2020 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap Free Picks at Sha Tin

Horse Betting Online

HKJC Press Release - DAVID MORGAN
Updated: July 07, 2020

SHA TIN FREE PICKS - May 30 (DAVID MORGAN)

Race 1: #7 Speedy Missile, #3 Bella Baby, #2 Hurricane Hunter, #5 One Step Ahead

Race 2:: #2 Galaxy Racer, #1 Seize The Spirit, #13 Kwaichung Brothers, #3 Who's Horse

Race 3: #9 Nextmodel, #6 Gold `N' Bold, #3 El Jefe, #1 Fabulous Eight

Race 4: #3 Racing Fighter, #12 Unique Treasure, #2 Quadruple Double, #4 Entrusted

Race 5: #10 General Trump, #2 Bright Kid, #13 Perfect Harmony, #3 Happy Victory

Race 6: #6 So We Joy, #2 Party Genius, #7 Momentum Happy, #10 Winwin Thirtythree

Race 7: #7 Natural Storm, #1 Gala Night, #9 Good Days, #10 Victorious Seeker

Race 8: #13 Eligere, #2 Handsome Bo Bo, #1 Beauty Amigo, #8 Tom's Style

Race 9: #4 Harmony Victory, #2 Ka Ying Star, #7 Dances With Dragon, #1 Southern Legend

Race 10: #5 Fantastic Show, #4 War Room, #2 Star Of Yuen Long, #6 Toycoon

Race 11: #7 Lucky Express, #12 All In Mind, #3 Lucky More, #1 Stronger

Race 1: Tsz Wan Shan Handicap (1st Section)

#7 Speedy Missile has shown glimpses of ability and now, breaking from the inside gate, there's a chance they roll forward and take up the running. If so, he's worth taking a chance on because he's not completely lacking of ability and in Class 5, off his current mark, he can be competitive.

#3 Bella Baby has been consistent across his 13-start career. He has drawn a touch awkward but has shown ability, enough so to suggest that in this grade he is a winning chance.

#2 Hurricane Hunter has proven himself as a two-time winner in Hong Kong and should relish the step back in trip to 1400m here. Zac Purton takes the reins which warrants respect and he bears close watching.

#5 One Step Ahead if next best with the blinkers applied for the first time.

Race 2: Tsz Wan Shan Handicap (2nd Section)

#2 Galaxy Racer is still winless. Though, he has been racing well and his latest narrow miss rates strongly for a contest like this, especially with Joao Moreira up.

#1 Seize The Spirit has been consistent this term and is a course and distance winner. He can figure with the right run for Antoine Hamelin.

#13 Kwaichung Brothers gets in light with only 115 lbs and has drawn very well as he seeks a third Hong Kong win. He'll get the right run.

#3 Who's Horse is down to a competitive mark and hasn't been too far away on occasions. He bears close watching.

Race 3: Piper's Hill Handicap

#9 Nextmodel turned his form around last start to grab a close-up third. He steps out again here form a favorable draw and with the right run, shapes as the one they all have to beat.

#6 Gold `N' Bold snatched fifth on debut. He wasn't too bad that day and he warrants plenty of respect with Zac Purton now taking over.

#3 El Jefe got off the mark nicely two starts ago. He has since struggled over further but should relish a return to 1000m here.

#1 Fabulous Eight is looking for back-to-back wins. He remains in Class 4 which suits and does appear to have a number of ratings points still in hand.

Race 4: Eagle's Nest Handicap (1st Section)

#3 Racing Fighter has been consistent all term and appears to be finally nearing a win. Zac Purton sticks aboard which warrants respect and if he can overcome the wide he is going to be a factor in this.

#12 Unique Treasure gets in light for championship leading trainer Ricky Yiu. Joao Moreira takes the reins for the first time which warrants respect especially as the galloper's form has been only fair.

