Antepost Preview: Japan's Neorealism Looks Strong in the Cup
Hong Kong International Races, Sunday 10th December 2017
Hong Kong Vase, 6.00 Sha Tin
Talasmanic and the 2015 winner of this race Highland Reel are going to be popular but it could be worth looking at Tiberian who could go off at a big price on the Sha Tin tote.
Tiberian has had a great season, winning 4 of his 6 starts, including twice beating Talasmanic, who went on to win this year’s Breeders Cup Turf. He will not have raced on ground this quick but he has raced up to his best on good ground. After a great summer campaign he returned after a break to finish 9th in the Melbourne Cup, where he carried a fair weight of 8-10. He is a best priced 20/1 with the UK bookies, which makes him a great each way bet, but he could be even bigger on the tote.
Tiberian 20/1 eachway
Hong Kong Sprint, 6.40 Sha Tin
Mr Stunning is the one to beat in here, he is a best priced 9/4 with the UK bookies which seems fair considering he is the best of the home team. He has been given stall one which should allow him to get a nice trip on the inside before challenging late on.
At big prices, the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint winner, Stormy Liberal is capable of causing an upset; he has a poor draw in 11 but he has a massive amount of speed that could see him hold a decent position if not too wide. American sprinters have performed well in this race and at 33/1 he could be finishing fast for a place. The two French challengers are big prices; both The Right Man and Signs Of Blessing are group one winners and capable of taking a part in this race, though the latter has become unreliable but he could do better than last year’s 5th place with an inside draw this time around if it is one of his going days. The Japanese sprinters Once In A Moon and Let’s Go Donki are also of interest if going off at big prices.
Stormy Liberal 33/1 eachway
Hong Kong Mile, 7.50 Sha Tin
Hong Kong has dominated this race, winning 9 of the last 10 runnings but they don’t seem to have a standout performer this year. Aiden O’Briens two runners, Lancaster Bomber and Roly Poly could be worth chancing on the Sha Tin tote given how open the race is, despite their wide draws in 13 and 14.
Of the home team, I could be tempted by Contentment, if 20/1 becomes available, but he’s a best priced 14/1 currently and he could be bigger on the tote.
Roly Poly & Lancaster Bomber, Sha Tin tote
Contentment (if 20/1 eachway becomes available)
Hong Kong Cup, 8.30 Sha Tin
Europeans used to dominate this race, but they haven’t won this race since Snow Fairy in 2010. From 2011 to 2014 this race went to the home team with the star cup horses but the last two editions have gone to Japan and they look to have two great contenders in Stephanos and Neorealism.
Last year, Maurice was an impressive winner of this race when ridden by Ryan Moore, but he was firmly put in his place by Neorealism in the grade 2 Sapporo Kinen earlier that season. He made all that day and has also won in similar style here at Sha Tin in the QEII Cup when taking up the running half a mile out when the race developed in to a crawl. He pulled very hard early in the race but once in the lead he never looked like been caught; he is usually a pace horse and did not appreciate being held up by his jockey Joao Moreira. He has drawn the perfect position in stall one and at 6/1 he has to be the bet in here.