HKJC Expert Horse Racing Analysis for Saturday

SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Saturday, December 23, 2023)

Race 1: #9 Little Fairy, #1 Mister Dapper, #2 Nicholson Returns, #11 Jubilation
Race 2:
#4 Gangnam Star, #6 Second To None, #12 Vantastic Choice, #5 Ruby Sailing
Race 3:
#8 New Power, #6 Good Happy Heart, #1 Super Legends, #10 The Absolute
Race 4:
#13 Angels Hunter, #11 Starship Eighty, #6 President’s Choice, #14 Hang’s Choice
Race 5:
#3 Harry’s Hero, #7 Lucky Banner, #2 Nordic Star, #4 All Are Mine
Race 6:
#10 Fighting Machine, #4 Happy For All, #11 Devas Twelve, #3 Perfetto
Race 7:
#2 Five G Patch, #4 La City Blanche, #8 Awesome Fluke, #10 Ensued
Race 8:
#4 Wings Of War, #2 Cotton Fingers, #3 I Give, #6 Joyful Hunter 
Race 9:
#3 Ching, #7 Adefill, #4 Yellowfin, #1 Everyone’s Delight
Race 10:
#3 Massive Action, #6 The Heir, #5 Pins Prince, #9 Silver Up

Expert Horse Racing Analysis for Saturday:

Race 1: Amaryllis Handicap (9.00pm PST, 12.00am EST)

#9 Little Fairy is in form and appears ready to take the next step. This distance will suit and he’s still open to a fair bit of improvement, especially as a four-year-old. #1 Mister Dapper has a bit of class about him. He’s racing well and was a tidy winner over the mile last time out. This is a step up again but he has the quality to be hugely competitive, even if this distance doesn’t suit. #2 Nicholson Returns will improve with a step back to Class 4. #11 Jubilation is next in line with no weight and sound form of late.

Race 2: Cedar Handicap (9.30pm PST, 12.30am EST)

#4 Gangnam Star caught the eye first-up when third. He made up a stack of ground that day and further improvement is expected here, enough so to suggest that he can win. #6 Second To None makes his debut. He’s moving well and showed a fair bit of quality in his latest trial. Keep a close eye, especially with Vincent Ho up. #12 Vantastic Choice gets a handy weight relief and it wouldn’t surprise to see him roll forward to lead. #5 Ruby Sailing has class but is struggling to piece it together. Keep safe.

Race 3: Erica Handicap (10.00pm PST, 1.00am EST)

#8 New Power did well on debut to close into fifth position. He’s in sound form and is open to more improvement, especially from a suitable draw against a sizeable field. He’s worth supporting. #6 Good Happy Heart has done a stack of work with Zac Purton ahead of his debut but will be paired with Lyle Hewitson this weekend. He’s showing ability and Purton’s pre-race pairings hint at this. #1 Super Legends is the only winner in the race. He should get a sweet run from barrier six. #10 The Absolute is next in line.

Hong Kong Golden SixtyRace 4: Hibiscus Handicap (10.30pm PST, 1.30am EST)

#13 Angels Hunter can improve after narrowly missing first-up this season. He appears ready to win now and gets an excellent shot here, especially from a suitable draw. #11 Starship Eighty won well last start and he can maintain that level of form as he remains in the same grade. #6 President’s Choice is much better suited to the bottom grade. He pairs favourably with Zac Purton this weekend. #14 Hang’s Choice is in career-best form and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to maintain this level of racing.

Race 5: Holly Handicap (11.00pm PST, 2.00am EST)

#3 Harry’s Hero can improve in this grade and with a switch to dirt. He was a winner on the synthetic pre-import, so he might be worth taking a chance on here as he races on Sha Tin’s alternate surface for the first time. Suitable draw and conditions. #7 Lucky Banner is better than his inconsistent record reads. He draws ideally with James McDonald up. #2 Nordic Star flashed into third last start from well back in the field. He commands respect. #4 All Are Mine loves the course and distance. Next in line.

Race 6: Ivy Handicap (11.35pm PST, 2.35am EST)

#10 Fighting Machine draws ideally after two solid runs. He pairs favourably with Zac Purton this week and is open to further improvement as well. One to catch and comes from the right stable. #4 Happy For All is racing well and can find his best here, especially from the draw. #11 Devas Twelve caught the eye late last start. He can take another forward step here. #3 Perfetto is suited in this grade and can make his presence felt, that is, if he manages to offset the awkward draw.

Race 7: The Yan Chai Trophy Handicap (12.05am PST, 3.05am EST)

#2 Five G Patch can improve sharply with a return to Class 2, which is where he’s done his best racing so far in Hong Kong. Zac Purton hops up and this is a very suitable race. One to beat. #4 La City Blanche also makes the dip in grade. He’ll relish this drop and can make his presence felt in a big way. #8 Awesome Fluke has a bit of talent and he’s coming to hand quite quickly. He’ll be fighting out the finish here. #10 Ensued is a two-time winner from three starts. He’s got some class and can bounce back this weekend.

Race 8: Pine Handicap (12.35am PST, 3.35am EST)

#4 Wings Of War can improve second-up. He’s got a stack of class and his latest trial was nothing short of eye-catching when crossing the line in first spot. He can take the right steps forward and get on the board in Hong Kong this weekend. #2 Cotton Fingers has a bit of class and he nearly should have won last time out. He draws well once more and can make his presence felt. #3 I Give is chasing a sixth straight win. His form is superb and his racing pattern affords him every shot each time he races. #6 Joyful Hunter is next in line.

Race 9: Spruce Handicap (1.10am PST, 4.10am EST)

#3 Ching is worth a shot on dirt, especially as he is sired by Frosted, one of America’s leading dirt horses in recent years. He’ll take a liking to this surface and the inside draw gives him a good chance. #7 Adefill has class over this course and distance. He’s consistent and the booking of James McDonald bears close watching. #4 Yellowfin is a three-time winner from his last four starts. He’s in career-best form and can once again make an impact. #1 Everyone’s Delight dips to Class 3. Don’t discount.

Race 10: Poinsetta Handicap (1.45am PST, 4.45am EST)

#3 Massive Action is going to lead here, just as he has done successfully in the past. He gets a handy 10 pounds taken off his back, which should see him prove difficult to catch. #6 The Heir has posted two runner-up efforts from a pair of starts in Hong Kong. He’s taken to life in new surroundings quickly and he should begin an ascent soon. #5 Pins Prince has the draw to afford him the run of the race. Strong booking with Zac Purton up. #9 Silver Up is next in line. He’s worth a chance on debut in Hong Kong.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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