Hong Kong racing is back with the sixth of 88 world-class racing cards starting Wednesday at 7:15 a.m. EDT in North America. Free PPs are available at Horse Racing Nation. For more free handicapping information, visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club website.
Happy Valley selections by Declan Schuster
Race 1: No. 4 Jolly Honour, No. 11 Smiling Face, No. 6 Handsome Veggie, No. 1 Bell Of Victory.
Race 2: No. 1 Surrealism, No. 8 Tailor Made, No. 11 Victorious Seeker, No. 9 Wonder Years.
Race 3: No. 2 Right Honourable, No. 1 Free Foal, No. 4 Fearless Fire, No. 3 Seaweed Fortune.
Race 4: No. 2 Exuberant, No. 7 Country Treasure, No. 10 Loriz, No. 4 Compassion Super.
Race 5: No. 6 Six Best Friends, No. 4 Spicy Grill, No. 9 Shining Fortune, No. 1 Kokushi Musou.
Race 6: No. 8 High Rise Soldier, No. 9 Trader, No. 6 Super Winner, No. 4 Excellent Peers.
Race 7: No. 10 Enchanting Ibis, No. 2 Igniting, No. 9 Winning Icey, No. 1 Beauty Glory.
Race 8: No. 7 Comet Splendido, No. 4 S J Tourbillon, No. 1 Superbella, No. 6 Nearly Fine
Race 1: Kennedy Town Handicap, 7:15 a.m. EDT
No. 4 Jolly Honour has tumbled down the handicap. He races in class 5 for the first time and does so as a two-time winner in class 3. He has the class edge to put this field away. No. 11 Smiling Face found form late last season. He should get a charmed run throughout from the inside draw for the in-form Hewitson-Whyte combination. No. 6 Handsome Veggie has his second run in the grade. Zac Purton’s booking bears close watching. No. 1 Bell Of Victory slips down a grade. Keep safe.
Race 2: Sai Ying Pun Handicap, 7:45 a.m. EDT
No. 1 Surrealism narrowly missed in this grade last term and gets another chance here. The big weight is a slight concern, however he is cut above this group, especially if he finds his best. No. 8 Tailor Made returned in excellent order first up, finishing second to President’s Choice at Sha Tin. This looks like the right form line to be competitive again. No. 11 Victorious Seeker slots in light and is favored from an inside draw. The penny appears to have finally dropped with No. 9 Wonder Years. He has claims and gets his chance.
Race 3: Sheung Wan Handicap, 8:15 a.m. EDT
No. 2 Right Honourable is dangerous in this grade. He was set a task from the wide draw last start, forced to make up a stack of ground, which he did with plenty of merit. Expect improvement here at his preferred course. No. 1 Free Foal has the class and knows what it’s all about. Strong booking of Zac Purton warrants respect as he steps out first-up following a strong trial at Conghua. No. 4 Fearless Fire will improve second up. This is the right grade for him. No. 3 Seaweed Fortune mixes his form but has a powerful finish on his day. Next best.
Race 4: 50th Anniversary Cup handicap, 8:45 a.m. EDT
No. 2 Exuberant returns to Happy Valley, where he was a winner in the past. He put in several nice performances last season in this grade and over the course and distance. If he can replicate one of those, then he is the one they must beat. No. 7 Country Treasure is better than his record suggests. He had a torrid run throughout last start, and he is expected to improve with a smoother run throughout. No. 10 Loriz is a consistent customer. Expect he finds an early lead from post 1 under Derek Leung. No. 4 Compassion Super has ability. Keep him very safe.
Race 5: Central Handicap, 9:15 a.m. EDT
No. 6 Six Best Friends went close to a first win two runs ago. He has trialed up well at Happy Valley, and from the good post he should give a good account of himself out in front under Alex Lai just as he did two runs back at odds of 66-1. No. 4 Spicy Grill can fly fresh. He won first up last prep and pairs favorably with Zac Purton this week from the good post. No. 9 Shining Fortune mixes his form but has shown capabilities at times. Expect improvement second up, however the draw isn’t ideal. No. 1 Kokushi Musou is next best.
Race 6: Admiralty Handicap, first section, 9:45 a.m. EDT
No. 8 High Rise Soldier should get the right run from the draw. He has returned to a competitive mark, and this grade is right for him. A nice weight and the rise in trip should bring out his best. No. 9 Trader will skip along out in front. He draws favorably and shapes as the one to catch. No. 6 Super Winner could follow suit. Expect he rolls forward to press for the lead following an eye-catching, first-up effort. No. 4 Excellent Peers should have improved across the break. He looks capable of taking the next step.
Race 7: Admiralty Handicap, 2nd Section, 10:15 a.m. EDT
No. 10 Enchanting Ibis slots in light and returns following a strong trial effort on the dirt. He looks ready to fire first up, and the light weight should afford him every opportunity in a difficult contest. Expect he has several rating points still in hand. No. 2 Igniting returned in excellent order first up. He can take another step forward here. No. 9 Winning Icey is chasing a hat trick of wins but rises to Class 3 now. This will be tough once more. No. 1 Beauty Glory has the class edge following a tidy, first-up win. He’ll be thereabout.
Race 8: Wan Chai Handicap, 10:50 a.m.
No. 7 Comet Splendido has the talent and did very, very well first up to miss by less than a length. He draws better this time and should improve out of sight second up. Harry Bentley gets a strong chance to seal another win here. No. 4 S J Tourbillon caught the eye with a strong trial at Happy Valley recently. Expect a first win is close for the son of Galileo. No. 1 Superbella has the class and is chasing back-to-back wins. He can handle Happy Valley and only needs to offset the hefty impost. No. 6 Nearly Fine is next best.
Declan Schuster grew up loving the sport and doing the form after Pierro won the 2012 Golden Slipper. His love for racing in Asia and the puzzle of finding winners took him to Hong Kong, where he is employed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. His favorite racecourse is Happy Valley. Coverage of the entire Hong Kong Thoroughbred season at Horse Racing Nation is made possible through a sponsorship by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.