Lemaire can prove to be the judge on well-drawn ride
12.40 Happy Valley
1.10 Happy Valley
2.10 Happy Valley
Hugh Bowman, Winx’s jockey, is set to make headlines again as Hong Kong’s showcase week of racing starts with an outstanding nine-race card at Happy Valley.
The Longines International Jockeys’ Championship takes centre stage, with a collection of the world’s best riders invited to compete in four races, and Bowman seems to have drawn some key chances.
Of particular interest is Marvel Joy (12.40) in the second leg of the IJC, a Class 4 handicap, over 1m½f.
Trained by Caspar Fownes, known locally as ‘King of the Valley’ because of his impressive record at the city course, Marvel Joy is still a maiden in Hong Kong after 18 starts.
But he has finally dropped to a mark at which he can be competitive, as indicated on his latest outing when a short-head second for Zac Purton, over course and distance. Drawn a little awkwardly in gate nine, he can still go very close.
For the record, Marvel Joy, formerly known as Hurricane Rush in Britain, won a small seven-furlong juvenile contest at Epsom for Charlie Hills two years ago.
In a non-invitation race, Bowman has picked up the prime mount on Country Star (1.10) in the 6f Class 3 sprint, a race that seems ideal for this promising son of Starcraft.
Champion trainer John Size consistently shapes and develops sprinting talent and Country Star is a good example of what he can achieve. Again, Bowman’s main concern will be getting across from a tricky draw.
It is always a treat to see Christophe Lemaire in action, and Japan’s current champion jockey can grab a share of the limelight on this glamorous card by winning on the Fownes-trained The Judge (2.10)
This fourth leg of the IJC is a Class 3 handicap over 1m½f, which suits The Judge, drawn perfectly in gate five.
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