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REPORTING LIVE FROM HONG KONG: WINNO'S HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL RACES PREVIEW

By Darren Winningham | Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Longines Hong Kong International Racing set down for Sunday 9 December is the culmination of the premier racing by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for 2018.

After a glamorous beginning to the Longines International Racing Carnival on Wednesday night with the Longines International Jockeys Challenge that was held at Happy Valley with the unique back drop of the Hong Kong island high rise around the track we head to Sha Tin racecourse for day two of the Carnival.

Wednesday night saw Silvestra De Sousa representing the UK win the challenge in emphatic fashion riding two winners out of the four races that were set down for the Challenge. The runner up was the very talented Irish rider Colin Keane.

The stage is set for a great day of racing on Sunday. The overseas horses, trainers, jockeys and connections have primed their horses to peak for this day, bringing horses from all around the world to Hong Kong to contest the HK$93 million that is on offer for the races.

The feature races are:

The Longines Hong Kong Vase – race 4 of the program (HK$20 million prizemoney)
The Longines Hong Kong Sprint – race 5 (HK$20 million prizemoney)
The Longines Hong Kong Mile – race 7 (HK$25 million prizemoney)
The Longines Hong Kong Cup – race 8 (HK$28 million prizemoney)

All four races are listed at Group 1 level. With so much glory and prizemoney on offer there will be some competitive racing.

There is a massive program set down with 10 races with the first race to commence at 12.25pm local time.

Now it is time for the preview.

There is a chance for showers forecast for Sunday – hopefully this will not affect the track and the racing.

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Race 1

An open field to start the day. This race gets everyone in the mood for the day. By now thousands will be streaming through the gates collecting their free Longines Hong Kong Racing caps to celebrate this wonderful day of racing.

The “Magic Man” Joao Moriera is back in action at Sha Tin aboard the John Size trained Picken (9) who resumes here from a spell. He has had several barrier trials in preparation for this run and has been well supported in the early markets. Look for the local Hong Kong punters to rally behind Moriera in his first ride back in Hong Kong.

I like Zac Purton’s ride City Legend (4), who despite still being a maiden is proven over the distance and has been very consistent in his recent starts. He does get back and does power home – that could be the only drama in this large field.

Charizard (2) won quite impressively here last start over 1200 metres. He looked like he was in an impossible position, however, was able to get some luck in the straight and burn home late to destroy the field. With that run-in mind I do not think the 1400 metres here will be a drama for this runner.

Supreme Witness (11) won here over 1400 metres last start in a Class 5 race. This runner likes to lead or race close to the pace. He has drawn barrier 10 from the 1400 metre start – this should not be a problem for jockey Karis Keetan who should be able to get him across into a forward position.

I noticed the last few meetings at Sha Tin those runners on the pace have fared very well. This could be something to consider if he gets some cheap sectionals in front and gets left alone.

Noble De Love (7) is a Hugh Bowman ride – with only one career victory he is second up here this weekend and could be some value.

Selections: 4-9-2-11 rough chance 7

Full article

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