019, with the headline 'Speedy Dragon for hat-trick'. Subscribe