Davis Files: Race Review of Sha Tin - 21st November 2021

Brett Davis provides exclusive review of Sha Tin races.


Race 1 – BOCHK Cross-Border Services Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:09.21 Standard Time: 1:09.10 Course/Class record: 1:08.40 Master Eight

Winner: SEASON BLISS (NZ 4yo g Charm Spirit – Enchanted Melody) jumped well under Vincent Ho but was drawn awkwardly in barrier eight, so Ho drifted back to midfield and was able to settle one off the rail. He settled well under Ho who remained one off the rail before inching out wider as they straightened, pushing into the clear air with 400m to go. He sprinted well once clear to take the lead with 200m remaining and pulled away from the main pack and win in good style by three quarters of a length.

Runner-Up: SOARING TOWER jumped on terms and found a position just worse than midfield and one off the rail shortly after the start. He was running well on the back of the eventual winner, before popping off his back with 500m to go to improve in the three-wide trail as they turned into the straight. He was under the pump as they straightened but he wound up well, running on down the outside to finish second but was never really a threat to the winner.

Run Of The Race: EN POINTE put in a good performance on debut. He was sent forward from the wide draw but was unable to cross runners and was forced to settle three-wide without cover. He was travelling well into the straight and he fought on bravely despite the tough run in transit to finish in third position. A solid debut run and he's sure to improve off this performance.

Disappointment: CHIU CHOW BROTHER jumped with the field and was sent forward under Alex Badel to settle on the pace and off the rail. He was slightly under the pump before they straightened but it was horrible viewing for punters with the flashy grey unable to gain clear air down the straight. He was pocketed for most of the straight and by the time he got out it was far too late. He went to the line relatively untested, finishing in 11th position.

Comparison: Outside standard time.

Market Mover: EN POINTE was a well-supported favourite, while there was some money for PRETTY QUEEN PRAWN at longer odds.

Race 2 – BOCHK SME In One Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 4 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good

Time: 1.22.23  Standard Time: 1:21.75 Course/Class record: 1:20.80 Perfect Pair

Winner: GOOD BUDDY (NZ 4yo g Showcasing – Saheel) jumped fairly from the outside barrier and was taken back by Zac Purton to settle toward the back of the pack in the three-wide trail. He raced with his mouth open in the middle stages, but he relaxed better as Purton began to improve his position on the turn to be about midfield as they turned into the straight. He was the widest runner upon straightening, but he sprinted well, taking the lead with 150m to run and was strong through to the line, winning by a neck.

Runner-Up: MOONLUCK was taken back from the awkward alley and settled near the tail of the field, sitting between runners one off the fence. He raced kindly through the middle stages before shifting out wider on the track to get into clear air as they straightened. He ran on well over the concluding stages and was an eye-catching finisher, getting within a neck of the winner.

Run Of The Race: GOOD BUDDY made it back-to-back wins with what seemed like a relatively easy victory. He showed good dash from well back in the field and proved too strong down the stretch to win in good fashion.

Disappointment: PEAK TO PEAK jumped on terms but was left racing four-wide without cover for the entirety of the race. He tired in the straight after the wide run and finished 5-1/4 lengths off the lead in 13th position after jumping as a $6.80 chance on the fourth line of betting.

Comparison: Outside standard time.

Market Mover: GOOD BUDDY was rock-solid as favourite but there was money for THE JOLLY as well as SHENRON at long odds.

Race 3 – BOC Life Handicap, HK $2,400,000

Class 2 – Turf – Distance 1000m – Track Good

Time: 55.42 Standard Time: 56.10 Course/Class record: 54.68 Valiant Dream

Winner: MASTER EIGHT (AUS 4yo g Oamaru Force – Curzon Dancer) jumped well and was able to cross from barrier one to sit outside the leader on the outside fence. They were running good time in the middle stages of the race as he levelled up to the leader with 400m to run and quickly had him beaten shortly after. He was strong to the line, pulling away from the field in the final 100m to win easily by 1-3/4 lengths and extend his unbeaten streak to four.

Runner-Up: NERVOUS WITNESS took up his customary role of leader after jumping well from the outside and crossed to sit on the outside rail with 600m to go, appearing to be travelling well under Karis Teetan despite the quick tempo. He tried hard when he was challenged at the 400m point, but he was quickly passed and he went to the line a clear second, despite it being a somewhat disappointing run.

Run Of The Race: MASTER EIGHT continued his unbeaten streak in fine style over the 1000m journey which he hadn't been tried at before. He seems to be a really progressive horse, and although the big races have probably come around too early for him right now, it may be a different story come April of next year.

