November 24, 2011 at 03:35 #20321
Initial fields announced at Happy Valley last night:
Dedicated site for follow-up info:November 27, 2011 at 20:08 #379963
Shareta now reportingly skipping the HK Vase (12f race). I wonder if Jaguar Mail might be put into the field, he’s run in the last 3 Vases and come away with a very close 3rd to Dr Dino and distant 4th last year.
These races are very often slowly run so you have to take that into account. That makes the draws even more important. For example Paco Boy was 4 wide without cover at the tail from the outside gate, and probably didn’t even underperform that much. In most cases, 3 wide no cover can get you in the frame, but even an exceptional horse has no chance 4 wide no cover in Hong Kong.December 3, 2011 at 04:36 #380764andyodMember
- Total Posts 4012
Lester was at least three wide all the way around the final turn in the BC mile on Royal Academy and had to be pulled further wide to take up his challenge and still he won.But of course that was Lester the god.The more I watch him the more I admire him.Somebody once said a jockey has to have a stratgey to win from wherever he is on the course. Most don’t so they never win.You must believe something is possible or you will never try to do it.December 3, 2011 at 18:31 #380875darren83Participant
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ROCKET MAN is 3/1 with hills i think he win as well that a big price it is.December 4, 2011 at 04:12 #380936
ROCKET MAN is 3/1 with hills i think he win as well that a big price it is.
If he’s at his best he’s clearly the one to beat. I have some reservations because of his recent trip to Japan (where he didn’t impress) and he doesn’t seem as good right-handed (lost to JJ the Jet Plane last year and only beat Sacred Kingdom half a length). If he runs to his best though I think it’s unlikely the home team can beat him.
It’d be up to the Japanese Curren Chan who beat him very impressively in Japan and looks a serious up-and-comer.
Stall 10 with black sleeves, she was 4 wide the whole trip. Rocket Man was 3rd or 4th in the run, dark colors with the shadow roll.
Regular angle of the race
From HK: Little Bridge leads the home team but Entrapment is as good or just a bit below him. Joy and Fun is a run-on horse who’ll need luck but he has a similar amount of ability.
Old Sacred Kingdom is coming in fresh in an attempt to get the best out of him. He’s the class horse and nobody would be shocked if he beats the likes of Little Bridge home. Lucky Nine ran a head 2nd first-up in Japan and was then badly checked in the Curren Chan/Rocket Man race. Still a bit unexposed. He’s at the very least as good as Little Bridge and might even measure up with Rocket Man, but many horses coming back from Japan struggle so he’s a bit of a risk.December 4, 2011 at 10:02 #380955
form guide now released:
Barzalona has just taken the final race at Sha Tin (albeit on dirt) in his first meeting in HK – with the same celebration as in the Derby.December 8, 2011 at 16:01 #381638
draw now made and full racecard available here as pdf – click the button saying "download race form (all races)":
some responses to draw here:
draw stats over the last 12 months are on page 52 of the pdf (page C1 on the actual text). not enough races for those tables to mean much for the Vase or Cup, but best-win-record berths for the other two races are:
Sprint – 5(18%) Entrapment; 7(15%) Joy and Fun
Mile: – 12(15%) Cityscape; 3(14%) Fair Trade; 14(13%) Dubawi GoldDecember 9, 2011 at 16:13 #381766
After the barrier draw, I have some strong thoughts
– I’m very willing to take on Rocket Man, especially from gate 13. Curren Chan is in 11 which will also hurt her, and obviously you’d have to prefer her over RM based on everything, RM is a risk of a travel hangover too. But Curren Chan also had a terrible travel experience (plane stuck on tarmac for hours due to engine trouble.
– Little Bridge is the safe horse who should be in the first 3, and Entrapment is likely just as good as him. I like Lucky Nine from gate 6 to win it; last year missed the start from a bad gate and was only beaten 2 lengths. Can’t see Sacred Kingdom winning from gate 14.
– I think Saphresa’s better than Xtension and if she gets in from gate 8 she should win I think. Pace should be slow again so Beauty Flash and Flying Blue (who pulled last start) are chances, along with New Zealander Jimmy Choux. Local horse Outdoor Pegasus is an outside chance to place or run in the first 4.
– The draw had no impact, cracking race. HK milers are always strong so it says something that Ambitious Dragon is probably the best miler in HK. California Memory is likely just as good over this trip in an ideal world but unlike the Dragon doesn’t have the size or instant acceleration to always avoid trouble. Of course Byword and Cirrus can easily win it too.
-Silver Pond was my bet of the meeting and the inside draw is considered by a jockey as more of a negative than anything due to the likely slow pace and the horse’s long stride. Still worth the bet. He ran a stormer in the Arc from near last, so he handles fast ground.
-I’m still happy to take on the Melbourne Cup duo. Americain, who’s better than Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, found it difficult to accelerate off a slow pace in HK last year so…
-Draw shouldn’t worry Vadamar and the Japanese Trailblazer, they should go forward and be just off the lead. The first is obviously good enough and the second’s Japan Cup form can see him go close too.December 10, 2011 at 11:22 #381917Irish StampMember
- Total Posts 3181
Rich Unicorn @ 40/1. My main bet on the card tonight is this John Size trained fellow who looks highly progressive particularly in light of his G2 handicap win on his penultimate start when coming from last to first to defeat todays rivals Little Bridge, Entrapment, Joy And Fun and Dim Sum over todays CD. He got no sort of run last time out when fourth behind two of those rivals and Admiration off level weights and with a clear run I think he’d definitely have been in the shake up. I have to say it’s a race I love for betting purposes and the only other bet I can see is Little Bridge at 9/1 as he’s a proven top grade performer in HK and I can’t have any of the European horses on my mind for this and the Singapore star Rocket Man has a very poor draw to overcome.
