On Wednesday, racing will return to Happy Valley in Hong Kong for the first time in two weeks, and nine competitive races have been assembled for the occasion.
We’ll aim high this week and tackle a pair of trifectas in the middle of the card, which kicks off at 6:45 a.m. ET:
Race 4: Staunton Handicap (Class 4, 8:15 a.m. ET)
The lightly-raced #1 Sky Show has shown a lot of potential in his first two runs, both against Class 4 company. The 3-year-old gelding debuted in a 1,200-meter dash on Mar. 22 at Sha Tin and ran an even race to finish sixth, beaten two lengths while sprinting the final two 400-meter sectionals in :22.32 and :22.79. Subsequently, Sky Show transitioned to Happy Valley and proved a comfortable winner over 1,200 meters, finishing in :22.87 and :22.95 to score by two lengths.
Hong Kong’s leading jockey Zac Purton was aboard for Sky Show’s initial runs and will retain the mount on Wednesday. It’s going to be tough for anyone to match Sky Show’s turn-of-foot, so let’s bet him to win and play him on top in the trifecta:
- $24.70 to Win on #1 Sky Show
- $1.30 Trifecta: 1 with 2,3,4 with 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,12 ($31.20)
- Total: $55.90
Race 6: Shelley Handicap (Class 4, 9:15 a.m. ET)
#5 Excellent Chariot ran a big race in his debut over this course and 1,000-meter distance on May 13. Well regarded at 6-1 in the wagering, Excellent Chariot unfortunately blew the break and ran up on heels in the early going, but nevertheless rallied gamely in a slow-paced race to finish fifth by just 1 1/2 lengths. His finishing splits (:21.72 and :22.54) were strong and rank among the best in Wednesday’s field.
Actually, Wednesday’s race is pretty much a rematch of that May 13 event, with the top eight finishers reuniting for another showdown. The late-charging winner #3 Daily Delight is an obvious threat, though he did enjoy a dream run up the inside and picks up seven pounds off his victory. A few others are picking up weight as well, so a subtle advantage could swing in Excellent Chariot’s favor. If he breaks better than in his debut, he can spring a surprise for Hong Kong’s leading trainer Ricky Yiu.
Let’s bet Excellent Chariot to win and key him in the top two slots of a trifecta:
- $13 to Win on #5 Excellent Chariot
- $1.30 Trifecta: 5 with 2,3,12 with 1,2,3,4,12 ($15.60)
- $1.30 Trifecta: 2,3,12 with 5 with 1,2,3,4,12 ($15.60)
- Total: $44.20