Hong Kong Diary

Early speed is a vital asset in Hong Kong racing and Happy Valley plays host to some aggressive front runners this Wednesday. A nine-race card is live on Sky Sports Racing from 10.45 and Joao Moreira, Karis Teetan and Alexis Badel will all be seeking to take advantage of the fact that champion jockey Zac Purton is suspended.

  • Tuesday 14 January
  • Blog
Up to £30 in free bets

Low draw makes Highly Proactive look highly progressive

Progressive sprinters top the bill at Happy Valley this Wednesday and, with the rail out wide in the C+3 position, the draw can play a significant role in shaping markets and races.

Defying a high draw is especially tough over 1200m when the track is at its narrowest - with only five of the last 177 starters scoring from 10 or higher - and that sounds caution for Joao Moreira and Snap Fit in the Chater Handicap at 2.50.

Those who do win from out wide on the C+3 track tend to be very quick, very progressive or a combination of the two. Step forward Highly Proactive, who opened his HK account in rare fashion over course and distance last month, showing fine pace despite being forced to race way wider than ideal from stall 12 then finding plenty when challenged under Karis Teetan.

A 6lb rise for that was only to be expected but Highly Proactive is clearly on the up. Stall 3 will ensure much smoother sailing this time and Highly Proactive and the reliable Shining Ace look by far the most interesting runners in a race which lacks depth by Class 3 standards.

Front-running Bear to roar Again

Teetan partners another who defied the outside gate on the C+3 track recently when Flying Genius moves up to Class 3 in the Connaught Handicap (1000m) at 2.15.

Tony Cruz's gelding seeks a hat-trick after an emphatic course and distance win and will probably lead again from stall 4 but the presence of several other fast horses - headed by Hong Kong Win, G Unit and Allied Agility -  could complicate matters.

Early pace will be equally important in the Edinburgh Handicap at 1.45 as two very impressive December Valley winners cross swords.

Magnificent finished third in the 2018 Britannia Handicap for Richard Hannon and returns to the Valley in fine form after a commanding success under Zac Purton.

An 8lb hike looks fair enough, but Purton’s absence won't help and Bear Again is the one to beat now connections have found the way to ride him.

Bear Again had been racing too freely under restraint but looked a different horse from the front here four weeks ago, finding bundles when challenged then sprinting well clear under Alexis Badel. He's 10lb higher now but still looks well treated and, with the inside gate an added plus, he has a great deal in his favour.

Life's a Breeze as Farhh Above continues Whyte's hot streak

The Douglas Whyte bandwagon shows no sign of stopping after a Saturday double with promising youngsters Inner Flame and Farhh Above.

Farhh Above clearly impressed at the Craven Breeze-Up Sale in 2018 - where he sold for 155,000gns having gone through the same ring for 28,000gns just four months earlier - and scored at the second attempt in HK when trained by Francis Lui last July.

Market confidence was strong for his Whyte debut and Farhh Above was impressive on every level, travelling strongly in rear from an outside draw under Vincent Ho then rattling off an eye-catching closing split of 21.62s (much the best of the day) to win cosily with the promise of much better to come.

The fact that Whyte had been thinking of the Classic Mile is notable but the South African is too canny to waste a good mark in pursuit of a level weights contest against horses rated 100 plus.

An 8lb rise to a mark of 77 leaves Farhh Above comfortably in Class 3 for his next start and he looks the sort to rise much higher, especially once he steps up to 1400m plus.

Shane seeking more silverware with Theatre Of War

Open champion Shane Lowry shot a final-round 64 to chase home Aussie Wade Ormsby in the rearranged Hong Kong Open on Sunday and is hoping the horse he has a share in as part of the Clara Jug Syndicate can go one better before too long.

Lowry's plans to go racing at Happy Valley last Wednesday were thwarted but his game looked in good shape on the tricky Fanling course at the start of a 2020 campaign which rolls on to Abu Dhabi this week.

"I would have loved to go to Happy Valley but I had an early tee time on Thursday so it just didn't work out," he said. "I really enjoy my racing and we have a horse called Theatre Of War with Gavin Cromwell who finished second at Leopardstown over Christmas. He doesn't look a superstar but he ran really well and we hope he might get to Cheltenham."

Hong Kong Diary
Sign up to bet365. Click to View Bonus Code Details
Up to £30 in free bets
Get £20 in free bets
£20 Risk Free First Bet
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £40 in Bonus funds
100% Bonus up to £100
£20 Free Exchange Bet
Get a £10 risk-free first bet

Existing User?

Forgot your password?

New User?

Sign up using our simple one-page form and you'll be able to access free video form, tips and exclusive content straight away.