Disappointment: VALIANT DREAM jumped as the third-favourite and was sitting off the pace in running but was under the pump a long way from home. He was under the whip from the 400m point but was unable to pick up any ground, finishing 4-1/4 lengths off the winner in sixth.

Comparison: Inside standard time.

Market Mover: NERVOUS WITNESS was a well-supported favourite.

Race 4 – BOCHK Asset Management Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1400m – Track Good

Time: 1:21.00 Standard Time: 1:21.45 Course/Class record: 1:20.62 Preciousship

Winner: CAPTAIN WIN (AUS 4yo g Toronado – Dane Sense) was slow away from the gates but mustered well to settle just worse than midfield and along the rail. Zac Purton remained in that position throughout the event as the gelding settled well out the back of the main body of the field. He was racing relatively clear at the top of the straight, but Purton stuck to the inside part of the track, having to work through traffic, before a small gap appeared between runners with 200m to run. He shot through the gap to take the lead inside the final 100m and take the win by a neck.

Runner-Up:  PARTERRE was quickly away from his midfield draw and settled on the pace in the early stages, finding cover three pairs back after horses from out wide pushed forward. He got a beautiful cart into the race as Karis Teetan got into the clear out wider on the track, responding to the urgings of Teetan. He took the lead at the 300m point but he was unable to hold off the eventual winner, holding on to second place in a good effort.

Run Of The Race: It was a great performance by CAPTAIN WIN, getting his first win in Hong Kong in just his second outing in the jurisdiction. He got the gaps when he needed and he showed good dash in the straight, and if he jumps on terms next time out there's no reason he can't go back-to-back.

Disappointment: DRAGON FORTUNE lobbed in a great spot after jumping from barrier three, finding the leader's back in running and getting the run of the race. That all turned pear shaped though shortly upon straightening, with Chad Schofield stuck behind the weakening front runners with no where to go. He went to the line untested, finishing in 10th position and beaten 5-1/2 lengths. Not ideal viewing for one of the market movers.

Comparison: Inside standard time.

Market Mover: There was plenty of money about in this race, with DRAGON FORTUNE and PARTERRE well-supported, while CIRCUIT STELLAR and SPEED FAY FAY at double-figure odds.

Race 5 – BOCHK Wealth Management Handicap, HK $1,040,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 2000m – Track Good

Time: 2:02.12 Standard Time: 2:01.75 Course/Class record: 2:00.37 Champion Supreme

Winner: ENTRUSTED (GB 5yo g Nathaniel – Rose Empress) was slow away from his inside draw but was able to scoot along the to improve his position slightly, settling just worse than midfield and along the rail. He was travelling well down the back straight, but the leader had skipped away in front, setting a solid tempo down the back stretch. He lost a couple of positions from the 1000m point as runners behind him began to take off and improve their positions to keep in touch with the breakaway leader. As they began to make the turn into the straight, his rivals fanned out across the track allowing Alex Badel to stick to the rail and run up right behind the leader. A gap opened up along the rail with 350m remaining and he sprinted well when Badel pushed the button. He ran up along the inside to take the lead with about 75 metres to go and hold on for a tight victory.

Runner-Up: CHEVALIER PRINCE jumped with the field and would settle midfield along the rail from a kind draw. He would remain there throughout the race, travelling well under Keith Yeung who left the rail with 650m left to run to try and get into clear running down the outside. It took him a while to wind up, but he let rip over the final 200m as Yeung weaved his way through traffic to burst through the middle of the pack and only narrowly miss out on the victory.

Run Of The Race: What a superb ride from Alex Badel aboard ENTRSUTED. He didn't go around a single horse, sticking to the inside and running along the rail which proved the winning decision in the end. The gelding sprinted well in the straight and it was a gritty victory.

Disappointment: GOD OF DRAGON jumped well and was the leader through the first part of the race before being overtaken and left sitting nearly 3 lengths off the leader. He quickened well to catch the leader on the point of the turn, but he was already under hard riding with 500m to go and he weakened shortly after turning into the straight. He would continue to drift back through the pack to finish in 12th position and beaten 4 lengths.

Comparison: Just outside standard.

Market Mover: ABOVE had plenty of fans, as did SUPERBELLA and CHEVALIER PRINCE at longer odds.

Race 6 – The BOCHK Private Banking Jockey Club Sprint, HK $4,750,000

Group Two – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:07.98  Standard Time: 1:08.30 Course/Class record: 1:07.65 Sacred Kingdom

Winner: LUCKY PATCH (NZ 4yo g El Roca – Gould) jumped on terms from the wide barrier and was able to cross and sit one off the rail in about midfield under Jerry Chau. The pace was good through the first half of the race which suited the gelding, and he was able to get taken into the race three-wide before coming off heels shortly after straightening. He quickened well at the top of the straight but the last 200m was impressive, he found another gear and shot to the front despite some interference with 100m to run. But that didn't phase him, as he would run on to win by 0.75 lengths to make it two Group Two victories in a row.