#2 Quadruple Double is looking for back-to-back wins. Jerry Chau takes ten pounds off which suits and it wouldn't be a shock seeing him deliver again.

Race 5: Sha Tin Heights Handicap

#10 General Trump was unlucky not to have finished closer than he did last time but still, he's racing in career-best form and if he has continued to hold his condition then he's going to prove hard to beat.

#2 Bright Kid won well at his first start for Chris So last start. He can figure again with the right run and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him win his way into Class 3.

#13 Perfect Harmony has shown glimpses of ability. The Tony stable is on fire at present and it wouldn't shock to this guy spring into form.

#3 Happy Victory has turned his form around since stable transferring to Tony Millard. He bears close watching, as do all transfers to the Millard yard.

Race 6: Sha Tin Pass Handicap

#6 So We Joy is racing well for a lightly raced galloper of six starts. He has shown that it's only a matter of time and now, at his second start over 1400m on the turf, he should be ready to perform at his best.

#2 Party Genius has shown ability but is struggling to piece it all together. He has gone close on a number of occasions and in his favor is the booking of Zac Purton once again.

#7 Momentum Happy won well last start. He remains in this class over a suitable distance and with even luck, he's going to be fighting out the finish.

#10 Winwin Thirtythree placed in four consecutive outings before struggling from the wide draw at his latest. He has drawn awkwardly again but hopefully he has learnt from last start.

Race 7: Tate's Cairn Handicap

#7 Natural Storm finished runner-up last time out, closing strongly over 1800m to finish second by a neck. He'll relish the added furlong on offer and from the good gate, should get every opportunity.

#1 Gala Night is a winner of three of his last five outings, including last start. He has drawn to find the front here for Jerry Chau who takes off a welcome ten pounds, ensuring he gets in with only 123 lbs on his back.

#9 Good Days is racing well and has experience on his side, as well as the services of Zac Purton and a favorable draw.

#10 Victorious Seeker is consistent and his best warrants respect.

Race 8: Eagle's Nest Handicap (2nd Section)

#13 Eligere has found a suitable contest. He has put together a number of nice runs and now with only 115 lbs on his back, combined with breaking gate two he should have every opportunity to finally go on with it.

#2 Handsome Bo Bo has the ability and gets the services of Joao Moreira here. He's another who has drawn well and from there, maps to do nearly no work in the run.

#1 Beauty Amigo is the likely leader of this. He gets a handy claim from apprentice Alfred Chan who should ensure he gets every opportunity to dictate up on the pace.

#8 Tom's Style is a steady improver. He might need a few more starts but he has shown ability and warrants respect.

Race 9: Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy (Handicap)

#4 Harmony Victory has been a model of consistency this campaign and is capable of rewarding himself here with a Group 3 success. This isn't an overly strong contest and from the gate with Blake Shinn engaged, he just might find himself in the right spot.

#2 Ka Ying Star is a model of consistency and should be setting the pace early. He'll make his own luck out in front and his tough attitude should ensure he is in the finish.

#7 Dances With Dragon is looking for the hat-trick of wins. He has drawn well and although this is a sharp step up in grade, he does get in well at the weights and should be able to challenge these.

#1 Southern Legend beat Beauty Generation at Group 1 level last time out. This is a weight-bearing task with 133 lbs assigned to his back but his class does hold him in good stead for this.

2020 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap Odds & Entries

Race 9 at Sha Tin on Saturday, May 30 - Post 4:40 AM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
9 Southern Legend 4-1 Vincent Ho
133 Lbs
Caspar Fownes
5 Ka Ying Star 12-1 Chad Schofield
129 Lbs
A S Cruz
10 Rattan 12-1 Neil Callan
125 Lbs
Richard Gibson
8 Harmony Victory 14-1 Blake Shinn
120 Lbs
C S Shum
11 Elusive State 15-1 Derek Leung
114 Lbs
A T Millard
6 Fast Most Furious 50-1 Matthew Poon
114 Lbs
D J Hall
7 Dances With Dragon 11-2 Keith Yeung
114 Lbs
Caspar Fownes
2 Beauty Legacy 11-2 Joao Moreira
114 Lbs
John Size
3 Preciousship 15-2 Matthew Chadwick
114 Lbs
P Yiu
4 Time To Celebrate 10-1 V Borges
114 Lbs
John Size
1 General`s Delight 10-1 Karis Teetan
114 Lbs
Douglas Whyte

