Hong Kong Selections Feb. 18: Simply Maverick can boost Derby credentials

February 17th, 2024

Declan Schuster of the Hong Kong Jockey Club furnishes selections and analysis of Sunday’s card at Sha Tin


Race 1: #6 Diamond Winner, #2 Fastpass, #1 Starship Eighty, #9 Joyful Champion
Race 2: #5 Chateauneuf, #7 Massive Talent, #9 Robot Knight, #2 Super Highway
Race 3: #11 Fruity Warrior, #7 Celtic Times, #1 Unpresuming, #8 Travel Golf
Race 4: #6 Silver Destiny, #1 James Tak, #8 Lucky Fionn, #11 Speedy Fortune
Race 5: #7 Mission Bravo, #8 Lucky Banner, #1 Viva Hunter, #4 Bear Slam
Race 6: #6 Speedy Smartie, #1 Fast Buck, #12 Beat Hollow, #3 Diamond Flare
Race 7: #8 Victory Moments, #3 Smokey Bear, #5 Baby Crystal, #7 Sky Forever
Race 8: #7 Find My Love, #5 Gummy Gummy, #11 Global Harmony, #2 Drombeg Banner
Race 9: #7 Simply Maverick, #4 Simple Hedge, #3 Woodfire Bro, #1 The Best Peach
Race 10: #12 Frantanck, #4 So We Joy, #6 Fiery Diamond, #3 Adefill


Race 1: TVB Charity Fund H.

#6 Diamond Winner is in the right vein of form to win this one. He’s got a powerful closing speed which could easily prove too much to hold out for this group. One to beat. #2 Fastpass can begin to show some form now in the bottom grade, especially over this sort of distance. #1 Starship Eighty has consistency on his side and is a two-time winner this term. He continues to race well and can do so once more. #9 Joyful Champion can mix his form, but chances are he rolls forward here in a bid to make all. Keep safe.

Race 2: TVB Tung Wah Celebrity Show H. (First Section)

#5 Chateauneuf has caught the eye in trials ahead of his debut. Zac Purton takes the ride here and he appears forward enough to fire first-up. #7 Massive Talent was a tidy winner last start and he can continue to race at that level of form here. He draws ideally and should find the right spot to mount a challenge. #9 Robot Knight was solid first-up when finishing fourth. He can build on that effort here. #2 Super Highway gets a handy five pounds taken off his back with the apprentice engaged. Keep safe.

Race 3: TVB Yan Oi Tong Charity Show H.

#11 Fruity Warrior appears to have his fair share of talent. He picked up late last start and is capable of improving further following that effort. Worth a shout here at odds. #7 Celtic Times is yet to win in Hong Kong. He’s been consistent and gets another chance here with Purton engaged. #1 Unpresuming returns following a setback. He’s a nice horse and has previously done his best racing in this grade. He might need the run but is worth keeping safe. #8 Travel Golf is racing well without winning. Next in line.

Race 4: TVB Yan Chai Charity Show H. (Second Section)

#6 Silver Destiny was solid on debut. He can build on that performance here, and Karis Teetan’s retention is an added bonus. One to beat in a tricky contest with little to no form on offer from several runners. #1 James Tak got on the board in style two runs back and he has continued to race well. He can continue his ascent here and should be fighting out the finish. #8 Lucky Fionn is floating under the radar a touch. He can take another step forward. #11 Speedy Fortune can give this group something to catch. Don’t discount.

Race 5: TVB Po Leung Kuk Gala Spectacular H.

#7 Mission Bravo can roll forward and give this group something to reel in. He’s a tough on-pacer and his best form holds him in very, very good stead. One they all must beat. #8 Lucky Banner is consistent in his spot. He loves the course and distance and will prove super competitive here. #1 Viva Hunter gets his shot. Strong booking of Purton holds him in good stead, especially in this grade. He has the class edge. #4 Bear Slam is chasing back-to-back wins. He’ll be finishing hard and fast.

Race 6: TVB Tung Wah Charity Show H.

#6 Speedy Smartie is in serious form and he rates as the one to beat here under Purton. This is a tough contest on paper; however, he is the one they all must reel in. #1 Fast Buck is always a threat over this course and distance. He has an ideal draw and should be able to figure against this group. #12 Beat Hollow slots in light and his recent form has been sound. He has a soft draw and should give this group something to catch out in front. #3 Diamond Flare can also press forward and get his opportunity. Next best.  

Race 7: TVB Pok Oi Charity Show H.

#8 Victory Moments can improve second-up. He was solid first-up off a break and hopping on the dirt looks suitable. He’s worth taking a chance on here. #3 Smokey Bear is in superb form and he can continue to race well here, albeit from the wide gate. Purton’s booking is a big plus. #5 Baby Crystal is chasing back-to-back wins. He hops on the dirt this weekend which is an unknown; however, his latest win was very encouraging. #7 Sky Forever is in very good form. He draws ideally and has a powerful finish.

Race 8: TVB Cup H.

#7 Find My Love races very well over the course and distance. He’s got a powerful finish and should be decent value this weekend in the feature race. Take a chance on him at odds as he’s still climbing the handicap. #5 Gummy Gummy has returned in good order. He can continue to improve and gets a super chance here. #11 Global Harmony is a serious talent and he can continue to step up. There’s a concern on his gate manners, however, which could bring him undone. #2 Drombeg Banner is the likely leader and he may prove tough to catch.

Race 9: TVB Miss Hong Kong Pageant H.

#7 Simply Maverick is a three-time winner from the last four starts. He has the scope to keep stepping up and he’ll need to do exactly that against this group. One to beat. #4 Simple Hedge continues to race well and his consistency holds him in good stead. #3 Woodfire Bro does similar and he has drawn ideally. He should be able to save ground and take his chance. #1 The Best Peach steps down in grade and this should bring him right into contention. He’s got some solid form on the board and his class bolsters his chance.

Race 10: TVB Midlife, Sing & Shine H.

#12 Frantanck is closing in on a first win. He pairs favorably with Purton, and this course and distance should see him prove hard to beat, especially stepping away from an inside gate. #4 So We Joy is after back-to-back wins. He brings the right form to this contest. #6 Fiery Diamond can mix his form but he’s better than what he’s shown of late. Expecting a form turnaround here, especially from gate 5. #3 Adefill is next in line. He’ll be finishing hard from the rear of the field.