Runner-Up: NABOO ATTACK went back to his customary position at the back of the field under Zac Purton settling off the rail in transit. He was able to improve into the three-wide line around the turn and he was the widest runner on straightening. He let down well down the outside, running into second position but he just had too much ground to make up on the leader. It was a much-improved run though after a couple of luckless outings.

Run Of The Race: LUCKY PATCH kept on his winning ways and looked good in doing so. Jerry Chau gave him a great steer and he let down beautifully at the top of the straight. He looks in good form for the International Sprint in 3 weeks' time.

Disappointment: WELLINGTON was very disappointing. The Group One Chairman's Sprint Prize winner settled about midfield in the run and loomed into the straight under a hold looking as though he was about to run past the field and win in good style. Instead, he didn't offer much when placed under pressure and finished in seventh position, beaten 3 lengths.

Comparison: Inside standard time.

Market Mover: SKY FIELD and SUPER WEALTHY were well supported, while a stack of money came for LUCKY PATCH who halved his quote to jump as a $5.50 chance.

Race 7 – The BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile, HK $4,750,000

Group Two – Turf – Distance 1600m – Track Good

Time: 1:34.55 Standard Time: 1:33.30 Course/Class record: 1:32.64 Beauty Generation

Winner: GOLDEN SIXTY (AUS 6yo g Medaglia d'Oro – Gaudeamus) went back to settle in last position after jumping from the widest barrier. The pace was only moderate through the early stages but he settled well at the tail of the field, sitting about a length off the last horse as they began to make the turn. Vincent Ho quickened him from the 600m point and got him into the three-wide trail, but he was travelling too well, and he was forced out wider again as they swung into the home straight. He was simply too good for them, running over the top of them to take the lead with 100m to go and pull away for an easy 1 length victory and extend his winning streak to 15 in-a-row.

Runner-Up: WAIKUKU jumped well and settled on the outside of the leader shortly after the start and was travelling nicely despite the slow tempo in the early stages of the race. He travelled well into the straight but didn't initially respond when placed under pressure and was even headed by another runner early in the straight. He fought back to run into second placing, but he was no match for the winner.

Run Of The Race: Hong Kong's Horse Of The Year GOLDEN SIXTY has returned in great order, extending his streak to 15 in-a-row and proving he's ready to tackle the International's in three weeks' time. A great ride and a great performance.

Disappointment: SOUTHERN LEGEND went straight to the lead and slowed the pace right down in the first half of the race, before picking up the tempo from the 600m mark. He was under a strong hold as they turned into the straight, but he was quickly beaten and fell back through the pack to finish in fifth position.

Comparison: Well outside standard time.

Market Mover: GOLDEN SIXTY was heavily backed, with some money coming for SOUTHERN LEGEND.

Race 8 – The BOCHK Jockey Club Cup, HK $4,750,000

Group Two – Turf – Distance 2000m – Track Good

Time: 2:03.86 Standard Time: 2:00.30 Course/Class record: 1:59.30 Eagle Way

Winner: RELIABLE TEAM (NZ 6yo g Reliable Man – Stella Doro) was quickly into stride and went straight to the lead under Derek Leung. He had it all his own way out in front, being left alone and setting an unbelievably slow pace through the first 1200m of the race, before beginning to up the tempo as they came off the back with 800m left to run. Leung was niggling at him for some time before applying full pressure as they straightened with 450m left to run. He responded to Leung's urgings and held off the late challenger to lead all of the way for a Group Two victory.

Runner-Up: KA YING STAR was slow away but mustered good speed to settle midfield along the rail, before moving one off the rail with 1600m left to run. Matthew Chadwick wasn't happy with the pace, so he pushed on to go up and settled outside of the leader shortly after entering the back straight. He settled about three quarters of a length off the lead and travelling into the straight under a good hold. He was taking ground off the leader, but he then hung in passing the 300m point, with Chadwick having to stop riding and straighten him up. He made one last lunge at the leader over the final stages but ran out of time, with the official margin being a neck.

Run Of The Race: RELIABLE TEAM lead from start to finish in a very patient ride up front by Derek Leung. The time wasn't fantastic, but the ride was superb.

Disappointment: PANFIELD appeared to be travelling well during the race and was produced as a winning chance at the top of the straight by Karis Teetan. He was very one-paced down the straight though and ended up finishing last, beaten 2-1/2 lengths as the $3.70 second favourite. Teetan expressed his disappointment in the performance and a veterinary examination post-race failed to reveal any significant findings.

