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A great nights racing at Happy Valley, Xavier Blair goes into detail for each race and provides his selections.

Race 1 – MURRAY HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1650m

Rating 40-10

I’m sticking with Romancing Tamar (9) tonight who I picked on top at his last start here at Happy Valley on the 13th of January when he got well back and rattled late to finish only 3 lengths from the winner. He should be some good value tonight and is a top each way fancy. Sugar On Top (1) is clearly his main danger with some solid form on the Happy Valley circuit, running on very well to finish just outside the placings. He has tackled some handy horses including Topping Light, Blade Force and Record High which is pretty classy form for this grade. Telecom Lucky Star (6) is one of the best roughies of the night as it would pay to forgive his last start favour when slowly away on the Sha Tin circuit as he likes to roll forward. He should find the top tonight from ideal draw and give plenty of cheek. Dragon Boy (3) was beautifully ridden to score last start over Aipoder Image back in early December and he should freshen nicely into this race, in which he has to defy an eight point hike in the ratings.

Selections:

9-1-6-3

Race 2 – EDINBURGH HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1200m

Rating 60-40

Destiny’s Child (5) led all the way to score here last week in an impressive win, fighting on strongly to hold off a late charge from Withallmyheart. From a good draw he will go forward again and there is no reason why he won’t win again as this fellow is getting better with every run and remarkably drops in weight for his last start win. Darpana (2) is a real tease of a horse, always indicating he would be suited over more ground but when asked to deliver he is very disappointing. David Ferrais might have finally worked him out as he has been kept to sprinting trips at his past few where he has closed exceptionally well. From an ideal draw he should get the gun run. Country Magic (1) has been just outside the placings at his past couple and looks suited in this line up tonight. Raising Sun (8) finished close up behind Lucky Amore two runs back then was caught wide last start. If he manages to find his best he can place from a nice draw.

Selections:

5-2-1-8

Race 3 – GARDEN ROAD HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1650m

Rating 60-40

Going to put Kowloon Pride (10) on top here who looks suited by the drop back to the mile after a battling effort over 1800m last start. He was a beaten favourite on that occasion but his form before that failure reads very well including some handy efforts at Sha Tin over 1400m and 1600m where he ran on strongly both times. From barrier two, Douglas Whyte will give him a charmed run. The Witch’s Broom (1) enjoyed the drop in class last start when managing to fill a placing off a good trail. He stays in the same class but does find himself going up 7 pounds in weight and also has a tough outside draw to contend with. Bobo Win (5) is an old boy who cannot be more consistent at this level. He finished off the race nicely last start and if anything this race is slightly easier. The interesting runner is Give Well (2) who hasn’t started since October last year when pulling up with blood in the trachea. He should shape up well tonight.

Selections:

10-1-5-2

Race 4 – HARCOURT HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,2200m

Rating 60-40

Tough race here where at least four of them have equal winning chances. Super Surprise (2) was slowly away last start but did manage to make up many lengths in the straight behind Olympicship over 1800m here at Happy Valley last start. The rise in distance is right up his alley and is sure to run well from a good draw. Victory Mascot (7) was an impressive victor over this trip three runs back when he too was slowly away but managed to come with a well timed run to defeat rival Fantastic Guy (6). He hasn’t drawn the best but has master reinsman Brett Prebble to overcome it. Fantastic Guy (6) has found Spinnaker too strong for him at his past couple and has extreme draw to contend with while Golden Ball (3) is next best after a handy run back in distance on the All Weather Track last start when getting no favours.

Selections:

2-7-6-3

Race 5 – CONNAUGHT HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1200m

Rating 80-60

Ferro Beau (2) should give jockey Douglas Whyte some more points in the jockeys challenge here from an ideal draw as he drops back from his 1400m run at Sha Tin where he made good late headway. At his previous start he once again ran on stoutly behind California Moon and he should box seat and win. Happy Reunion (6) cost himself the race last start when he hung in badly and was run down in the last stride by Union’s Star over 1000m. Those problems should be gone tonight and he certainly can atone. A good roughie is Handsome Batchelor (8) who impressed on debut making late headway on the rails behind Finn Maccool. Forget he went around behind Tai Sing Yeh at his next start and I don’t think he enjoyed the All Weather Track last start. From gate four he is the blow out material. Rewarding Star (1) is coming back in grade and distance after some disappointing efforts over longer trips. With some pace on he can run on well and find a placing.

Selections:

2-6-8-1

Race 6 – THE HONG KONG CLUB CHALLENGE CUP (HANDICAP)

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1650m

Rating 80-60

I’m going to stick Flying China (8) on top here as he has his first run over the mile. I really like the way he attacks the line and he will relish the extra distance after running out of ground over shorter trips. From a wide gate he will get back and be strongest at the finish. Super Genki (4) is another who likes to charge late but this fellow has won twice over the mile and looks very hard to beat tonight. From barrier two he can certainly sit closer in the run and unleash a sharp sprint. O’Reilly Magic (1) is coming off a handy second over this trip behind long shot winner Packing Buddy who dictated from the top and gave nothing else a chance. Brett Prebble should have him in the firing line and will look the winner at some stage. Clement Elite (2) managed to fill a placing last start when running on very well from back in the field and is a place fancy again tonight.

Selections:

8-4-1-2

Race 7 – CLUB STREET HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1000m

Rating 85-60

Tai Sing Yeh (5) is an exciting horse who has won all three career runs to date. Each of those were over 1200m and he rises eleven points in the ratings and also drops back to 1000m. This three year old gelding by Not a Single Doubt will certainly go onto bigger things and might be too good for them tonight even though he has a few things against him. Union’s Star (3) scored in impressive fashion last start over this distance when coming from dead last. He has drawn the inside tonight and will once again go back but might encounter some traffic problems in the straight, especially on the C+3 course tonight. Holey Dollar (1) might need the run again tonight after a solid effort on the Sha Tin course last start. He was a winner over similar conditions here three runs back and looks the likely leader from a wide draw. Plan B (2) is a last start winner after box seating and can repeat with a similar run.

Selections:

5-3-1-2

Race 8 – CHATER HANDICAP

Turf ,”C+3″ Course ,1650m

Rating 100-80

Good class race to end the program here with Irish Jig (1) looking to get back into the winners stall following some top runs on the Sha Tin course over 1400m. He placed behind Beauty Flash two runs back and was then only one length off Amigo last start. I think that form speaks for itself. Legend (8) tried hard but was just no match for Presto last start when finishing a close up second over 1400m. Presto then came out and narrowly finished second to Sunny King in a red hot Sha Tin race last Sunday. Fortune Red Pepper (11) was tightened for room over this distance last start but loses Douglas Whyte to Dumbarton Rock (6) who strung two wins together late last year over the Happy Valley mile. Keep him safe with the key jockey engagement.

Selections:

1-8-11-6

Written by Xavier Blair

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