The Hong Kong Sprint (Race 5) holds significant Australian interest with two representatives who are both last start group 1 winners.
Takedown has really stepped up this preparation culminating in finishing his spring with a victory in the Group 1 Winterbottom stakes. That field included highly regarded sprinters Malagueera and Terravista in the field and Australian sprinters generally perform well on the international stage. Races prominently, so the good draw helps. Trainer Gary Moore returns to Hong Kong having previously been 7 time champion jockey and would love to take out a feature race as a Trainer. Tim Clark makes the trip over riding in career best form and gets his chance to perform on the international stage.
Rebel Dane is Australia’s other representative and this highly consistent galloper scored his 2nd group 1 success last start in the Manikato stakes. He was immediately set for this race with the 6 week break between runs ideal for this entire who races well fresh. Has a powerful finish on his day – and with the right run will look come late.
Hong Kong have dominated this race in the past and they hold a very strong hand again. Notlistentome did his early racing in Australia before joining the John Moore stable in Hong Kong. He placed in this event last year and this year won the traditional lead up race with Hugh Bowman aboard when sent around at long odds. He races handy to the speed and Bowman will again be looking to pinch a gap on his main rivals back in the field. Lucky Bubbles is likely to start favourite and is looking to stamp himself as Hong Kong’s top sprinter. Won three of last five starts – all at this track and distance with a narrow defeat by Chatauqua in the Chairman’s Sprint and a fast finishing second in the lead up run his only defeats in that period. His trackwork figures have been good leading into this and he looks to peak here 3rd up. Moreira rides Amazing Kids who is always competitive with the favourite, while past winners Peniaphobia and Aerovelocity show the depth of the race this year.
Japan also look to have serious contenders this year with Big Arthur and Red Falx. Ryan Moore takes over on Big Arthur, a highly regarded group 1 winner who comes off a luckless run in the sprinters stakes when short priced favourite. He won a Group 1 and Group 2 at his two previous starts running slick times in the process. He races handy and looks most the most likely to take this from locals. He was very impressive in the latest track work session and while drawn wide which that may be a blessing as he enjoys clear running. Red Falx comes off victory in the Sprinters stakes making a run from the rear – will appreciate a strong pace and the big Sha Tin straight.
Fairly confident this one is a race in two, I’m going with the promising Lucky Bubbles who looks set to peak just ahead of Big Arthur.
Tips – 1. Lucky Bubbles 2. Big Arthur 3. Red Falx