Sunday, 9.35 Sha Tin: QEII Cup
There are only 8 runners in this intriguing 10 furlong group 1 at Sha Tin, but Werther stands out at 100/30 with the U.K. bookies.
His trainer, John Moore won this race 3 times in the last 4 years; including last year with werther who will be attempting to defend his title this time around. Werther is well clear on the international ratings on 124, 5lb clear of fellow Hong Kong runner Secret Weapon. He was an impressive 4.5 length winner last year and following on from a pleasing seasonal reappearance over an inadequate 1 mile; he should be at his peak for this race.
Japan’s Neorealism is an outstanding horse, who is put in as the 2/1 favourite with the U.K. bookies. He has raced once at Sha Tin, but performed well below par, finishing 9th behind Beauty Only. He is likely to go off bigger on the Hong Tote, but he his past performance here is enough to put me off at the price.
Dicton, trained by Gianluca Bietolini makes the journey over from France and while he does have a mountain to climb on the ratings he could go close at a really big price on the Hong Kong tote. He placed third in the two French classics for colts and was only beaten 2.5 lengths in the Prix Jacques Le Marois. He made a pleasing come-back behind Jimmy Two Times at Chantilly, when making up ground from the rear. Though he got going too late to trouble the winner, he should be better for the run and this small field could suit.
Werther looks the bet at the best odds in the U.K. as he is sure to be very popular with the Sha Tin home crowd and the likely favourite. He will almost certainly be shorter than the 100/30 available with Ladbrokes, for which they have him only third in the betting. Dicton is available at 25/1 with the U.K. bookies, Bet365 and Paddy Power for an each-way bet, but he could be even bigger on the Hong Kong tote.