Hong Kong Diary

Hong Kong's heavyweights flexed their muscles with varying results at Sha Tin on Sunday and another piece of the LONGINES HKIR puzzle falls into place at Happy Valley tonight when the entries for the four December G1 contests are revealed. Silvestre de Sousa is back at the city track for the first time this season and all the action from a nine-race card will be covered live on Sky Sports Racing.

  • Tuesday 19 November
  • Blog

WINNERS AND LOSERS AT SHA TIN'S HKIR TRIALS

Sha Tin's Sunday card featured three significant HKIR trials and not all of them went to plan.

LOSER:

The once-mighty Beauty Generation remains under a cloud after a second consecutive defeat in the Jockey Club Mile and John Moore faces one of the biggest challenges of his stellar training career to restore his brilliance by December 8th.

WINNER:

Irish import Waikuku took full advantage of Beauty's dull effort, shooting clear under Joao Moreira, and is clearly a leading contender for the HK Mile now. Winning trainer John Size summed things up neatly in saying "he improves every time he goes to the races." But the HK handicappers felt this career best was worth a mark of 121. Good - but not good enough to suggest he's a good thing for the big one.


WINNER:

Exultant, like Waikuku another Irish import, is a very easy horse to admire. The former Irish Guineas third took his HK earnings close to £5m with a typically resolute Jockey Club Cup win and is now firmly on course to bid for back-to-back wins in the HK Vase.


LOSERS:

Sha Tin's celebrated siblings Time Warp and Glorious Forever have become very hard to predict since their respective HK Cup wins in 2018 and 2019 and Exultant and co left them for dead when it mattered. Who knows what to expect next? The only thing that can be said is that, in their current moods, they could probably give Noel and Liam Gallagher a good run in the Battling Brother Stakes.

What to make of wayward dual G1 winner Pakistan Star after his return to the dark side in the Jockey Club Cup? Blake Shinn was a helpless passenger as Paul O'Sullivan's gelding downed tools with a vengeance soon after the start and future of the Shamardal gelding now lies in the hands of the stewards. In short, it doesn't look good.

WINNERS:

Aethero powered clear of a field containing most of HK's fastest older horses under Karis Teetan in the Jockey Club Sprint. Should we be concerned that JC Sprint winners don't have a good record in the big dance? Possibly - but there is no question that Aethero is the most formidably precocious youngster to emerge on the HK scene in a long while.

John Size is plotting a  typically patient course to the HK Sprint with Hot King Prawn and Beat The Clock and both ran very well to be placed after lengthy lay-offs. History relates that going well under a G1 penalty in the trial represents a solid springboard for December and Beat The Clock did just that here.

LOSERS:

Mr Stunning and Regency Legend didn't do their HK Sprint claims any good at all in finishing eighth and tenth. The former has had shoulder problems since last term. Hugh Bowman conceded that he would be "very surprised" if Frankie Lor's gelding improved enough to win a third consecutive HK Sprint next month, while Zac Purton was equally disappointed with Regency Legend and is now desperate to get back aboard Aethero in just over two weeks' time.

Hong Kong Diary
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