Comparison: The race was run in very slow time, slower than the Class 3, 2000m race on the card and over a second outside the Class 5 standard time.

Market Mover: KA YING STAR and RELIABLE TEAM both had supporters

Race 9 – BOC Credit Card Handicap, HK $2,400,000

Class 2 – Turf – Distance 1800m – Track Good

Time: 1:47.79  Standard Time: 1:46.95 Course/Class record: 1:45.88 Solar Hei Hei

Winner: CELESTIAL POWER (AUS 5yo g Star Witness – Askari) jumped well but was snagged back from his middle draw to find cover underneath Matthew Poon, settling midfield and one off the rail. The pace was solid, and he travelled well down the back straight and around the turn with Poon moving out wider on the track as they turned for home. He was still under a gold hold as they straightened but it took him a bit of time to wind up under Poon, as he launched from the 250m point to hold join the leaders and get his nose in front on the finish line to get the win in a tight photo finish.

Runner-Up: ZEBROWSKI jumped awkwardly and missed the start, but he mustered good pace to push through and find a position in behind the leading pair sitting one off the rail. He travelled well under Vincent Ho throughout the race before being shoved out four-deep on the point of the home turn. He travelled into the straight nicely but looked beaten with 200m to go as he was initially one-paced when placed under pressure. He picked it up from the 200m point though and hit the line strongly, but he was unable to hold off the fast-finishing winner down the outside.

Run Of The Race: ZEBROWSKI lobbed in a great spot and travelled well but looked to be in all sorts of trouble with 250m left to run, appearing as though he was drifting out of the race. But he put in a great final 200m and rallied back to just miss out on the victory. A rise in trip looks next on the cards for the former Sydney Derby runner-up, but he looks back in good form and another win won't be far away.

Disappointment: CALIFORNIA TEN settled midfield after jumping on terms from a middle alley but pulled hard for the majority of the back straight before finally settling around the turn. He came under pressure a long way out and he tired over the final 250m after burning up too much energy at the start, finishing 5 lengths away in ninth position.

Comparison: Outside standard time.

Market Mover: C P BRAVE was well supported as favourite with some money for BEAUTY FIT at double-figure odds.

Race 10 – BOCHK BOC Pay Handicap, HK $1,570,000

Class 3 – Turf – Distance 1200m – Track Good

Time: 1:08.70 Standard Time: 1:08.90 Course/Class record: 1:08.29 Dublin Star

Winner: CALIFORNIA SPANGLE (IRE 3yo g Starspangledbanner – Pearlitas Passion) jumped well from the outside barrier and went straight to the front to be a clear leader with 1000m left to run. He settled well under Zac Purton out in front who kept the pace solid through the middle stages and around the turn as he straightened up still under a strong hold. Purton held him together and gave a few peeks over the shoulder to see if anyone was coming to challenge as he was doing it so easily out in front. Purton shook the reigns at the 150m point and he got an instant response, quickly pulling away from the field again with ease and going to the line a 1-3/4 length winner eased down.

Runner-Up: ENNEA FORTUNE jumped well off the inside and was able to hold out his opposition to settle on the leader's back. He got right onto his tail as they swung into the straight and popped off his heels to mount a challenge early on. He tried hard and dug deep, putting a gap on the rest of the field for a solid second placing, he was just no match for the winner.

Run Of The Race: CALIFORNIA SPANGLE did it with ease to notch up his third victory in four starts. He jumped well, did everything right out in front and was simply too good for his opposition in good time too. We may not see him in the Group One feature on International Day, but there's no doubt better races are in store.

Disappointment: PACKING LAD was a touch slow away but settled midfield after showing some good pace early on. He was in a great position on the turn with Joao Moreira moving out three-wide and tracking into the race looking like a horse who would challenge for the victory. But the run was short lived, with the gelding tiring with 250m left to run and falling back through the field to finish 7-1/2 lengths back in 13th position.

Comparison: Inside standard time.

Market Mover: ENNEA FORTUNE had plenty of support
Racing and Sports

Brett Davis

Brett Davis spent 14 racing seasons with the Hong Kong Jockey Club between 2006-2019 as a leading Form Analyst/Race Caller and was the HKJC Chief Race Caller from 2014, calling the last 5 Hong Kong International (Turf World Championships) race meetings and in total over 50 Gp1 International races.

Brett now resides back in Adelaide/Australia his hometown where he is Chief Race Caller for Tabcorp/SkyChannel/RadioTAB.

His passion for Hong Kong Racing continues strongly and alongside his overall knowledge of racing in Asia, the inns and outs of Hong Kong Racing in general and close contacts within the industry Brett is a valuable asset to the Racing and Sports team and its subscribers.