Hong Kong: Selections for Happy Valley Jan. 31

January 30th, 2024

Racing at Happy Valley begins at 5:40 a.m. ET. Selections and analysis by Declan Schuster of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Race 1: Fenwick Handicap

#11 Joyful Champion is drawn to save ground on the fence. He gets his chance here, especially under no weight and over a suitable distance. One to beat. #3 Ai One can return to form after being withdrawn recently. He's a solid operator, especially in this grade. Mid-race move is on the cards. #12 Golden Fairy could easily lead. He slots in light and should be giving this group something to reel in. #8 Diamond Winner continues to fly late and this test shouldn't be an exception. He can make his presence felt once again.

Race 2: Fleming Handicap

#4 Timestorm should already be a winner and he gets another chance to finally get on the board here, especially as he dips to Class 5 with the 10-pound claiming apprentice engaged. #3 Colonel makes the step down to Class 5. He's been competitive in the grade above but this should seriously see him become a winning chance. #2 Hercules has the gate to overcome; however, he is suited in this grade. He's gone close several times already this term. #11 Double Show has the right gate and he should do next no work throughout.

Race 3: Jaffe Handicap (2nd Section)

#6 Fast As Rocket was given no hope on debut. Expecting him to atone for that effort here, especially from another good draw with that run under his belt. His trials have been sound and there is clearly some ability there. #10 High Percentage is still yet to win but has shown his class so far. He gets an opportunity from the good gate here. #4 Lyrical Motion has been a revelation of late with a pair of wins and several minor placings. He can remain at the level of form in this grade. #3 Gallant Valour won well two runs back. Next best.

Race 4: The Hong Kong Football Club Centenary Cup Handicap

#10 Circuit Seven draws ideally and he can race forward to lead this group under Matthew Poon. He's led and won before over this trip, so chances are he tries a winning tactic again. One they all must catch. #2 Harmony Fire is improving back. He's suited in this class and Hugh Bowman's pairing is an added bonus. Can contend strongly. #8 Oversubscribed has a powerful finish on his day and should be decent value here. #5 Savvy Delight continues to race well with consistency on his side. Next in line.

Race 5: Luard Handicap

#3 Snowalot will need luck from the gate but they should run this race along at a slick pace. If so, he'll get every possible chance to roar home from a touch worse than midfield. Take a chance on him. #4 Super Baby is one of those who should roll forward and lead. He was a tidy winner two runs back. #8 Turin Warrior is looking to snap a frustrating stretch. He's still yet to win in Hong Kong; however, he is consistent and tough and should get his chance. #7 Sure Joyful is after back-to-back wins and he should inject some pace into this one.

Race 6: Jaffe Handicap (1st Section)

#6 Great Achiever is trending in the right direction and he should prove hard to beat here. He's third-up in Hong Kong following two solid efforts to commence his career in the city. #5 King Eccellente is aiming to snap a pair of runner-up efforts. He's closing in on another win. #3 Happy Golf has lost his way a touch; however, a good gate and Hugh Bowman's services could easily see him bounce back. He's worth taking a chance on. #1 Jumbo Legend has the 10-pound apprentice claim in use. He gets an opportunity.

Race 7: Lockhart Handicap (1st Section)

#12 One For All was well supported first-up. He can atone for that defeat and from barrier one he is expected to fly forward and take up a prominent position on the speed. Gets his chance. #5 Celestial Colours continues to make headway. He can take another forward step here with Zac Purton engaged. #11 Jumbo Fortune is racing well and is favored from gate six under the light weight. #1 Superb Capitalist can mix his form. He was tough on the speed last start and can do similar again here.

Race 8: Lockhart Handicap (2nd Section)

#2 Brave Star has consistency on his side and has been knocking on the door all season. He draws ideally here and from there should get the right run throughout. One to beat. #5 Power Koepp has an inside draw and is much better suited in this grade. He made a bit of ground late last start and the inside gate is a big advantage. #7 Beauty Waves continues to race well and can do so again. He's shown a stack of ability already and is a winner in waiting. #9 Righteous Arion slots in light and is next in line.

Race 9: O'Brien Handicap

#8 Simply Maverick has shown he's ready to be tested in Class 3. He was dominant last start and has drawn ideally here for his first try in the grade. He's got plenty of scope for further improvement. #10 Thesis continues to race well and has done so all season. He's a threat in this grade and over this course and distance. #6 Lean Hero is a four-time winner at the track. He comes into this in the right vein of form and links favorably with Hugh Bowman. #1 Gallant Waking is chasing back-to-back wins. He gets a super chance.