Sha Tin (M55) - Sunday, 17 March 2019

16:35 HK TIME

Runner by Runner

1 WAIKUKU: This is the horse to beat and clearly for mine. He has taken a similar same path as last year’s winner (Ping Hai Star) for John Size and the Irish import has won four from five locally. He is a class act who will need a good ride from the outside gate, but given he is so tractable and has brilliance he will be hardest to beat.

2 DARK DREAM: His best is good enough to take him close. He was a shade disappointing in The Classic Cup, but his form prior is hard to fault and any rain will help his cause. 2000m+ are distances where he’ll be most competitive over at the highest level in Hong Kong.

3 FURORE: I see this horse as the main danger to Waikuku. The pattern went against him last time but he easily accounted for the principal chances in the Derby trial and he will be powering home at the finish. He’ll just need a touch of luck from the draw and a genuine tempo.

4 MISSION TYCOON: I don’t see the step up to 2,000m being any issue for him and ultimately he beat most of these fair and square in the lead up. He might be over the odds again. A rolling-type that might just keep going at a good cruising speed over ground.

5 KA YING STAR: He should appreciate the step up in trip and hasn’t done much wrong in three lead-up runs. A case is easy to make for him to be competitive. He is capable of upsetting at a price.

6 HELENE LEADINGSTAR: The wide draw isn’t ideal and he seemed to have his chance last time. The step up in trip will help and if it is a true test, then he might fill a minor spot.

7 RED WARRIOR:  He had excuses against most of these in the Classic Cup but would still need to bring a career-best performance by some margin.

8 ENRICHMENT: This is the best knockout chance in the HK Derby. He can settle on-pace and is one from one over this course and distance in a high rating race. He won’t be far away with Ryan Moore booked to ride and he maps to be in the perfect spot, especially if the speed is on the slow side of good.

9 HARMONY VICTORY:  His form is a little patchy this preparation. He has been held by a few of his rivals on more than occasion and a minor place would be a good result.

10 MR SO AND SO:  Safe to say he looks outclassed.

11 HO HO KHAN: Ho Ho actually closed with the best final-200m (11.84) in the Classic Cup. He should relish the step up in trip and can inject some value in to the exotics. If they overdo things in the first half of the race then he could be there late to pick up the pieces.

12 GOLD CHEST: He has a bit to find on overall form this preparation, but the step up in distance will help his cause. Still, it’s hard to make much of a case for him to be any significant chance.

13 TIANCHI MONSTER: He has won three of his last four starts, two over this track and trip. He needs to raise the bar again however for here – it’s by far his toughest test to date.

14 SUNNY SPEED: he was far from disgraced behind Waikuku last start and with more improvement on his third local start he promotes some interest. It is still hard to envisage him troubling the favoured runners given how far out of the handicap he is however.


After a little scare earlier in the week with WAIKUKU, it seems all is well again and he is on target to win this year’s Hong Kong Derby. John Size has taken a similar path with him as he did with Ping Hai Star last year and, if anything, this Irish import seems to be tracking even better, especially after his last start win over 1800m. The number he posted with top weight (60.5kg) when winning his lead up was good enough to win this year’s edition. The gate isn’t ideal and I am expecting FURORE to make a real race of it. His form overall has been quite faultless and he is a legitimate contender. I don’t think MISSION TYCOON or DARK DREAM will get things as easy as they had it last time but each has claims. Any rain will significantly enhance the chances of Dark Dream as he was super with give in the ground in Australia and in Hong Kong. The two best roughies in the race areENRICHMENT (who has form around Waikuku) and HO HO KHAN. The former should get an ideal run and can take advantage if the favourites find trouble. The latter requires a strong pace and can reel off time to boot. I’m happy backing Waikuku though and the quinella with Furore appeals.



(rp – $2.40)

2nd @ $1.30p (quinella with 3 @ $7.70)


(rp – $4.50)

1st @ $5.95 & $1.80 ($8.00 best corporate)


(rp – $7.50)



(rp – $12.00)



(rp – $18.00)



(rp – $24.00)




WIN (7 units)

1 with 3

QUINELLA (1 unit)


KA YING STAR and MISSION TYCOON might contest the lead here with MR SO AND SO. HELENE LEADINGSTAR might be asked to go forward from barrier 13 and DARK DREAM could be in competition with ENRICHMENT for a ‘sweet position’ just behind the leaders.

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