Hong Kong Diary

The weather is hotting up in Hong Kong and the top three riders are in for a busy Sunday at Sha Tin. Joao Moreira, Zac Purton and Karis Teetan have full books on an 11-race programme - live on Sky Sports Racing from 5.30am to 10.45am.

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Making a winning debut in Class 3 in Hong Kong tends to be tough, especially at Happy Valley, so hats off to Irish import Delightful Laos on Wednesday's narrow yet decisive success at the city track.

The Baltic King colt, well regarded when winning as Now The King at Dundalk for Michael O'Callaghan last October, popped up at 59-1 on his debut for Tony Cruz. A 7lb rise means Delightful Laos will still be in Class 3 company for his next start but he looks a bright prospect in the colours of Designs On Rome, who landed the Hong Kong Derby and the QEII Cup having been imported from Pat Flynn's yard a few years ago.


Joao Moreira ended Wednesday still three ahead of Zac Purton after both men recorded a double and the Magic Man was at his best aboard Simply Fluke, a former "pedantic nutcase" in the words of new handler Douglas Whyte but one who has performed the rare feat of defying stall 12 twice in three weeks over the Valley's challenging 6f course.

The five-year-old is two from two since joining Whyte and settled things with an impressive burst but, having been drawn 11, 9 11, 12, 11, 11, 14, 12 and 12 this season, the trainer joked that he has reached the point where "if he does draw a gate, you get nervous that he won't know what to do!"


Whyte's debut training season sees him seventh in the table on 33 winners - a solid return with fewer runners than the rest of the top ten - and former James Fanshawe gelding Enzemble represents him in Sunday's Insular Handicap at 9.05.

Enzemble opened his Hong Kong account under Moreira last month but the Brazilian looks to have chosen hat-trick seeking Defining Moment here. Enzemble's stablemate Good Omen is another worth a mention, as is London Hall.

London Hall on the far right in yellow silks

David Hall's gelding has been in fine form, winning twice over course and distance, and did enough to suggest he's still nicely treated at Happy Valley recently when he pressed a demanding pace in a race where the first two came from the rear.


Juneau Park looks bound to take Moreora close in the concluding Inch Arran Handicap at 10.45. John Size's gelding is a big, strong youngster on the up and still looks on a very fair mark after staying on for a good fourth in a strongly-run Class 3 won by the fast-improving Mighty Giant recently.

He's a leading player in what looks a less demanding contest but at longer odds it's also well worth keeping an eye on top-weight Guy Dragon and Karis Teetan. Chris So's grey was compromised by a steady pace last time but caught the eye as a winner waiting to happen when finishing strongly for second on both his previous starts.


Hong Kong Diary
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