Graham Cunningham is back with his thoughts on the Wednesday card at Happy Valley with Quadruple Double fancied to strike.
It’s not how you start but how you finish. Joao Moreira was beaten on five favourites at 2.9 or shorter before saluting on the last two jollies at Sha Tin on Sunday and C P Power – formerly Piranesi in his Haggas days – looked a bright prospect when quickening to land the nightcap.
Fellow Brit Harry Bentley notched his second winner of the season aboard Apolar Warrior and has five more chances to shine at Happy Valley this Wednesday, while star apprentice Jerry Chau needs two more winners to lose his claim after a double took his HK total to 68.
The draw isn’t vital over 1000m and several of this group are hard to fancy. That comment doesn’t apply to Ka Ying Spirit, who showed bright speed to make a winning debut at Sha Tin, but that was just a workaday race and the market won’t miss him with Purton up.
Party Warrior is a must for the short list after finishing second on all his three starts – including when finishing strongly over course and distance two weeks ago – but he wasn’t the only one to earn a note in that race. Noir Rider faded into fifth but showed bright speed to dash clear briefly and can shake up the main fancies at fair odds with a smoother trip.
Some will see this as a case of choose your harmony as Harmony Fire and Harmony N Blessed are key players after showing useful form here last term. Harmony Fire has trialled well having been raised 8lb for his latest success, while Harmony N Blessed gave Hollie Doyle a debut HK win last December and has Purton aboard after an equally strong morning effort.
Both horses look strong Quinella options and two to add to the mix at longer odds are Heart Conquered and Hong Kong Bet. Heart Conquered showed fine speed when touched off here two weeks ago and still looks fairly treated after a 2lb rise, while Hong Kong Bet has Joao for the first time after a good trial on his debut for a new yard.
Over half of all 1200m winners emerge from stalls 1-4 when the rail is out wide in the C +3 position at the Valley and Decisive Twelve has drawn 3 after bolting up from the front here two weeks ago. So far so persuasive, but Chris So’s gelding faces real pace pressure from the fiery Mighty Valor this time and the value might lie in siding with a couple of stalkers to swoop late from the inside gates.
Purton has opted to stick with Quadruple Double after a close third over the minimum trip at Sha Tin. David Hall’s gelding has won off a similar mark and looks a major player if he gets the saloon passage from stall 2, while Transcendent came from well back to finish third behind Decisive Twelve from stall 10 on his reappearance and should get a much cleaner shot at things from the inside barrier with an 8lb pull and Karis Teetan in the irons.
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