Saturday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Thumbs up for Rule Thee

Rule Thee (in red cap and green jersey) has won two of his last three starts. He can take today's Race 8 at Sha Tin, now that the penny looks to have dropped with him.
Rule Thee (in red cap and green jersey) has won two of his last three starts. He can take today's Race 8 at Sha Tin, now that the penny looks to have dropped with him.PHOTO: HKJC

RACE 1 (1,000M)

2 Lucky Volatility did well to win on debut over the straight 1,000m and looked the winner for much of the straight up to the Sha Tin 1,200m last time out. He looks capable of breaking through into Class 3 here, especially in a race filled with unimpressive raced commodities and interesting-but-risky three-year-old debutants.

4 Complacency, a half-brother to dual Group 1 winner Contentment, has trialled well. He is sure to have plenty of admirers.

9 Yee Cheong Pegasus finished off well in his most recent trial and he looks a nice-enough horse. He deserves consideration.

7 Just Not Listening improved in between trials and can improve heading into this.

RACE 2 (1,600M)

1 G-One Union won nicely two starts back over the Sha Tin 1,400m, at what was his first run for Danny Shum, before producing another decent effort over 1,200m on the dirt. The step-up to 1,600m looks suitable.

13 Winningli is racing well without winning, albeit on the dirt. Surprisingly, this is his first test at this course and distance. With no weight on his back, thanks to Matthew Poon's claim, he shapes as a danger.

2 Hit A Home Run gets back down to Class 5, where he is a three-time winner. He has the outside gate, but if he can get into any sort of position, he can't be dismissed.

5 Kwaichung Brothers is also drawn wide but he's racing well enough to get into the placings.

RACE 3 (1,400M)

1 New Asia Sunrise is one of the most popular gallopers in Hong Kong. The pint-sized chestnut with a baldy face is tough and durable - two qualities which could help him see off his six rivals here. He will go forward and should prove tough to run down under Dylan Mo.

2 Ping Hai Star has won from seemingly impossible positions at his last two starts. The four-year-old is still doing things wrong in the running, which is why trainer John Size has resisted stepping him back up to a mile and beyond. Size is sending him over the 1,400m trip again and he's the one to beat.

5 Kingsfield will go forward. In his current vein of form, he's not without a hope.

7 Circuit Glory is still in Derby contention but would need to show something here in his first run for John Moore.

RACE 4 (1,200M)

8 Seventy Seventy has trialled nicely ahead of his debut. The three-year-old has a good gate and should enjoy every chance on or near the speed.

1 Eighty Eighty disappointed with defeats as odds-on favourite at his first two starts before scrambling home last time out. However, there are reasons to think that the effort may have been better than it appeared and Handsome Bo Bo, who raced outside him that day, won nicely last weekend. He's a chance again.

7 Jumbo Bus disappointed on debut but is clearly better than that effort. He's worth including in all exotics. 9 Goko is sure to be around the mark from a nice gate.

RACE 5 (1,600M)

2 Lucky Time was arguably unlucky not to win last time out when failing to reel in Planet Star. This is his first time up to 1,600m but it shapes as though it should suit and he should be hard to beat.

8 Royal Chocolate is trialling the mile for the first time. The son of So You Think has shown hints of ability. This sort of trip should bring out his best. From a good draw, expect him to be at the finish.

6 Electric Lightning is a chance with even luck.

4 Beauty Day, a brother to Group 2 winner Beauty Flame, ran an improved race last time out and cannot be dismissed.

RACE 6 (1,400M)

4 Raging Storm's debut was as eye-catching as they come, storming home from an impossible position to finish fourth, beaten a neck. Another two strides and he would have won comfortably. If he's taken improvement from that mentally, he'll be hard to run down.

2 Mighty Maverick gets down to Class 4 for the first time. He's struggled for form this season but he's usually very consistent. If he gets an easy lead from gate 4, he's more than capable of capturing this.

6 Sunny Power ran well on debut and looks to have promise, although he may need a longer trip.

5 Empire Star has drawn awkwardly but can get into the finish.

RACE 7 (1,800M)

4 Sergeant Titanium should be able to dictate or sit just off the speed. Many of the rivals are acclimatising, so he is the safe bet.

1 Rivet is the one four-year-old in this race who does appear to have settled in well, but he also has to carry 133 pounds (60.45kg). He's a chance.

5 Savvy Six ran well last week. If he takes a step forward off the six-day back-up, he's not without claims.

8 Good Omen has been rushed to make the Derby but there is clearly promise there.

RACE 8 (1,800M)

2 Rule Thee raced right away over this course and distance last start to record his second win in three starts. The penny looks to have dropped with him and he can win another race here, even despite a hike in the handicaps.

11 General Dino might need the drop into Class 4 but he has run well at two of his last three outings. He looks suited up to 1,800m and the son of two-time Hong Kong Vase winner Doctor Dino can break his Hong Kong maiden shortly.

5 Bring It On and 8 Tai Smart are both racing well and deserve consideration.

RACE 9 (1,000M)

8 Mr Lumieres was an impressive winner at his Hong Kong debut two weeks ago. He has drawn well again and didn't go up too much in the ratings, so he appears capable of winning again.

3 Dragon General is also drawn to take advantage over this course and distance. He looks well-suited here.

2 Country Melody still looks to have a win in him off this rating on his recent form. 5 Baltic Whisper deserves respect after a dominant debut win and a solid second-up fourth.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

6 Turin Redstar has been unlucky not to break through yet, but performed admirably at his three Hong Kong starts, including an unlucky effort two runs back. He was just edged out by C P Power last start but should be able to atone.

2 Calculation had nothing go right for him last time out, stumbling out of the gates, overracing and then laying in all the way down the straight. To get within three lengths was some feat and he should be around the mark again.

7 Famous Warrior ran well at his first Hong Kong start and should be improved heading into this.

10 Happy Guy can take another step forward here.

• 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 03, 2018, with the headline 'Thumbs up for Rule Thee'. Subscribe