Hong Kong racing tips: Jim McGrath with three fancies at Happy Valley
1.45 Happy Valley
2.15 Happy Valley
2.50 Happy Valley
Trainer Caspar Fownes can bounce back from the devastating blow he suffered at the weekend, when Enrich Delight suffered a fatal injury in the Classic Mile, to dominate Wednesday’s Happy Valley card where he is set to saddle at least five major chances.
Like a heavyweight knocked down early in the fight, championship leader Fownes is ready to come out for the next round with trademark determination and could easily win the last three races.
Kurpanylooked to have finally found himself when blitzing his opposition on his last start and is confidently tipped to follow up in the Class3 5f sprint handicap (1.45), in which his biggest obstacle is an awkward wide draw (11).
A stiff 11lb hike in the handicap is unlikely to stop the son of Mayson’s progression through the ranks, and with a hungry Alexis Badel aboard - the Frenchman has riddenten minor placings since his last winner on Jan 10 - he can go in again, with Fabulous Eight the main danger.
Fownes has enticed Joao Moreira back aboard The Rock, who the 'Magic Man' partnered to a first Hong Kong win in September, as well as a course-and-distance second two starts ago. They are perfectly placed to land the Class2 handicap (2.15), over an extended 1m.
The Rock is starting to live up to the promise he displayed when winning a novice (as Vasiliev) at Windsor for Clive Cox 18 months ago. The capable Sunshine Warrior is his main opposition but there are many with place claims.
Christophe Soumillon is another in need of a pick-me-up as he was forced to give up rides on Sunday after injuring his back in the Enrich Delight incident, andRoyal Bomb can provide it in the Class3 handicap (2.50), over an extended 1m.
Royal Bomb, who won two in Adelaide and was an average handicapper in Australia, looked to have thrived under Fownes’s training when finishing strongly to score for Soumillon on his last start. He can win again, with Savaquin one to include in multiples.
Bets can be placed into Hong Kong pools with the Tote, Coral and Ladbrokes. The first race at Sha Tin on Sunday is at 5am
Race 4 (1st leg): 4 Ever Force, 9 Peak To Peak
Race 5 (2nd leg): 3 Whiskey Neat, 5 My My My
Race 6 (3rd leg): 2 Charizard, 7 Daily Beauty
Race 7 (4th leg): 6 Kurpany, 8 Fabulous Eight
Race 8 (5th leg): 4 Sunshine Warrior, 11 The Rock
Race 9 (6th leg): 4 Royal Bomb, 8 Savaquin
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