Destined For Glory @ 11/1. Was a decent horse in Ireland for Ger Lyons racing under the name of Wade Giles and has proven to be a high class performer in Hong Kong for his new connections including last time out when beating Ambitious Dragon over a mile in a Group 2 trial for this last month. He’d reviously been beaten as favourite in a handicap over 9f and in a similar race over 7f the time before but the form of his last run looks solid and the price looks far too big. Would also add that the 66’s Outdoor Pegasus (not beaten far LTO by Destined For Glory) and the 100/1 about Fat Choy Oohlala (also close up LTO when upped in grade) are too big.
California Memory @ 10/1. Unlucky in running last time out when beaten behind Thumbs Up (Vase runner), Pure Champion and Irian in the trial for this last month and had previously taken out a G2 Handicap over a mile. Arguably his best run came when runner-up behind Ambitious Dragon (who’s a very worthy favourite here) at Kranji back in May when he came late and fast as he usualy does to take second late on. I think he’ll go well whilst I’ll also have a saver on Ambitious Dragon who IMO represents decent value at 2/1 when compared to the same price available about French raider Cirrus Des Aigles.
MartinDecember 10, 2011 at 17:04 #381977
the HKJC’s race-by-race TV preview is now online.
under Racing To Win, click the red buttons 4, 5, 7, and 8 here:December 10, 2011 at 17:52 #381985jose1993Member
- Total Posts 1228
Backed Trailblazer in the Vase at 12/1. Japan Cup was falsely run, but this isn’t usually run in an end-to-end gallop style, and it’s a step down in class from that race.
Entrapment’s seemingly the most consistent of the local HK sprinters and most likely to give his running when factoring in the draw. 10/1 E/W is fair imo, especially given the confidence he’s been backed with in his last two starts.
Hopefully, whatever happens in the preceding three races, Ambitious Dragon delivers for the Hong Kong crowd and toteboard. Doesn’t mean much for form but in 1999 and 2005 the QEII Cup, HK Cup double was done. 6 years apart again?December 10, 2011 at 22:35 #382048
California Memory @ 10/1. Unlucky in running last time out when beaten behind Thumbs Up (Vase runner), Pure Champion and Irian in the trial for this last month and had previously taken out a G2 Handicap over a mile. Arguably his best run came when runner-up behind Ambitious Dragon (who’s a very worthy favourite here) at Kranji back in May when he came late and fast as he usualy does to take second late on.
He’s probably my bet for the Cup as well, will be second or third favorite in Hong Kong. He was sitting midfield over 7 and 8 furlongs earlier in his career and still finishing off powerfully, and the trainer has stated that they’ll try to have him a bit closer so he might blow them away. On sectional times he’s matched Snow Fairy’s HK Cup win on more than one occasion, so he just needs luck in running.
Entrapment does have a bit of improvement left in him. Fitness aside, he’s overraced for a furlong or so around the bend in his last two so a stronger pace can easily see him improve past Little Bridge. Lucky Nine still the most likely winner in my mind, though Curren Chan is the most talented horse but has had the poor preparation. Joy and Fun has drawn poorly in his last few but his 3rd 2 years ago and win in Dubai is proof of his class. From a good gate he’s a live place chance and he’s as good as ever.December 11, 2011 at 06:02 #382069
APAPANE in the Mile is currently 14 the win, 5.5 the place on the HK tote.
Over the 1600 the 9 gate has poor win stats, but second-best place stats. Will like the fast ground, and typically is a closer, although was in the leading group a month ago when 1.3 lengths behind Snow Fairy over 2200 in Kyoto.
Won the Japanese Fillies’ Triple Crown in 2010. In May this year beat Buena Vista a neck over 1600 in the G1 Victoria Mile in Tokyo.
5 wins from 8 runs over 1600. 4 wins, 2 thirds from seven G1 races, the G1 wins being over 1600 twice, plus 2000 and 2400.
Difficult to compare times over different tracks, but her two G1 wins over 1600 were 1.33.30 and last time 1.31.90 – both faster times than any of the others in this race seem ever to have run, the best of them having yet to break 1.34.0.December 11, 2011 at 09:52 #382078
full results with video replay links here:December 11, 2011 at 11:11 #382093
Like last year the mile winner didn’t have to put up a strong performance to get away with it. He’s a brave old horse but even in his younger days he was 2 lengths behind superstars like Good Ba Ba. Cityscape desperately unlucky, would’ve won comfortably with a draw. Xtension couldn’t measure up as expected with Dubawi Gold running better than him (had a tougher run). Sahpresa didn’t show her best, and the jockey on Flying Blue set a blazing pace maybe to help the stable’s first string get in from his draw.
Sprint winner Lucky Nine’s a length or two better than the bare result; he was pretty wide in the race. He must be in the conversation for second best sprinter in the world. Joy and Fun was astonishing value, but form students will recall that Sacred Kingdom and One World were superior class to him 2 years ago. Curren Chan was stopped in her tracks at the head of the straight, seems a 7f type who needs a sustained run so in that way she was flattered in her Japan wins.
Silver Pond might have made a race of it in the Vase but got bottled up inside like I thought he might. Dunaden seems to have the superior turn-of-foot anyways but with a clear sustained run Silver Pond might have been a chance.
The Cup might’ve been the slowest-run on record. The winner was held up and would’ve won more convincingly with clear running. Jockeys suggest Byword and Cirrus ran near their best but couldn’t deal with the excruciatingly slow pace. Ambitious Dragon was disappointing, he might have pulled a bit or gone to early.
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