If you were already thinking about betting the competitive Wednesday card at Happy Valley in Hong Kong, you’ll be excited to hear about the TwinSpires “Rest of the World Bet Back” promotion.
The offer is simple—just place a straight win bet on your top choice in any given race. If your horse runs well but settles for second, never fear—your bet will be refunded, up to $10.
With this insurance in place, let’s play the card on a ~$30 budget. Just be sure to tune in early, because first post time is 5:45 a.m. ET!
Race 6: Sam Chuk H. (Class 4, 8:15 a.m. ET)
At first glance, #1 Colonel seems like an obvious choice to win this 1,200-meter Class 4 handicap. A speed horse typically prominent from the outset, Colonel has won two of his last three starts dashing this distance at Happy Valley. On Jan. 6, the 4-year-old gelding employed pace-pressing tactics to win a Class 4 handicap by a neck.
But Colonel will break from post 12 on Wednesday, which is far from ideal. Colonel actually started from this draw two starts back and struggled as a result—after hustling to the lead, he faded down the lane to finish 11th. Starting from such a wide post (with a short run to the first of two turns) makes it difficult for a speed horse like Colonel to work out a fair trip.
For these reasons, we’ll place our win bet on #7 Stock Legend. The stretch-running bay fired off a big effort over this course and distance at Happy Valley in October, surging after a slow start to score by three-quarters of a length.
Subsequently transferred to the stable of trainer Francis Lui (a solid 14% winner at Happy Valley), Stock Legend will be ridden on Wednesday by Joao Moreira, Hong Kong’s runaway leading jockey this season. Breaking from the rail should ensure Stock Legend receives a favorable, ground-saving trip.
In addition to our win bet on Stock Legend, we’ll play a small quinella pairing Stock Legend with Colonel.
$9.10 to win on #7 Stock Legend
$3.90 quinella: 1,7
Race 7: Tai Yau H. (Class 3, 8:45 p.m. ET)
The lightly raced #1 Lewis appears poised for a strong run while stretching out over 1,650 meters. A beautifully bred son of Fastnet Rock out of a Sunday Silence mare, Lewis failed to fire in his debut sprinting 1,400 meters at Sha Tin, but his second run over the same conditions produced a much stronger effort. Racing with a tongue tie for the first time, Lewis rallied hard from a tracking position to fall just a head short of victory.
For his third run, Lewis will gain the services of Zac Purton, Hong Kong’s reigning champion jockey. Drawing post 3 sets the stage for a ground-saving journey, which is quite a contrast to expected favorite #3 Naboo Star, who is marooned in post 11.
A win bet will be our first order of business, but we’ll also key Lewis in the quinella with #6 Sunny Star and #11 Wealthy Delight.
$9.10 to win on #1 Lewis
$3.90 quinella: 1 with 6,11 ($7.80)