Purton poised to Star again
Sunday's Sha Tin card has an unusual look with four single-figure fields - and Joao Moreira and Karis Teetan still sidelined by suspension - but the quality increases as the morning wears on and the last two races in particular are well worth a second look.
Star of Yuen Long and Simple Elegant can be relied on to go forward in the Nam Shan Handicap at 10.10 and it would come as no surprise to see them play a major part in the finish. Star of Yuen Long returned in fine heart under Zac Purton with an excellent second here and still looks nicely treated, while Simple Elegant went off a shade too hard on his reappearance but will be sharper now and is drawn to attack in stall one.
Express on track for strong finale
The 'Mauritian Magician' makes it three!
Lucky Express brings up a treble for @KarisTeetan, sweeping to victory in the Sha Tin nightcap. 🔥 #HKracing pic.twitter.com/5ARDqEtvDs
— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) September 27, 2020
The featured Chak On Handicap at 10.45 looks a much more open affair, with Lucky Express, Winning Method and Good Luck Friend re-opposing after finishing first, second and third over course and distance two weeks ago.
The placed horses are 5lb and 7lb better off but Lucky Express impressed on the clock - following a quickfire middle section of 22.16s with a solid closer of 22.31s - and the fact that he's open to more improvement after just three HK starts is another notable point in his favour.
Chau earns praise ahead of Rocket trip
Straight-talking David Ferraris didn't mince words after 10lb claimer Jerry Chau gave him a first winner of the season on Gouten of Garo in the Happy Valley opener on Wednesday.
“He’s a street ahead of the rest of the apprentices here," said the South African handler, whose son Luke has been champion claimer in South Africa for the last two years. Chau's hefty claim seems particularly useful on front runners and his five Sunday rides include one such in Private Rocket, who made the most of the 20-year-old's allowance in July and returns over a slightly shorter trip in the 9.35.
Prawn and Patch primed for Premier match
The clock is ticking ahead of the eagerly-awaited rematch between Golden Sixty and Beauty Generation in the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy but next Sunday's Sha Tin card also includes a first clash between Hot King Prawn and Computer Patch in the Premier Bowl.
Joao Moreira rode Computer Patch to a runaway G3 win on his recent reappearance but the Magic Man is tied to Hot King Prawn next week. Karis Teetan partnered John Size's high-class grey to an easy trial success on Tuesday but will switch to Computer Patch in a race that has been won by some of HK's finest sprinters down the years.
Second site sorties paying dividends
HK racing's satellite training complex at Conghua (pronounced Chung-Far) has made a flying start to the 2020-21 campaign, with 29 of the season's 92 winners making the 200km trip to score at Sha Tin and Happy Valley.
A total of 22 horses will be heading south from the tranquil Mainland site to race at Sha Tin on Sunday, while the number of high-class winners being sent there is on the rise. Caspar Fownes is monitoring Aethero's progress from afar as the star sprinter recovers from injury, while Voyage Warrior is being trained from Conghua ahead of his Premier Bowl bid and last year's Derby hero Furore has looked in good heart winning a couple of Conghua trials recently.