Hong Kong Preview: Jumbo Legend ready for step up in distance

January 17th, 2023

#9 Jumbo Legend can stretch his stamina to about a mile and claim the Connaught Handicap at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

Happy Valley Race 7 Selections

  • #9 Jumbo Legend
  • #3 Zone D
  • #6 Happy Daily

Happy Valley Race 7 Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #9 Jumbo Legend
  • $1.30 trifecta: 3, 9 with 3, 6, 9 with 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11

Jumbo Legend has raced solely around the five- and six-furlong mark in his short career to date. This season, he’s been a big improver, winning twice and finishing no further back than fourth while improving his rating from 48 to 64.

He steps up to 1,650 meters (about one mile and 40 yards) for this Class 3 contest, and the Australian-bred four-year-old’s pedigree suggests it may not be beyond him. His sire, Hinchinbrook, has produced a number of good milers, while his dam is by Desert King, a sire of good horses at many distances, from the family of Denise’s Joy, an outstanding 1970s mare past a mile.

Jumbo Legend is entered for the Hong Kong 4-Year-Old Series, which begins with the Classic Mile on Jan. 29, and if connections have any intention to head down that path, they’ll want to see him perform well at a mile here. Vincent Ho takes the ride.

The toughest horse for him to beat may be #3 Zone D. He began the season well enough and was second to Red Majesty Oct. 30 before putting in a poor effort by his standards for eighth Nov. 23. He’s been freshened since then and has had a couple of good barrier trials leading into this. From barrier two, with Zac Purton aboard, he should be ready for a big race.

#6 Happy Daily won over about seven furlongs at Sha Tin Oct. 16 and after some average performances, returned to form with a second-place finish at Happy Valley Jan. 4. Karis Teetan, who won twice aboard him last season, regains the mount, and he should put in a good effort.

#1 Amazing One Plus, #5 Dynamic Spirit, and #11 Master Tornado are horses to look out for in exotics.

Bonus Play – New Zealand

Ashburton, Jan. 18, Race 4, Maiden Stayers, about 1 3/8 miles

  • $10 win/$30 show, #7 Esme: Down from the North Island looking for a victory in what should be weaker company. In good form and hard to beat.