Hong Kong Preview: Solar Winds set to take Happy Valley by storm

February 21st, 2023

#5 Solar Winds can build on his last-start second to one of Hong Kong’s most exciting horses with victory in the Luard Handicap at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

Happy Valley Race 8 Selections

  • #5 Solar Winds
  • #8 E Legend
  • #1 Red Majesty
  • #3 Meaningful Star

Happy Valley Race 8 Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #5 Solar Winds
  • $1.30 trifecta: 5, 8 with 1, 5, 8 with 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9

The son of Zoustar has put together a useful record in Hong Kong, winning once and placing twice in 10 Hong Kong starts.

He showed his best for yet at his last start on Feb. 12, coming from well back on the home turn to take second behind the highly promising Beauty Eternal, who looks to be one of Hong Kong’s best four-year-olds.

The field for this 1,650-meter (about one-mile) contest does not look as strong, and Hugh Bowman should be able to get a good position from barrier one.

#8 E Legend moves back up to Class 3 after winning a Class 4 contest convincingly last start. He hasn’t always done well at this level, but he does have barrier two and jockey Zac Purton in his favor, so he should get every chance.

The biggest question marks in the race come over #1 Red Majesty and #3 Meaningful Star, both of which are capable of winning here.

Red Majesty has been something of a Happy Valley specialist, scoring all eight of his victories at this track. His last two runs were not great, but one of those was at Group 3 level, and in both cases he drew very wide and had to be used up early to get a good position. This week, he’s drawn barrier three, and that could be enough for him to bounce back.

Meaningful Star was in great form towards the end of last season, notching two second-place finishes before winning at Happy Valley Feb. 23 last year. However, he hasn’t run at all this season, and though he has looked good in training, it’s hard to tell how ready he is for this. If he’s close to his peak, he is good enough to go close to winning.

#2 Amazing One Plus, #7 Hava Nageela, and #9 All Riches are others worth considering for exotics.