Hong Kong Preview: Brethren to Rise up

December 6th, 2022

#6 Rise Brethren can take advantage of a kind barrier draw to win the Class 2 United Kingdom Handicap at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

The French-bred son of Lope De Vega has been in fabulous form of late, winning twice and finishing second twice in his past four starts. He was a fast-finishing second at Sha Tin Nov. 20 over 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) — the distance of Wednesday’s race — form which puts him right in this.

Rise Brethren has run well over the tricky Happy Valley track in the past, so that should not hold any fear for him. Star visiting jockey James McDonald should secure him a good passage from barrier two.

In a good-quality Class 2 race, #4 Packing Award looks to be the big danger. He has won three of his last four starts, all at Happy Valley, and has won five on the city circuit in total.

He does have to deal with a five-pound rise in the ratings and the outside barrier of 12, but the gate may not be as important at 1,800 meters, and his love of the track will help compensate.

Rise Brethren and Packing Award look like they could be used as anchors for exotics, but there should still be good options outside them. #7 Savaquin is running consistently and will probably appreciate the extra distance, though the fact he hasn’t won since April last year is a concern. #8 Fa Fa is usually competitive at Happy Valley, while #1 Cheerful Days, who has been racing in black type company recently, should appreciate the drop in class.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #6 Rise Brethren
  • $1.30 trifecta: 4, 6 with 4, 6, 7 with 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8