With 97 winners to his credit this season, jockey Joao Moreira is leading all riders in Hong Kong by number of victories and by purse money earned.
Moreira can crack the 100 barrier on Wednesday when racing returns to Happy Valley for the first time in two weeks. Moreira is scheduled to ride all eight races, and several of his mounts appear to have big chances at victory.
Let’s make two of Moreira’s mounts the focus of our Wednesday spot plays.
Race 1: Yue Wan Handicap (Class 4, 7:15 a.m. ET)
#9 Everyone’s Elite is talented but unlucky. The 5-year-old gelding has finished second in five consecutive races this season, all traveling 1,650 meters at Happy Valley. Typically a midpack closer, Everyone’s Elite boasts a sharp turn of foot (he routinely sprints the final 400 meters in less than :24), but so far victory has proven elusive.
Perhaps Wednesday’s race will produce a different outcome. Everyone’s Eilte will stretch out over 1,800 meters for the first time, giving his late charge a little more time to be effective. It’s encouraging to see Moreira retain the mount, and breaking from post 3 should help Everyone’s Elite work out a ground-saving trip.
We’ll bet Everyone’s Elite to win and key him in the quinella with #1 Party Together, a speedy front-runner dropping down out of Class 3 company.
$20.80 to Win on #9 Everyone’s Elite
$10.40 Quinella: 1,9
Race 7: Oi Tung Handicap (Class 3, 10:15 a.m. ET)
Moreira has another strong chance in the seventh race, a 1,650-meter race in which he’ll guide #7 Flash Famous. With four victories from his last six starts, all over Wednesday’s course and distance, Flash Famous has become something of a winning machine for trainer Frankie Lor.
Flash Famous’s greatest weapon is his homestretch acceleration. On Mar. 3, he sprinted the final 400 meters in a powerful :23.13 to win going away. He finished almost as fast on Jan. 1, coming home in :23.29 to narrowly prevail. Actually, Flash Famous’s slowest finishing time this season is :23.95, which he posted when beaten a length with a tough trip on Dec. 12.
There isn’t much speed on Wednesday’s race, which might be the only potential obstacle standing between Flash Famous and another victory. We’ll bet him to win, but we’ll also key him in the quinella with potential pacesetters #3 Smoothies and #4 Bear Again.
$20.80 to Win on #7 Flash Famous
$10.40 Quinella: 7 with 3,4 ($20.80)