Hong Kong Preview: Master set for Heroic effort

November 8th, 2022

#5 Heroic Master can improve on his first Hong Kong run and take out the Seymour Handicap at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

The son of Not A Single Doubt was unbeaten in two Australian starts when known as Fluctuate, but drew an outside gate on his Hong Kong debut Oct. 5 and was caught wide at the rear. Nonetheless he still finished stoutly to earn third behind Ping Hai Galaxy and Seizing the Moment.

Heroic Master has a jockey change to help him this time, with Zac Purton — who was aboard Ping Hai Galaxy in the Oct. 5 race — taking the reins. Just as importantly, he’s drawn gate three, which should see him get a great run in transit from the 1,000-meter (about five-furlong) start.

Heroic Master’s opponents in the Class 3 sprint include two other recent arrivals from Australia, both having their first start. #6 California Deeply could be the better of them; he had a Sydney victory to his credit on debut, and he was very impressive when winning a 1,000-meter trial at Sha Tin Oct. 18. The in-form Matthew Chadwick takes the ride.

The other newcomer is #4 Dragon Admiral; he was twice a winner at Victorian country tracks in Australia when known as Sudoku, and then finished third in the Red Anchor (G3) at Moonee Valley last October. He was a little less impressive in his two Hong Kong trials prior to tomorrow’s race, but could easily outrun that form when asked serious questions on his Hong Kong debut.

Both California Deeply (gate 7) and Dragon Admiral (6) will need to work a bit from the start given their draws. Keep an eye on the local market to see how the pair are perceived.

The established local performers shouldn’t be ruled out here, especially #8 Sergeant Pepper. He steps up to Class 3 for the first time but has been extremely consistent, and was only beaten last start by an otherworldly performance by the fast-improving Gold Gold Baby.

#1 Special M and #7 Super Axiom are both extremely consistent and should go well, but they have the two outside gates to contend with and may be best taken in exotics rather than to win.

  • $10 win/$40 show: #5 Heroic Master
  • $1.30 trifecta: 4, 5, 6 with 4, 5, 6 with 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Bonus play – New Zealand

Riccarton, Tuesday 11:15 p.m. ET, Race 9, Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (G2)

  • $10 win/$30 show, #3 Markus Aurelius: Won this last year and meets last-start conqueror on better terms at the weights.