Sweet In Defeat: Sha Tin (M40)


Sha Tin had a turf track presented in GOOD condition with the running rail set in the “A+3” position.

The track played around standard. Winners came from 1st through 11th position in running at the 600m, 0-6 lengths from the leader, 1-3 wide around the bend and in lanes 2-16 in the home straight. So the “A+3” was about as fair as a track could play.

RACE 1: C4 - 1000m
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Momentum Happy – returned with blood in the trachea. It was a nice debut by Winner Method, who struck a very weak race. He will need to improve off this mark to keep the winning run going and compared to some others that have won on debut, the 9-point penalty seems harsh enough with that bringing a rise in grade. Then again, he is an improving type, so that’s a positive. Bella Baby was better here and his final-600m was excellent, so he might be able to pinch one soon, especially in a similarly weak race down the straight.

RACE 2: C4 - 1800m
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Bundle of Delight – returned with blood in the trachea. The pace was solid in this one and it was a very good win by Pakistan Friend, who simply went to another level. It was hard to find him and it remains to be seen whether he can go on. The pace was very solid yet they found it hard to come from too far back in this one. Shadow Breaker went well after being ridden with more patience, and that’s encouraging. The winner will be hard to beat again if he can hold that form. Smart Cousin and Ezra were okay from back in the field.

RACE 3: C4 - 1400M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

It was a tough watch here on Charity Grace. On a day where we had Group 1 horses, he has produced the 3rd-best final-400m (22.05) at the meeting! he simply should have won and had panels on his opposition in this. It was basically mathematically impossible for him to win with the tactics employed, but he still went agonisingly close to doing so. He makes the SID and has a lot of upside.

RACE 4: C3 - 1400M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Green Reign – returned with mucus. The tempo was slow and it was a sprint home, favouring the winner Sea Of Life who had a charmed run in transit. Sacred Ibis was good but his barrier manners and settling position always make it difficult to follow him. Prime Minister delivered an encouraging debut, while Flagship Glory was okay given he sat three-wide with no cover. Craig’s Star had a soft lead, may have gone too slowly, but ultimately was pretty poor to the line.

RACE 5: Group 1 - 1200M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Regency Legend – returned with blood in the trachea. A good number was posted here by Hot King Prawn, he enjoyed the run of the race and was dominant. The pace was solid so he was empty late but he proved too good. Regency Legend might be one to follow but with these “issues” of often having an internal bleed, he is hard to follow, notwithstanding he is very talented. However, suffice to say once more, there is little depth to the sprinting ranks and the resumption of Aethero and Classique Legend will be welcomed.

RACE 6: C3 - 2000M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Splendour And Gold – epiglottic entrapment. This race didn’t rate as anything special. Stimulation had the best run in the race and with a light weight prevailed. A lot of these will line up again in the near future, and probably the run from Awe was what I liked. He was hampered at a key stage but found the line well.

RACE 7: Group 1 - 1600M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

I’m not sure that they could have gone too much slower here and Golden Sixty had to dig deep to win! He has run his last-600m in 33.02, so he couldn’t do much more, but the slow tempo has resulted in a figure well below his Hong Kong Mile win. I suppose he was entitled “to bounce” off a peak run, and he could easily springboard now. He also struck a slow tempo and fairer track this time, and understandably found it harder to win. Rise High was terrific given the length of absence he’s had off the scene and this was probably a nice race for him to return to, with a softly run first half-mile. He should improve a lot off that.

RACE 8: 4YO Series - 1600M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Shadow Hero – returned with blood in trachea and was galloped on. The first half of this race was run at a silly tempo – way too fast – so ultimately the first three horses past-the-post were ideally suited given they sat in the back quarter of runners. It was a good ride from Shinn on Excellent Proposal, who got on his bike on the point of the turn and that won him the race. There is little doubt that Tourbillon Diamond could have easily won this and he deserves to be the early favourite for the HK Derby, and the one I would be suggesting if you like having an ante-post bet. I’d expect off that run he should start a 3.5 favourite on the day, however there’s plenty more water to go under the bridge between now and 21 March to take anything that short now. Shadow Hero had excuses and they rode him upside down. Lucky Patch was enormous given he was part of that early speed battle as well, and he still stuck on to the line finishing only a length and three-quarters off the winner.

RACE 9: C2 - 1800M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

This race rated just okay for the grade, but a steady first-half and quickening from the 800m meant no records were going to be broken. From that perspective, it was a little surprising that the first two home, Assimilate and Charity Go, came from as far back as they did, given the lack of pressure up front. However, only 2.5-lengths covered nine of the 14 runners so that says enough. Charity Go is racing well and Panfield isn’t far away from a win either.

RACE 10: C3 - 1200M
Course: TURF "A+3"     Going: GOOD

Note: Winning For All – return with mucus. The pace set was only even and Sight Success managed to make it his third win in-a-row. It rated in line with his previous two efforts but the lack of opposition for the lead meant they handed the race to him. It will be interesting to see how he performs in an event with more pressure. To put his performance into some sort of context, over the same track and trip, Hot King Prawn went 4.6-lengths faster for the first-half of his Group 1 and 1.3-lengths faster for the second-half of the 1200m. Off a moderate tempo his final-400m ranked as the 16th-best on the day. That said, he is with a stable that can take them through the grades!

Sweet In Defeat "Black Bookers"

  • Charity Grace

  • Tourbillon Diamond