Hong Kong Selections Feb. 4: Helios Express the one to beat in Classic Mile

February 2nd, 2024

Analysis of the Feb. 4 card at Sha Tin, courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Declan Schuster. 


Race 1: #3 Beat Hollow, #10 Fortune Master, #2 Super Elite, #1 My Intelligent
Race 2: #14 Mr Good Vibes, #4 Sparkling Dolphin, #3 Lifeline Express, #1 Metro Warrior
Race 3: #1 I Give, #3 Young Champion, #6 Ka Ying Victory, #10 Midori Beauty
Race 4: #9 Gold Tack, #14 King Of The Court, #4 Sky Heart, #1 I Can
Race 5: #9 Swan Bay, #3 Simple Hedge, #7 Intrepid Winner, #5 Escape Route
Race 6: #7 Victory Moments, #2 Pleasant Endeavor, #5 California Touch, #12 Baby Crystal
Race 7: #1 Helios Express, #8 Fallon, #9 Star Mac, #3 Helene Feeling
Race 8: #6 Happy Together, #12 Nimble Nimbus, #1 Straight Arron, #11 Five G Patch
Race 9: #10 Patch Of Time, #11 Sunlight Power, #4 Top Scorer, #5 Master Tornado
Race 10: #11 Magniac, #4 Chancheng Prince, #10 Gummy Gummy, #3 Ping Hai Galaxy


Race 1: Primula H.

#3 Beat Hollow can find the front and lead this field. Expecting he offsets the wide gate and from there proves tough to reel in, especially on his favored surface. #10 Fortune Master is competitive in this grade and he steps away from an ideal draw this weekend. Strong booking of Zac Purton warrants plenty of respect. #2 Super Elite steps down to Class 5. He’s been racing well of late and can easily surprise. #1 My Intelligent gets 10 pounds taken off his back with the apprentice up. His last run in this grade returned victory earlier this season.

Race 2: Peony H.

#14 Mr Good Vibes is better than his record suggests. He can improve again here, especially over this course and distance where he has done his best racing. One to beat under no weight. #4 Sparkling Dolphin will be looking to run the field into the ground from out in front. Strong booking of Lyle Hewitson rates strongly, especially aboard a noted frontrunner. #3 Lifeline Express is lightly raced but has twice placed across two outings. #1 Metro Warrior can mix his form but does have his fair share of ability. Don’t discount.

Race 3: Peach Blossom H.

#1 I Give continues to race well. He’s a six-time winner this term, and his go-forward racing style once again affords him a superb chance, especially from draw 3. #3 Young Champion makes his debut. There’s a bit of a buzz around this guy and his form prior to arriving in the city was solid. #6 Ka Ying Victory struggled up in grade last start, but he deserves another chance here. Purton retains the ride, and he gets his shot. #10 Midori Beauty slots in light, and he can easily make his presence felt again.  

Race 4: Gladiolus H.

#9 Gold Tack caught the eye first-up for his new trainer. He can take another step forward following that effort, and with even luck he shapes as the one they all must beat. #14 King Of The Court can mix his form but did catch the eye late last start. He’s favored under the featherweight impost. #4 Sky Heart closed into second first-up in Hong Kong. He’s clearly got some ability and will be finishing fast under an in-form Hugh Bowman. #1 I Can improved sharply in Class 4. He can make his presence felt with Purton up.

Race 5: Daffodil H.

#9 Swan Bay has been racing well all season. He’s been knocking on the door and has shown that a first Hong Kong win is very, very close. He slots in light and has a suitable draw to ensure a sweet run throughout. #3 Simple Hedge has been competitive without winning this season. He can put his best foot forward from gate 1. #7 Intrepid Winner is arguably better suited to racing at Happy Valley as a two-time winner there. He can mix his form at times but is worth including this weekend. #5 Escape Route is capable against this group. Next best.

Race 6: Cineraria H.

#7 Victory Moments is lightly raced. He’s worth taking a chance on here, especially as he displayed a strong level of talent across four runs last season. He can improve, and his most recent trial at Conghua was sound. #2 Pleasant Endeavor gets 10 pounds taken off his back with the apprentice up. He’ll roll forward and get his chance this weekend. #5 California Touch can mix his form but is worth forgiving. His run two starts ago was phenomenal, and any return to that level will see him prove competitive. #12 Baby Crystal is super consistent.

Race 7: Hong Kong Classic Mile

#1 Helios Express is the best horse in the race and the clear one to beat. He’s done everything right ahead of this weekend and he should prove tough to run down; however, he won’t be much of a price to do so, and the value in this race lies elsewhere. #8 Fallon has been superb across his last two starts, and he should be decent odds to win. He has a powerful finish and can give this race a big shake. Take an each way ticket on him. #9 Star Mac is the blowout hope. He just needs a tempo to suit. #3 Helene Feeling is honest, and he rates strongly.

Race 8: Centenary Vase H. (G3)

#6 Happy Together continues to improve, and he’s favored following his last-start win in this grade and over the distance, albeit at Happy Valley. He has an ideal weight and the turn of foot to defeat this group. #12 Nimble Nimbus can improve after his latest effort. He slots in light and is worth including at a price. He’s worthy of each way support. #1 Straight Arron has the class edge over rivals; however, he may find this trip a touch short in Group 3. The hefty impost is not ideal, too. #11 Five G Patch is worth keeping safe. Next best.

Race 9: Gladiolus H.

#10 Patch Of Time draws well and should be able to find a soft lead from there. He was brave last start when holding on for third, and further improvement is well within his scope. #11 Sunlight Power turned his form around to finish a close-up second last start. He’s drawn suitably. #4 Top Scorer has twice finished second across two starts in Hong Kong. He has draw 12 out of 14 to overcome. #5 Master Tornado is a winner in waiting, and Karis Teetan pairs favorably once more with him. Keep safe.

Race 10: Azalea H.

#11 Magniac was super impressive with victory last start. He rises in grade here but is favored under no weight. One to beat, especially with an extra five pounds removed due to the apprentice’s engagement. #4 Chancheng Prince is always competitive over this course and distance. He has a suitable draw and rates strongly. #10 Gummy Gummy is nothing short of competitive. His record is superb, and he’s returned this campaign in good order. #3 Ping Hai Galaxy has the runs on the board and is a winner in this grade. Keep safe.