Hong Kong: Selections for Happy Valley Jan. 17

January 16th, 2024

Racing at Happy Valley begins at 6:10 a.m. ET. Selections and analysis by Declan Schuster of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Race 1: Murray Handicap

#6 United Endeavors needs a good gate and he gets that here. He does his best racing at Happy Valley and his fitness should be at its peak. He's the one to beat, especially in this grade under a familiar jockey. #7 Colourful Baron is chasing back-to-back wins. He's in superb form and is suited by remaining in this grade. He gets another winning chance. #2 Turtle Again can prove competitive from the inside draw. He won well over this course and distance two starts ago. #5 M M Nebula is favored with Zac Purton up. Next in line.

Race 2: Jackson Handicap

#1 Precise Express has a significant class edge over rivals. He draws ideally and is suited with the five pounds taken off due to Angus Chung's apprentice claim. One to beat. #12 Palace Pal slots in light and should be finishing fast. He's found a winning mark; it's just a matter of needing luck from well back in the field. #2 Concerto can roll forward and give his all from there. He's proven tough to get past at times. #9 Strongest Boy has been knocking on the door all season. Don't discount.

Race 3: Club Handicap (2nd Section)

Expecting #3 Tattenham to fly forward and lead. He is capable in this grade, comes from the right stable, and has the right jockey engaged. One to catch. #1 Top Top Tea was without luck when it mattered last time out. He's well placed here, especially in this grade, drawn in gate one and with Angus Chung up. #2 Youth Power found his feet last start and can improve following that effort. He just needs to somehow offset the wide gate. #6 Cheong Fat continues to race well and make improvements. He'll go close.

Race 4: The Hong Kong Club Challenge Cup Handicap

#6 Nicconi County has been ready to win for some time. He ran a seriously strong fifth last start, which should prove to be a pretty smart tune-up for this week's run. One to beat, especially from gate one under Vincent Ho. #9 Happy United is in superb form and he appears to still have a few rating points in hand. The booking of Zac Purton sees him carry two pounds overweight. #10 Fortune Warrior slots in light. He has an awkward draw, so finding the front could prove tough. #2 Heroic Master has claims.

Race 5: Ice House Handicap

#12 Superb Move has a bit of ability and he can make good use of the featherweight impost. The wide gate isn't ideal; however, a midfield spot in the run should allow him to showcase his best under no weight. Worth taking a chance on. #2 Dragon Star has remained in solid form all season with two wins to his name. He's racing well and deserves his shot. #4 Satirical Glory is next in line. He's been close to a first win for quite a while. #7 Win Win Fighter is consistent. He has a suitable draw.

Race 6: Club Handicap (1st Section)

#9 Melbourne Hall raced wide and deserves forgiveness following his latest effort. He can atone for that run here under no weight from a good gate. Expect sharp improvement. #2 Beauty Infinity was a strong winner last time out. He did well that day and he should be able to continue improving. #7 Lucky Quality can mix his form but does get a super chance to record another win here. He's been close to doing exactly that all season. #1 Scotch Tycoon should lead from gate one. He'll take a bit of running down.

Race 7: Connaught Handicap

#10 Tradition can improve from his first-up run. He's well-bred and the inside gate should see him receive the gun run throughout. Take a chance on him at odds. #3 California Voce has a bit of quality and it wouldn't surprise to see him get on the board. #2 Tourbillon Prince can lead and give this group something to run down, just as he did two starts ago successfully from the front. #4 Quantum Patch has an awkward draw but he should be able to make his presence felt. He's been well supported of late.

Race 8: Chater Handicap

#5 Raging Blizzard is a two-time winner from four starts who continues to improve. Expecting he can take another step forward this week, especially from a good gate for his Happy Valley debut. #1 Bon's A Pearla scored her first win last start. She's found her feet and gets another shot here with Zac Purton engaged, albeit from gate 10. #8 Watch Buddy continues to advance and is a winner already this season. #9 Golden Samurai has mixed his form but is worth keeping safe as he does have ability. Next best.