International racing will be in the spotlight around the globe this weekend. Friday night’s The Everest in Australia will be followed on Saturday morning by British Champions Day in England, and if that isn’t enough, Sunday’s card at Sha Tin in Hong Kong features a pair of exciting Group 2 stakes races.
Beauty Generationand Pakistan Star, two of the most recognizable names in Hong Kong racing, will take the stage in the Premier Bowl (G2) and the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (G2). First post time is 12:15 a.m. (ET), so be sure to get your bets in before bedtime.
Need ideas on how to make money betting the standout stars? Here are a couple of spot plays to get you started:
Race 3: The Premier Bowl (Group 2)
Fan favorite #3 Pakistan Star is a two-time Group 1 winner over 2,000 meters and 2,400 meters, so it might seem strange to see this six-year-old son of Shamardal turn up in a 1,200-meter sprint.
However, Pakistan Star’s main weapon has always been his brilliant turn-of-foot, and there’s a chance this Paul O’Sullivan-trained runner will thrive while cutting back in distance. He seemed a bit dull running long last season, repeatedly flattening out after reaching contention against tough company. But he’s shown new life in recent 1,200-meter barrier trials over the dirt track at Sha Tin, unleashing powerful finishes to triumph easily with fast times.
Keep in mind, Pakistan Star won his only start over 1,200 meters, an incredible debut back in July 2016 that went viral on social media. Dead last turning for home, Pakistan Star unleashed a freakish final 400 meters in 21.22 seconds to win going away by nearly two lengths.
With reigning champion jockey Zac Purton in the saddle for the first time, Pakistan Star should relish the cutback in distance and sweep to victory on Sunday. Let’s bet him in the quinella with #2 Rattan, narrow runner-up in the 1,200-meter Chairman’s Sprint Prize (G1) at Sha Tin in April. There isn’t much speed in the Premier Bowl field, so the front-running Rattan might be able to carve out slow fractions and take this field a long way on the front end.
win on #3 Pakistan Star
$5.2 quinalla: 2,3
Race 8: The Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (Group 2)
The sensational #2 Beauty Generation, Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year, absolutely towers over his rivals in this 1,600-meter event. With 10 consecutive victories under his belt, including last year’s edition of the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy, Beauty Generation has turned into a beast of a miler with the tactical speed and turn-of-foot to obliterate rivals time-and-time again.
Beauty Generation kicked off his 2019-20 season by scoring a comfortable victory in the 1,400-meter Celebration Cup, where he conceded gobs of weight but still sprinted the final 400 meters in :21.91 to record a final time of 1:20.05, the fastest 1,400 meters ever run at Sha Tin.
But since Beauty Generation will be a very short price in the wagering, the only way to make a decent wagering score is to play him on top in the trifecta. Underneath, let’s key #8 Waikuku, the mount of leading rider Joao Moreira. This late-running four-year-old was compromised by the slow early, fast late race shape over the Celebration Cup, but nevertheless rocketed the final 400 meters in :21.65 to finish third by just 1 ¾ lengths. If he gets a better pace setup while stretching out in distance, Waikuku can certainly finish in the money.
$3.9 trifecta: 1 with 8 with 2,3,5,6 ($15.6)
$3.9 trifecta: 1 with 2,3,5,6 with 8 ($15.6)