Van Niekerk fancied to strike with good book of rides on Sha Tin card
7.50 Sha Tin
8.25 Sha Tin
9.00 Sha Tin
Grant van Niekerk is enjoying an outstanding season and is emerging as a feasible alternative to leading riders Zac Purton and Joao Moreira.
The South African will be seeking his fourth win in five starts on the progressive Simple Elegant, who will be hard to beat in the 7f handicap (7.50) at Sha Tin. Horse and rider have struck up a fruitful partnership.
Van Niekerk should also be followed onHappy Fun in the 7f handicap (9.00), the race chosen for the local debut of much-touted Beauty Legacy, who finished second to Mystic Journey in last year’s Group 1 Australian Guineas.
Van Niekerk won on Happy Fun in June and the six-year-old finished a commendable fourth to rising star Golden Sixty last time.
The Frankie Lor-trainedReliable Team is another rising star and he steps up in grade and distance when tackling the 1m1f handicap (8.25), in which he will carry just 8st 5lb under Vincent Ho.
Ho came in for the mount because Purton rarely rides that light these days, and the former champion apprentice is fancied tomake the most of the opportunity.
Reliable Team is a son of Prix du Jockey-Club winner Reliable Man so there is good reason to be believe he will relish the step up in trip.
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