Saturday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Stay with Saul's special

Saul’s Special (left), a three-time winner over the 1,000m, should return to the winning list with champion jockey Zac Purton back in the saddle in Race 9 at Sha Tin today.
Saul’s Special (left), a three-time winner over the 1,000m, should return to the winning list with champion jockey Zac Purton back in the saddle in Race 9 at Sha Tin today. PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,800M)

2 Best Effort led and won well in his most recent. The Caspar Fownes-trained galloper is expected to push forward to lead again. With Alfred Chan's 10lb (4.54kg) claim, he can prove difficult to catch.

9 Gorgeous Again has been consistent. He finished off strongly under Grant Van Niekerk last start and, from the gate 1, he should find himself in the right spot.

1 Above receives a welcome class drop. He'll need to shoulder 133lb but he's fit and ready to fire in the weaker class.

7 Keep Winning remains a big watch.

RACE 2 (1,400M)

1 Majestic Endeavour is on the quick back-up after racing on the dirt on Wednesday. Interesting move from Fownes but he's capable of pushing forward to lead from the draw, especially with Chan's handy 10lb claim.

14 Lucky Storm gets down in the weights with only 118lb on his back. Champion jockey Zac Purton takes over and he's another who is capable of making his own luck.

3 Massive Millenium was an improved third last start in his first run on the turf since late December. If he holds his form from that run, he can't be overlooked.

2 Godspeed is winless but, if the pace is fast, he'll get his chance to run on.

RACE 3 (1,400M)

11 Emerald Spur flew home for fourth in his most recent run. He'll relish the step-up to 1,400m and this race looks suitable for him.

2 Sonic Fighter should push forward to sit on the speed under Purton. He's a two-time winner over this course and distance and a third win would not surprise.

1 Voyage King scored his only win back in mid-2018 with Peter Ho astride and the pair team up again. He returns to Class 4 which suits and draw 2 is favourable.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

2 Little Wise Man has finished runner-up in his last two starts. Macau-based rider Peter Ho takes the reins and, although he's drawn 11, he should sit off the speed.

1 Glenealy Generals finished near the rear in his most recent, after trying to make all in the lead. He'll get his chance to return to form if he sits just behind the pace.

11 Nice Fandango is a bold front runner who, from draw 2, should push forward to set a nice tempo. He'll look the winner for a long way.

5 Speedy Missile has impressed on the trial track. He's capable of impressing on debut.

RACE 5 (1,400M)

3 Ultimate Glory was an eye-catching fourth in his most recent start. He's reached a winning mark and, with Purton booked to ride, he is expected to get his chance.

11 Nice Kick got off the mark for his first win this season last start. He returns to Class 4 following that success in the bottom grade and he should get his chance with just 119lb on his back.

12 Family Leader is the best of the rest.

RACE 6 (1,200M)

7 Beauty Applause finished a debut fourth last start. He'll be much improved for the run and, if he's continued to progress from the last start, he's the one they all have to beat.

11 Jimson The Dragon is winless from five starts. He ran a sharply improved third last start and, off that performance, is shaping up to be the main danger.

10 Sunshine Warrior finished midfield on debut. He's capable of sharp improvement and he's expected to use gate 6 to push forward.

4 Super Eighteen turned his form around last start. He might be able to get into the finish again at good odds.

RACE 7 (1,400M)

8 Good Standing was a Group 2 winner in Australia. He sat on the speed to grab second last start and he won't have needed to have improved much to be winning this. 5 Mission Tycoon should find the front under Joao Moreira. He's led and won well before at Sha Tin and he's capable of doing so again. He comes out of a Hong Kong Derby campaign, where he was far from disgraced, racing over 1,800m and 2,000m.

7 Encouraging notched up three consecutive wins earlier this season, before being blocked on numerous occasions in his most recent outing. He'll return to winning form if they elect to push forward on him.

9 Pearl Green is easily the best of the Macau runners. He was the 2018 Group 1 Macau Derby winner who comes in this off a last-start Group 2 Directors' Cup victory. He might be able to get into the finish at odds.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

2 Utopia Life was fourth in his most recent behind the unbeaten Voyage Warrior. Before that, he crossed the line in first but was relegated to fourth following a protest. He's a talent and, off his last start, he is ready for a step-up to 1,200m.

1 Team Spirit led and won well two starts ago. He'll need to overcome the draw. If he can, he should prove difficult to run down.

8 First Responder turned his form around to finish second last start. He's capable of progressing to the winner's stall.

4 Super Missile is a two-time winner from four starts. He's first-up this season, which is a slight concern, but his most recent trial performance caught the eye.

RACE 9 (1,000M)

4 Saul's Special is a three-time 1,000m winner in Hong Kong. He placed over this course and distance two starts ago in a strong race behind Refined Treasure, before being well beaten in his latest run at Happy Valley. He's better up the straight and a return to form is expected, especially with Purton in the saddle.

3 Raging Storm seeks the hat-trick. He's in career-best form at present and, although he's drawn wide, he has the gate speed to cross and negate this. 5 Refined Treasure is a star but has had his fair share of injuries. His best form is up the straight over 1,000m, so you can take on trust that he'll improve.

10 Montreal is an ex-Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott galloper who won three from four when in Australia. He was a winner last season over this course and distance and a recent trial on the dirt suggests that he is back to his best.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

12 Band Of Brothers seeks a hat-trick. He makes his Class 3 debut which is always difficult. But he's on an upward spiral and, if he handles it, he's the one they have to beat.

11 Mighty Maverick gets a handy 10lb claim from Alfred Chan. He was narrowly run down by a neck last start, after attempting to make all. If the same tactics are employed here, he'll get his chance.

2 Honest Way is ultra consistent and has won twice this season. He deserves respect based on his consistency this term.

• Comments courtesy of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Stay with Saul's special'. Print Edition | Subscribe