Two horses with vastly different profiles will feature prominently in our spot plays for Saturday, November 23 at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.
Utopia Life counts one win in Australia as the lone success on his record, while Golden Sixty counts one defeat as the only blemish on his otherwise perfect five-for-six resume.
Despite their differing profiles, both of these young geldings appear poised for victory on Saturday. Here’s how we recommend playing the card:
Race 8: Chevalier Lifts & Escalators Handicap (Class 3)
#7 Utopia Life has tactical speed, which is always and asset in dirt racing, and he’s already shown an affinity for the dirt at Sha Tin, finishing second in three consecutive Class 3 handicaps over Saturday’s 1,200-meter distance.
Utopia Life only needs a bit of luck to secure his first victory in Hong Kong, and that luck could come in the form of jockey Alfred Chan Ka Hei, who rides with a 10-pound allowance. As a result, Utopia Life will carry a feathery 115 pounds on Saturday, a light assignment that figures to make this four-year-old gelding difficult to catch.
#9 Aquila also has speed and was beaten just a neck over this class and distance on October 27, which marked his debut on dirt. However, he’ll pick up weight off that run while losing top jockey Joao Moreira, which could tip the scales in favor of Utopia Life.
Let’s bet Utopia Life to win and play him on top of two trifectas emphasizing Aquila and #2 Just Not Listening underneath:
- $13 to win on #7 Utopia Life
- $1.3 trifecta: 7 with 2,9 with 1,2,4,9 ($7.8)
- $1.3 trifecta: 7 with 1,4 with 2,9 ($5.2)
Race 10: Chevalier Property Investment Handicap (Class 2)
How can anyone defeat the rapidly-improving #1 Golden Sixty? With five victories from six starts, this four-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro has become a winning machine. His primary weapon is his terrific acceleration; he won a 1,200-meter Class 3 handicap on September 1 while sprinting the final two 400-meter sectionals in :21.85 and :21.91, and he stepped up to Class 2 company on October 20 and rocketed the final 400 meters in :21.65 to win comfortably.
Golden Sixty will remain in the Class 2 ranks on Saturday, but he’s actually taking a slight drop in class. The race he won on October 20 was for horses with ratings of 105 to 80, while Saturday’s race is for horses rated 95 to 75. From every perspective, Golden Sixty is the horse to beat while stretching out over 1,400 meters once again.
Let’s bet Golden Sixty to win and play him in the quinella with #2 Dragon General, an aging veteran who showed signs of returning to form when fourth in a Class 1 handicap over this course and distance just two weeks ago. The winner, Encouraging, broke the course record while vying for the lead throughout over a very fast course, so Dragon General ran deceptively well to rally and finish just three lengths behind at the wire.
- $26 to win on #1 Golden Sixty
- $10.4 quinella: 1,2