Chris Baker: Six fancies for you at Happy Valley

There's racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday afternoon,
There's racing at Happy Valley on Wednesday afternoon,

There are six bets for today’s racing at Happy Valley, Hong Kong. Good luck if you decide to follow.

Happy Valley Tips

14:15 – Race 6 (6f)

CALIFORNIADEEPSHOT (value at around 5/1 or bigger) arrived from Australia with an unbeaten record having won both of his starts there. Following a series of good trials, he made a winning debut over this course and distance back in January. He can be forgiven his defeat next time out (had the widest draw and was hampered) and ran well to finish third here last time out. He’s since been given a break but did have a trial at the track under today’s jockey Joao Moreira earlier this month. That should have put him right for today’s contest.

I’d also give a chance to WIND N GRASS, who at a double figure price would be more than double the odds that I feel he should be. This half brother to a Group 2 winner won four times in Ireland for Ger Lyons (name since changed from Basic Law) before being sold to race in Hong Kong. He was comprehensively beaten in his first four starts at Sha Tin (and again there last time out), but has finished third on both visits to Happy Valley. He stays further than this 1200m trip and will be doing his best work at the finish, especially if the pace is strong.

The other horse on the shortlist is Beauty Spark (value at around 6/1 or bigger), who has finished third in his last five races over this course and distance.

14:45 – Race 7 (extended mile)

At around 4/1 or bigger, JOLLY HONOUR (NAP) would be good value to follow up his victory over this course and distance last time out. He showed a good attitude under pressure that day and was registering his fifth career victory and second at Happy Valley. Zac Purton, on board for the first time that day, keeps the ride and should be able to get a good position behind the pacesetters (likely to be Champ Patrol and Magnificent) from his draw in stall 1.

The biggest dangers look to be Sunshine Warrior, who has won two of his last three starts, and the consistent Heavenly Thought. However, the latter named horse looks likely to be very popular with punters and at around 3/1 in the fixed odds markets, he is around half the price that I would class as good value. 

15:15 – Race 8 (6f)

The second division of the sprint handicap can go to WINNING METHOD (value at around 5/1 or bigger). The mount of Matthew Chadwick was firmly in control at the finish here last time out - his second course success and fourth overall – and that followed on from a series of runs in which he’d been short of luck in running. As a result of his latest win, he will run off top weight today, but he’s a strong stayer over the trip and with a trouble-free run (has a good draw in stall 5) he should be there at the finish.

I’m also taking a chance on one that I feel has been overlooked in the market. On my figures, FANTASTIC FEELING should not be a double figure price and it’d be no surprise to see him outrun his odds. Although he is without a win in over a year, he finished second behind an easy winner over this course and distance last time out. That was his third consecutive start from a wide draw but Neil Callan will have the luxury of breaking from stall four today. He’s a six-time winner at the track and can’t be discounted.

Completing the shortlist is G Unit, who is also likely to be a decent price. He can be forgiven his run last time out as he was four wide around the home turn.

15:50 – Race 9 (1m1f)

The feature race on the card looks a good opportunity for RELIABLE TEAM to notch his fifth career success. This four-year-old gelding was only beaten by 4.5-lengths in the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby when last seen. He also raced in the $10 million Hong Kong Classic Cup in February and looks a good value bet now dropped down in class. I make him around a 4/1 chance, so I was delighted to see him priced up bigger than that on the overnight fixed-odds markets. It’ll be interesting to see if he comes in for support during the day. His form figures at this track read an impressive 115312 and although he’s yet to win over 1800m, he’s shown that he can stay at least this far. Amazing Beats, Group 2-placed in Australia and making his debut at the track, and Private Secretary, a Listed winner for Frankie Dettori at Goodwood last year, can chase him home (both value at around 5/1 or bigger).

Recommendations:

14:15 at Happy Valley - CALIFORNIADEEPSHOT – 1 point win bet.

14:15 at Happy Valley - WIND N GRASS – 0.5 point win bet.

14:45 at Happy Valley - JOLLY HONOUR (NAP) – 1 point win bet.

15:15 at Happy Valley - WINNING METHOD – 1 point win bet.

15:15 at Happy Valley - FANTASTIC FEELING – 0.5 point win bet.

15:50 at Happy Valley - RELIABLE TEAM – 1 point win bet.

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