One week before the much-anticipated Hong Kong International Races take place at Sha Tin on December 8, Hong Kong’s historic track will host 10 competitive (though decidedly less prestigious) races on Sunday, December 1.
The dirt track will see extensive use, hosting six of the day’s events. However, we’ll focus our attention on the grass races, looking for a longshot in the opener before playing a clear standout in race 3.
If you’re a night owl on the West Coast, you might even be able to watch both races at a reasonable time. First post is scheduled for 11:15 p.m. ET on November 30.
Let’s dig in!
Race 1: Ashley Handicap (Class 4 Restricted)
The majority of the horses in this 1,400-meter elongated sprint are lightly-raced runners with little to recommend on bare form. There isn’t much data to go by here, so we’ll take a speculative chance with #2 Chater King.
Trained by Douglas Whyte, Chater King didn’t show much when finishing last behind star sprinter Aethero in a 1,000-meter Griffin race in April, but the veterinary records indicate Chater King came back with “substantial blood in (his) trachea” after the race.
Chater King hasn’t run since, but finished a decent fourth in a barrier trial on November 16. He should find the competition easier this time around — he won’t be knocking heads with one of Hong Kong’s fastest sprinters — and since he bled on debut, there’s really no telling what he might be capable of with an unencumbered run.
- $13 to win on #2 Chater King
Race 3: Carnarvon Handicap (Class 4)
#1 Quadruple Double has been in fine form since returning to action in September, cracking the trifecta in three straight Class 4 sprints. The four-year-old gelding actually won over this course and distance on October 1, scoring by two lengths in a quick 1:08.85, and missed by less than a length last time out while stopping the timer in 1:08.59. Even with Sha Tin playing fast as of late, these are impressive times considering the class standard is 1:09.50.
Quadruple Double should be tough to deny while sticking to his favorite course and distance. Let’s bet him to win and key him on top of a trifecta while emphasizing newcomers #5 California Rad and #8 Hero Star underneath:
- $26 to win on #1 Quadruple Double
- $1.3 trifecta: 1 with 5,8 with 2,3,5,8,12 ($10.4)