Happy Valley Preview Wednesday 29th of April

Peter Kingston looks forward to quality distraction from Hong Kong today on sky sports racing

Happy Valley is one of Hong Kong’s two race tracks and usually takes place on a Wednesday. Today there is a 9-race card from 11.45am-3.50pm and it is live on sky sports racing.

Bar One Racing are paying 6 extra places races and early prices can be found here

I don’t claim to be any sort of an expert on Hong Kong Racing. More than usual, though, I have enjoyed the action continuing this past 5 or 6 weeks behind closed doors, owing to the enforced downtime of the dreaded coronavirus. I had a look at the card and will pick out a few of interest. Firstly, though, let me point you in the direction of a few people or pages I follow on twitter for Hong Kong racing.

(My selections are at the bottom of the page)

People to follow

John Blance presents sky sports racing coverage and spent time in Hong Kong. A good judge and seems a good egg.

@HKJC_Racing he mentions in that tweet is a brilliant resource, the Hong Kong Jockey Club website which will point to later.

The South China Morning Post covers racing in Hong Kong really well.

Familiar to us from Racing TV and Channel 4, Graham Cunningham is based in Hong Kong now and is worth following.

@helpfulpunter or Thomas Deane has been sharing his thoughts on twitter and makes some excellent cases. He also runs a betting tissue challenge, helping people get better at pricing up a race

And finally for now (Sorry those I’ve left out!) is Tim Carroll. Tim writes and presents for ATR and gives a good preview for today’s Happy Valley card above.

The Track

Today the course is rated as good ground. They race on the ‘A’ track which is the full of the turf track, 30.5m wide and the straight measures at 312 metres. The circuit is under 7f and makes for really tactical racing, where space is at a premium and riders ability and luck in running is key. Pace and positioning also is vital.

Top Jockeys

Brazilian João Moreira, aka ‘The Magic Man’, is leading the season’s standings with 107 wins so far, closely followed by the brilliant Aussie rider Zac Purton, on 104 wins. Via the Racing Post, though, Moreira’s figures make ordinary reading on turf this year; 11/94 or 12% SR and -57.75 to level stake.

Purton is 23/96 on turf this year, 24% SR. CY Ho 15 wins, Karis Teetan 13wins, and Grant Van Niekerk 11 wins alongside Moreira on turf in 2020.

Purton and Moreira both have a full book of rides today, and all 18 horses are curreently priced in single figures. They can be overbet, but it’s also hard to get away from their >20% strike-rates overall. The top 2 jockeys’ dominance is more stark than what looks a very competitive trainers’ title.

Top Trainers

PF Yiu leads the current standings for the trainers’ title this season with 52 winners, while KW Lui is on 47 and AS Cruz on 41.

KW Lui has an 18% strike rate on turf this year so far, as does FC Lor. Leading the way. John Size and John Moore have 36 winners a piece on the season and are legendary names in the training ranks in Hong Kong.

Today’s Tips 

Race 1 – 11.45am – 11f

Good Days would be a timid selection. He’s won 3 races, including course and distance and was 2nd on his last two starts. Zac Purton takes the ride from stall 3. Exaltation has yet to place in 11 starts and will certainly need magic dust while the worry for in form Gala Night is up in trip.

https://racing.hkjc.com/racing/video/play.asp?type=trackwork&date=20200429&no=01&lang=eng

Trackwork for the runners in Race 1, the 11.45am. The detail on that site!

Race 2 – 12.15pm – 9f

Victorious Seeker placed in all 5 starts this preparation and will have stall 2 and Moreira. Virtus Star travelled extremely well into straight last time out but faded late after chasing a hot pace. Up in trip here though a worry. Enjoyable Success appeals though as ew value away from the big 2 jocks taking up most of the market. The 6yo is a course and distance winner who ran well enough last start.

https://racing.hkjc.com/racing/speedpro/english/formguide/2.html

Pace Map for Race 2, the 12.15pm

Race 3 – 12.45pm – 8f

Focus won over course and distance 3 weeks ago and will be well fancied again. Everyone’s Elite has been 2nd on his last 6 starts! Happy Warrior was 3rd to Focus last time and won over c&d for his rider last year. Doctors Delight looks a fair ew price considering he was a fair 3rd on his latest run and won at the Valley over a mile 3 starts ago.

Karis Teetan rides Focus in Race 3, the 12.45pm.

Race 4- 1.15pm – 6f

Draw is very important over 6f at Happy Valley. They start close to a bend in a two turn race. See the link below for detail but basically those drawn 7 and higher are at a serious disadvantage. The first three in the betting here are drawn 12,7 and 10 at the time of writing. A chance is taken with Lucky Missile on his 5th start in stall 5.

https://racing.hkjc.com/racing/Info/meeting/Draw/english/Local/20200429/HV#race4

Draw Stats for Happy Valley

Race 5 – 1.45pm – 6f

Sky Show was 6th on debut and looks promising. Amazing was a c&d winner 3 starts back. The Show is a 10 year old, winner of 7 races including over c&d and showed his well being last time out when only beaten a head. Makes appeal at double figure price, 1st time blinkers may also help the case.

Race 6 – 2.15pm -8f

Flash Famous rates as the nap on the card. Nothing new here; Moreira on board, drawn 2, won two of his last three starts. When 2nd last time he finished over a 1/2 second quicker for the last 2 furlongs than the winner. He’s had a brilliant season so far and looks a worthy fav.

https://racing.hkjc.com/racing/information/English/Racing/DisplaySectionalTime.aspx?RaceDate=08/04/2020&RaceNo=7

Sectionals for Flash Famous last time out

Race 7 – 2.45pm -6f

Shining Gem was 2nd last time out over c&d from stall 12, gets the plum draw in 1 here and his jockey makes a very compelling case for him in video below. Young Legend won 3 weeks ago and got a 7lb hike which looks deserved. Diamond Brilliant was 3rd to Young Legend then, but looked to stack them up, up front then and hard to see reversing the form.

Shining Gem’s jockey, CY Ho

Race 8 – 3.15pm – 8f

Divine Unicorn was 2nd last time out, his first placing in 12 starts, finishing off well. The Lope de Vega gelding has changed trainer since, to WY So with a slightly higher strike rate this season. He started off rated 86 and now contests off 67 so his time might come. Red Elysees was a good 2nd in January at this track off 69 and is here off same mark again is a danger.

Race 9 – 3.50pm – 6f

Jumbo Happiness can be forgiven his poor run last time. He was 3 wide in the 2nd half of the field and the pace meant it was hard for closers to get involved in the finish. Won over c&d off 70 two starts back and and can go well again here from stall 3. 8yo Good for You is a 6 time winner and could be dangerous in stall 1 with blinkers 1st time.

 

I hope you enjoy the live action, a brief and welcome distraction. Be lucky!

Betting available for Happy Valley here



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article