Hong Kong Diary

All roads lead to Sha Tin this weekend when the stars of HK racing line up for three big G2 contests but there is also some strong midweek action at Happy Valley this Wednesday. Irish recruit Playa Del Puente is one of the headline acts in the feature event and all the action from a nine-race card will be live on Sky Sports Racing from 10.45.

  • Tuesday 12 November
  • Blog
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Moreira confident Puente can be a player again

Ireland's latest successful import to HK takes his latest step on the 2020 Derby trail in the Maurice Handicap at Happy Valley this Wednesday with Joao Moreira saying "I think he's as good as he looks."

Former Michael Halford galloper Playa Del Puente certainly looked good on his latest start, making the most of a soft lead to bound clear over course and distance, and Moreira is confident he has progressed again since.

"The other day I galloped him on the grass track and he seems much more mature. He's coping and learning quicker than I thought he would, to be honest, and that is a very good sign."

Upbeat Moore double handed in Valley feature

Frankie Lor dominated last year's Derby trail, winning all three legs of the Classic series, and Aussie G1 winner Extra Brut has Zac Purton aboard as he makes his HK debut.

Lor feels the four-year-old has "looked really good in the morning" but very few horses make a winning HK debut from a mark of 93, especially at the Valley, and John Moore may well provide more potent threats to Playa Del Puente with the freewheeling Buddies and bang-in-form Happy Dragon.

Buddies has thrived from the front on the dirt at Sha Tin and Moore feels "Happy Valley will be ideal for him," while Happy Dragon played second fiddle to Playa Del Puente three weeks ago but now has a 9lb pull in a race with a very different tactical shape.

"Buddies can go very good sectionals so they'll have to run him down and I think he's a live chance," added Moore.

"Happy Dragon is in very good form. He might have started to reach his maximum rating but from that gate (2) on the C track you've got to give him a chance, too."

Records tumbling on Sha Tin speedway

Moore is building towards a highly significant Sunday fixture at Sha Tin with stable star Beauty Generation bidding to make amends for his first defeat in eighteen months when he lines up for the Jockey Club Mile.

However, the veteran handler is also looking forward to seeing his up-and-coming sprinter Aethero square off against HK's best 1200m horses in the Jockey Club Sprint and is expecting fireworks on a track which has produced a spate of track records recently.

Hong Kong Diary
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