Pakistan Star Can Go Close Against the Europeans in the Vase
6.00 Sha Tin, Hong Kong Vase
Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist brings in the best form here and if this race was run in his homeland of France then he would be the bet here but he has run well below his best in four previous runs abroad so he can be swerved here.
Of the four championship races the 1m4f Hong Kong Vase is the one where the home team struggle and it is usually fought out between the overseas raiders. Waldgeist aside the overseas contingent doesn’t feature any standout performer, so it could be worth siding with the quirky Pakistan Star for the home win at 12/1 with the UK bookies. He can misbehave in his races, he has refused to race in the past and has pulled himself up, but when he’s in the mood he is good enough to mix it with the overseas raiders. He is a group one winner over this distance and is reunited with William Buick who got a great tune out of him in the QEII Cup. His recent form as been very poor but this will have been his target and after a nice barrier trial win over 6 furlongs against the sprinters he looks overpriced at 12/1 for this.
Pakistan Star, 12/1 William Hill
6.40 Sha Tin, Hong Kong Sprint
Hot King Prawn is the improving sprinter who has won his last four races, against most of the home team that re-oppose here. He will probably go off odds-on in Hong Kong and with 9/4 available with the UK bookies he is tempting, but I’m willing to chance two of the established sprinters in Ivictory and Mr Stunning.
Last year’s winner Mr Stunning was beaten just over a length by Hot King Prawn when trying to concede 11lb and followed that up by getting within half a length of him next time out when having to concede just 5lb, at level weights and at 9/2 he can’t be left out. Ivictory showed great speed last season that also included breaking the track record at Happy Valley before stepping up to group one company at Sha Tin, finishing half a length infront of Mr Stunning in the Champions Sprint Prize. Ivictory made a great return to racing this year when finishing runner-up to Hot King Prawn when conceding 16lb, he’s been tailed off in his last two races but at 14/1 he has to be backed to bounce back to form here following a confidence boosting barrier trial win last week.
Mr Stunning, 9/2 Betfair
Ivictory, 14/1 Skybet
7.50 Sha Tin, Hong Kong Mile
Beauty Generation has turned in Monster performances this season at Sha Tin, which may make the even money available with the UK bookies look very generous, he is likely to be long odds-on in Hong Kong. He’s been handed a poor draw in stall 12 which isn’t ideal for a front-runner so I will chance the Japanese raider Mozu Ascot at 14/1. Mozu Ascot is a grade one winner in Japan over one mile and has been very consistent, even in defeat, defeated by short margins in close finishes; he’s been given a great draw in stall 2.
Mozu Ascot, 14/1 Betfair & Bet365
Beauty Generation, 1/1 Coral (saver bet)
8.30 Sha Tin, Hong Kong Cup
The Japanese raiders Sungrazer and Deidre head the market here but it could be worth siding with last year’s winner Time Warp. Time Warp needs to lead to have any chance and if he is taken on for the lead he’s likely to ruin his chance as he’ll go off too quickly. If he’s left alone upfront he’s going to be tough to catch and at 13/2 he’s worth chancing.
Time Warp, 13/2 William Hill