Sunday's Hong Kong (Sha Tin) form analysis

Utopia Life is back to preferred course and trip

RACE 1 (1,000M)

8 Wild West Wing was wide and trapped far too back in the field with a stack of work to do on debut, but there was plenty of merit in the manner he ran on to finish fourth. 10 Treasure Chest has shown steady improvement across both of his two starts in Hong Kong and he remains a leading chance. 9 Winner's Heart has trialled well for his debut and commands respect with champion jockey Zac Purton up. 5 Eight Trigrams is next best with race-experience on his side.

RACE 2 (1,200M)

4 Ever Strong is racing well and should be suited by a return to the dirt. He gets a good gate, which should see him up on the pace. 5 Calling The Shots is winless across 20 starts but this does look suitable. He remains a top chance. 2 Mr Magellan should get every chance from the inside draw under the vigorous Silvestre de Sousa. 1 Excel Delight has relished the drop to Class 5. He's next best.

RACE 3 (1,000M)

8 Utopia Life is returning to his preferred course and distance with Purton up. His best should see him take a power of running down. 10 Goko has placed in three of his last four runs. With improvement, he'll find himself in the finish. 3 All In Mind steps out for his debut following an eye-catching trial effort. He brings some high quality form from Australia to Hong Kong. 4 Baltic Whisper's consistency holds him in good stead.

RACE 4 (1,400M)

2 The Full Bloom has returned to a winning mark. He's drawn to get the right run and his best form suggests that he will take some beating. The booking of Purton signals intent. 3 Winwin Thirtythree will need a race run to suit, but this appears well within his grasp. 1 Shinealot steps back to Class 5. Given a race run to suit, he can run home strongly from the tailend. 12 Soccer Master is next best down in the handicap.

RACE 5 (1,200M)

1 Will Power was a dominant debut victor last start. Although lugging top weight, he could take running down again with improvement. 5 Power King snatched second last start. Although drawn wide, he's a leading player under Magic Man Joao Moreira. 9 Star Superior has been super consistent his last five outings and he gets in light. 3 Fortune Happiness is looking for his fourth consecutive win. He's done nothing wrong, just that he's vulnerable from the draw.

RACE 6 (1,800M)

12 Cheerful Star has been consistent without winning. He gets Purton, a good gate and a distance which suits. 3 London Hall narrowly missed over this course and distance last start. He can go one better. 8 Mister Monte has experience on his side and his latest win rates highly for this. 10 Good Days is next best for Grant van Niekerk and Danny Shum.

RACE 7 (1,200M)

2 Encore Boy is a course-and-distance winner already this season. With a prominent ride on the speed, he could take some beating. 1 Sunny Boy was found out last start at Happy Valley. He returns to Sha Tin which suits. A bold run expected under Purton. 3 Red Desert turned his form around to grab second last start. If he is holding condition, he could be fighting out the finish. 4 Elite Patch is looking for his third consecutive win. He's racing well and commands respect.

RACE 8 (1,400M)

7 Picken is much better than his start suggested. With the right run, he can secure a well-deserved win. 6 Monica is looking to end a run of two runner-up efforts. He's racing well and gets Moreira. 4 Lakeshore Eagle has a serious engine, as his win two starts ago suggests. He can figure. 8 Big Fortune could find the front for Karis Teetan. He's a two-time winner already this season.

RACE 9 (1,800M)

3 Chefano is looking to end a run of three runner-up efforts. He's racing well and looks the one to beat. 6 Dances With Dragon closed strongly last start. He can progress further over a suitable distance. 1 Red Warrior has the class. From the good draw, he should find himself in the right spot. 10 Easy Go Easy Win is a last-start winner. The Alexis Badel and Douglas Whyte combination are striking hot and deserve respect.

RACE 10 (1,400M)

3 Beauty Legacy, a Group 2 winner and Group 1 placegetter in Australia, has trialled extremely well. 1 Decrypt ran a blinder on debut. His Irish form was imposing. He's going to be fighting out the finish. 9 Star Shine appeared to recapture his blistering best from two seasons ago. He might be worth something. 6 Mr Croissant is consistent and next best.

• Comments courtesy of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2020, with the headline 'Utopia Life is back to preferred course and trip'. Subscribe