Hong Kong Selections Jan. 28: Lucky Sweynesse looms large in Centenary Sprint Cup

January 26th, 2024

Declan Schuster of the Hong Kong Jockey Club analyzes the Jan. 28 card at Sha Tin, highlighted by the Centenary Sprint Cup (G1).


Race 1: #2 Nicholson Returns, #3 Wonder Years, #6 Special Hedge, #7 Winning Steps
Race 2: #10 Brother Pearl, #1 Starship Eighty, #8 Angels Hunter, #5 Charmander
Race 3: #2 Second To None, #9 Winning Heart, #1 Ace Victory, #5 Foremost Teddy
Race 4: #10 Panda Legend, #4 War Of Courage, #5 Celtic Times, #6 Perfetto
Race 5: #7 Royal Pride, #3 Beer Palace, #10 Chilli Baba, #13 Horse Of Good Luck
Race 6: #6 Telecom Dragon, #2 Super Legends, #7 Patch Of Theta, #9 The Khan
Race 7: #1 Goko Win, #4 Enterprise Attack, #9 Gorgeous Win, #11 Eighty Light Years
Race 8: #1 Lucky Sweynesse, #4 Courier Wonder, #2 Wellington, #3 Sight Success
Race 9: #13 Star Mac, #3 Golden Artie, #7 Powerful Wings, #1 Sweet Encounter
Race 10: #1 Tamra Blitz, #7 Beauty Fit, #8 Green N White, #3 Sinba


Race 1: Fu Tai Handicap

#2 Nicholson Returns is racing well and he is favored from the inside gate under Zac Purton. He gets a live chance here in Class 4, which is where he is best suited. #3 Wonder Years was a solid winner two runs back. Hugh Bowman hops up and it wouldnโ€™t surprise to see him make a midrace move in a bid for victory. #6 Special Hedge is after consecutive wins. He is talented, youthful and appears to have plenty of rating points still in hand. #7 Winning Steps returns on the quick back-up. He deserves respect.

Race 2: Lung Yat Handicap

#10 Brother Pearl caught the eye late last start. Expecting further improvement from him here, especially as he appears to finally be on an upward trajectory. #1 Starship Eighty always puts in and he should do so once more this weekend. Heโ€™s been consistent of late and he gets another chance here. #8 Angels Hunter is aiming to snap a pair of runner-up efforts this season with a first win. Heโ€™s yet to break through but does step away off a dangerous mark. #5 Charmander is better than his form suggests. Next best.

Race 3: On Ting Handicap (First Section)

#2 Second To None is after back-to-back wins. He draws ideally and should get a sweet run throughout. One to beat following his impressive last-start success. #9 Winning Heart is improving and he can make his presence felt. He should be decent odds and is worth including. #1 Ace Victory has further scope for improvement; however, the wide gate isnโ€™t ideal. He does get the experienced hands of Purton though. #5 Foremost Teddy makes his first start and gets five pounds taken off his back. Keep safe.

Race 4: Po Tin Handicap

#10 Panda Legend is racing well this season and heโ€™s closing in on a breakthrough win. He switches from the dirt to turf here, although he does appear to have the versatility to handle such a change. Gets his chance at odds. #4 War Of Courage can find the front and play catch me if you can with 10 pounds coming off his back. #5 Celtic Times has the draw and has been racing well all season. #6 Perfetto narrowly missed last start. He can take another step forward following that performance.

Race 5: The Yan Oi Tong Cup Handicap

#7 Royal Pride is in the right vein of form. The 10 pounds comes off his back with the apprentice engaged and he is currently stepping out off a dangerous mark. One to beat. #3 Beer Palace has been steadily improving with each and every run. Expecting he can do so again, as long as he manages to offset the wide draw. #10 Chilli Baba tends to mix his form but does have the ability, especially as a winner in this grade. #13 Horse Of Good Luck slots in light and is showing the necessary improvement required.

Race 6: On Ting Handicap (Second Section)

#6 Telecom Dragon has the runs on the board and is open to a stack more improvement. Heโ€™s tracking in the right direction and pairs favorably once more with Bowman. #2 Super Legends gets a handy five-pound claim with apprentice Angus Chung up. Heโ€™s lightly raced and is taking the right steps forward. #7 Patch Of Theta has hit the ground running across both of his two starts. #9 The Khan makes his debut. He caught the eye in his latest trial and is worth keeping safe for Caspar Fownes.

Race 7: Tai Hing Handicap

#1 Goko Win steps down in grade. He should get back in the run and from there launch late, proving that the wide draw is of no concern. Bowman has had one ride on the horse for one win. #4 Enterprise Attack won on debut; however, since then he has had setbacks. He has the inside draw and should get every chance. #9 Gorgeous Win is lightly raced but does have a stack of ability. Heโ€™s a one-time winner who should take aim at this group under Purton. #11 Eighty Light Years is next in line.

Race 8: Centenary Sprint Cup (G1)

#1 Lucky Sweynesse is the worldโ€™s best sprinter and he should be able to defeat this field. Heโ€™s in superb form, rates strongly and meets this group at set weights, which gives him a huge advantage. #4 Courier Wonder is first-up, but if they run along at a decent tempo, then heโ€™s the one who could benefit. He is the surprise packet who can make his presence felt. #2 Wellington has the runs on the board and heโ€™ll get his opportunity. He can improve third-up for Jamie Richards. #3 Sight Success is next best. He can bounce back.

Race 9: Yan Tin Handicap

#13 Star Mac is a newcomer with his fair share of ability. He continues to catch the eye late and this weekendโ€™s test should prove to be no exception. He slots in light and is worth taking a chance on. #3 Golden Artie is competitive and is a winner in this grade already this campaign. He has a tricky draw to overcome; however, his recent form has proven sound. #7 Powerful Wings has a suitable gate and can make his presence felt. #1 Sweet Encounter is better suited in this grade. Next in line.

Race 10: Yau Oi Handicap

#1 Tamra Blitz has the class edge over rivals. Heโ€™s racing well and was a strong winner two runs back over this course and distance. He remains in superb form and rates as the one they all must beat. #7 Beauty Fit is nothing short of consistent, even if he canโ€™t quite get his nose in front for first position. Expecting another strong showing from him this weekend. #8 Green N White still has several rating points in hand. #3 Sinba makes his first start for the new stable. Keep safe.