A few of these runners locked horns over C&D recently, when Break Record came out on top. However, Danny Shum’s charge got a dream run up the running rail and he’ll do well to confirm the form with both Galaxy Star and Starlot. The former is ridden by Joao Moreira for the very first time but he has to give weight all round here. Preference goes for Starlot, who had to overcome a horrible draw on that occasion and didn’t get the clearest of runs either. He was only beaten two and a quarter lengths and yet he’s now 7lbs better off with Break Record. On that basis, he must have a great chance of going close from the four barrier.
Compassion Spirit ran a hugely encouraging race on just his third start over C&D three weeks ago. Trapped wide for much of his journey, Manfred Man’s three-year-old came home really well to finish a closing third and should have no trouble in turning the form around with Yee Cheong Pegasus, who finish second that day. Throw in the fact that he’s 3lbs better off, he’s a much better draw and Zac Purton rides for the first time, he should be going very close here.
There are a few notable jockey bookings here but probably none more so than Joao Moreira teaming up with John Size. The pair have a 30% strike rate with their last 13 runners, with another five of those hitting the frame, and they were both on the mark at Sha Tin on Sunday. Throw in the fact that Victory Mastery was blocked for much of the closing stages when third over this trip at Sha Tin two weeks ago and he should be going very close.
Given his trouble in-running over C&D three weeks ago, it’s hard to believe that Super Lucky managed to win. Caspar Fownes’ six-year-old had been desperately unlucky prior to that effort when Neil Callan rode for the first time and it appeared as though their luck was again out when Callan was again on board. He may have gone up 5lbs for that win but given a clear passage, it’s hard to see him not going close here. He’s the best bet on the card.
With the form horses here stepping up in grade, it might be worth chancing Magnificent, who’s got the best overall form in class 3 handicaps. Peter Ho’s charge seems to run best on the turf at Happy Valley and was a C&D winner back in December. His latest run can be forgiven as he raced wide throughout and presuming he can get cover this time around, he should be in the mix.
It’s very much noting that Zac Purton and Ricky Yiu team up here with Island Shine given their excellent strike rate of late. Since the start of March, the pair have a superb 50% success rate. Purton rides Island Shine for the first time too and the four-year-old caught the eye when finishing a staying-on second over C&D a month ago. Given a more aggressive ride from Purton, Island Shine can take the honours here.
11:45 – STARLOT @ 11/1
12:15 – COMPASSION SPIRIT @ 2/1
12:45 – VICTORY MASTERY (NB) @ 5/1
1:15 – SUPER LUCKY (NAP) @ 14/1
1:45 – MAGNIFICENT @ 12/1
3:15 – ISLAND SHINE @ 7/1