Hong Kong Preview: Telecom Fighters to relish turf return

November 16th, 2021

A return to the grass may be all #2 Telecom Fighters needs to return to winning ways in the Japan Racing Association Trophy (1650m, or a mile and 45 yards) at Happy Valley Nov. 17.

Telecom Fighters has been one of the most improved horses in Hong Kong since April. After failing to produce a victory in his first eight Hong Kong starts, and seeing his rating drop to 63, the Australian-bred has now won four of his last nine starts and is rated 94.

Two starts back over the same distance Oct. 6, he scored a very soft 3 1/4-length victory, easily defeating a field which included #7 Sunshine Warrior, #5 Solar Wai Wai, #6 Kilindini, and #4 Savaquin, all of whom oppose him again here.

At his last start he was tried on the all-weather track at Sha Tin, where he went a good race behind Kings Shield and #1 The Rock, the latter of which also runs in this race.

However, back on turf he should get a nice trip on the speed for Zac Purton, and he will be hard to run down.

The most likely of those horses to reverse the Oct. 6 result is probably Savaquin. That race was his first for the season, and he clearly improved, only just failing to hold out the highly-regarded Zebrowski. He is cutting back in distance from 1800m (about 1 1/8 miles), but should go well.

The mystery horse in the race is #10 Chancheng Prince. After some promising early form on turf, the American-bred’s form fell away and he showed little in six starts between March and September. But switched to the all-weather and with Ruan Maia riding for the first time, he scored two easy wins in October on the Sha Tin all-weather, both over 1650m.

This race should show whether the new combination with Maia will see Chancheng Prince keep his form up with a return to the turf, or whether the son of Carpe Diem now needs the all-weather track to contend.


Hong Kong-Happy Valley, November 17, Race 7

$5 win/$15 show: #2 Telecom Fighters

50-cent trifecta: 2,4 with 2,4,6,10 with 1,2,4,5,6,10