Add a bit of Garlic to your punting plate at Happy Valley
10.45 Happy Valley
11.15 Happy Valley
2.50 Happy Valley
Hardy stayerGarlic Yeah is set to give Zac Purton a winning start to a relatively quiet day for the Australian-born champion by taking the opener, the 1m3f handicap (10.45), at Happy Valley.
Races beyond ten furlongs almost carry novelty status in Hong Kong, but it pays to latch on to any in-form horse showing aptitude for longer trips, particularly in the lower grades.
The Dennis C H Yip-trained Garlic Yeah is a prime example. The son of stamina influence Savabeel produces his best form when tackling extreme distances– by local standards– which he showed when third over course and distance two starts back.
The draw is all important at Happy Valley, no matter what distance, and Purton will have options from stall six in the 12-runner field, so expect him to take up a position just in behind the pace in the early stages.
Lowest-rated Romantic Journey, who is still a maiden after 33 starts (seven of them in Australia), could be similarly placed by Joao Moreira, which sets up an interesting tactical battle in prospect.
Silvestre de Sousa is riding well but not making as big an impression locally this year. Nevertheless, the former British champion can make the most of picking up the ride on Compassion Star, who is perfectly placed to win the Class 4 6f handicap (11.15).
The six-year-old won over course and distance at the start of the season in September, and still looks to be on a fair mark despite placings in similar racesin his last two starts. Two years ago he was successful off a 7lb higher rating.
Save something also for the David Hall-trainedQuadruple Double in the finale, the Class3 6f handicap (2.50), in which the Zoustar four-year-old will attempt to notch a fourth win of the season for apprentice Matthew Poon.
The selectionhad a tough run when fourth in a 6f handicap at Sha Tin on his last start, but drawn the inside gate this time, he has a distinct advantage. Purton's mount Winning Method is the danger in a hot contest.
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