Sweet In Defeat: Happy Valley (M41)


Happy Valley had a turf track presented in GOOD condition with the running rail set in the “C+3” or outermost position.

As is often the case with the rail in the “C+3” position, being on the pace and near the rail is the place to be. At this meeting, the position of the winners in the running was 1st through 9th (6 of 9 winners were in the top-4), 1-3-wide around the bend (5 of 9 were on rail) and 0 to 6.1 lengths from the leader at the 600m. Lanes 1-6 were the best in the straight, although the winners came from lanes 1 through 20.

RACE 1: C5 - 1200m
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

Tigerlad lead from start to finish and for a Class 5 this race didn’t rate too badly. This looked a good opportunity for him to break-through and he will be competitive again in the grade considering he was issued a 6-point penalty. Vital Spring settled further back than we had hoped and his run was huge, but even though I’ve said that before, he can win one soon. Great Harvest and Show Mission weren’t too bad either.

RACE 2: C5 - 1650m
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

It was handy win here by California Legend who “box-seated” on a slow tempo and bltized his rivals, scooting home 1.28 seconds inside of standard for the final-400m. He was a lot more effective off a slow tempo but I doubt that he will get that again. And for those without a turn-of-foot or back in the field, they simply couldn’t win.

RACE 3: C4 - 1200M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

It didn’t look much of a race on paper and it may have turned out to be that way with The Anomaly scoring on debut at 63-1! The pace was very strong and My Ecstatic sat three-wide with no cover on that pace and had clear excuses. I wouldn’t give up on him. Jazz Steed was sound, but is pretty consistent in the grade. The other newcomer, Moonluck got going late (race-best final-200m of 11.64) and is definitely one to keep an eye on when he next appears.

RACE 4: C4 - 1200M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

This race rated okay, and Ever Force justified his short quote (1.60) by winning, but he was made to work. He also returned with “substantial blood in the trachea”. I am not sure I would be following him strongly going forward, but he has upside and did pretty well considering all the pressure he sustained during the race. Romantic Trove motored home late without ever really threatening the winner and leaves the impression that he will be better-suited up in distance. Peak To Peak was okay as well and looks a genuine Class 4 horse at this early stage of his career.

RACE 5: C4 - 1000M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

This race was a good example to see the track pattern and bias at work. Moment Of Power (leader) held off the challenge from Whiskey Neat (leader’s back) after doing some early work. Mind you, Whiskey Neat won’t get a better chance to win and he looks like a “milk drinker”. All that said, both My My My and Harmony Fire (three-wide the trip) were making their debut and each ran well. With the pattern against them and taking on seasoned-gallopers, they performed well and I would expect each to notch their first win in the imminent future.

RACE 6: C4 - 1650M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

This race rated pretty well and apart from a dreadfully slow first sectional, the pace really ramped up 1200m from home. Nonetheless, the first-four home were in the first-five on the turn. V Chevaliers continues to race well and Dream Warriors had the perfect run to win. Play Wise closed very well and bucked the pace and pattern, but again, I have said that before about him.

RACE 7: C3 - 1000M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

This was a pretty standard Class 3 over this 1000m trip that went the way of We The South. Many of these line-up week-after-week and settling positions and barriers are so important. That said, Saul’s Special (SID) hasn’t shown much for a while and this effort was much better. He might be ready to win now and should get a chance to do so in the near future. Kurpany had clear excuses and I expect the he will bounce back pretty quickly from a kinder draw.

RACE 8: C2 - 1650M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

This was a very high rating perfomance from Delightful Laos who is a Hong Kong Derby aspirant and a good ante-post play ($14-$15). He has gone enormous here, off the back of a decent tempo and in theory he should be better suited to Sha Tin and the longer straight. I have this performance in line with the best of the four-year-olds this season. The runner-up The Rock was also very good and should be rewarded for his consistency very soon.

RACE 9: C3 - 1650M
Course: TURF "C+3"     Going: GOOD

The pace was awfully slow early here and it was a race of two halves. And the slow pace allowed for those with the better turn-of-foot to figure in the finish, like Savaquin (21.76 meeting-best final-400m), who won well. Helene Wisdom Star was good and he makes the SID file. Two of his last three runs have rated very well. Royal Bomb was beaten for a turn-of-foot but ran well-enough. I would have loved to have seen him lead. King’s Capital hit the line pretty well too.

Sweet In Defeat "Black Bookers"

  • Saul’s Special

  • Delightful Laos (Hong Kong Derby)

  • Helene Wisdom Star