Race 10: Hung Mui Kuk Handicap

#5 Fantastic Show is after his fifth consecutive win. Figure he can do it following on from his recent performances and as long as he gets a clean run throughout, he can finish over the top of them once again.

#4 War Room has shown glimpses of ability but is yet to piece it all together. He has drawn a touch awkward but if he can put his best foot forward then he is a chance of going on with it.

#2 Star Of Yuen Long has drawn to get the right run and he knows what this is all about as a course and distance winner.

#6 Toycoon has ability and bears close watching.

Race 11: Amah Rock Handicap

#7 Lucky Express steps out on debut following two wins in Australia, including his latest at Caulfield in the AUD$950,000 VOBIS Sales race. He has been prepared carefully and slowly by John Size for this debut and if he can match his trial form on race day, then he has an excellent chance of getting off the mark on debut.

#12 All In Mind slots in for Tony Cruz. He has drawn to get the right run and remains a leading player if he's held his recent form.

#3 Lucky More is a winner of two out of his last three runs. He's untrustworthy at times but his best is up to this and brings it, this race is well within his reach.

#1 Stronger is aided by the 10 pound claim from Jerry Chau. He bears close watching.

Southern Legend ready to roar in the Lion Rock Trophy

BY DAVID MORGAN - Hong Kong Jockey Club - Southern Legend dug deep into his gritty reserves when fending off Beauty Generation to earn a first Group 1 win in last month's FWD Champions Mile and trainer Caspar Fownes anticipates another tough effort will be needed in Saturday night's Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin.

There is no Beauty Generation this time but Southern Legend will contend with a hefty 133 lbs on his back, as well as a concession of 20 lbs to more than half of his 10 opponents, some of which are aiming to prove that they too won't be out of place in the top races next term.

"It's always tough when you drop back into these grades with the heavy weight, giving some half-decent horses a bit of weight," Fownes said. "But I'm sure he'll still acquit himself very well, I'm sure he'll be competitive and if we can win under 133 lbs it will be unbelievable."

Southern Legend has been boxing around the top races for three season now and Champions Mile success was just reward for the two-time SIN Group 1 Kranji Mile winner, who will officially turn 8-years-old on Aug. 1.

"You wouldn't know he's getting on in years, he's in top form," Fownes said. "He's been really well and we're very happy with him."

The Not A Single Doubt gelding spent two weeks at the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Conghua facility in Mainland China following his career peak Champions Mile triumph, returning to Sha Tin on May 21. Jockey Vincent Ho partnered the bay in a gallop two days later, a 1200m workout in which his mount clocked 1:21.4 (:27.1, :29.3, :25.0).

"His form is still there," Ho said. "It was a really good win in the Champions Mile and he's been well since, he's been in really good form. It's a handicap race this time and he's carrying 20 lbs more than some of them so it won't be easy but I hope his class will be enough to cope.

"We passed Beauty Generation by half-a-length and then he fought back and got really close but we were lucky that we held on."

Beauty Generation has been Hong Kong's standout miler in recent seasons, earning Horse of the Year and Champion Miler honors in each of the past two campaigns. With the great horse's ability this term having dipped from spectacularly brilliant to `plain' very good, those titles are up for grabs this year but Fownes is not getting too carried away by the thought that Southern Legend might nick the milers' crown.

"Technically, he's in with a chance," he said. "He'd have to win this race first, I think. His last race showed his tenacity and will to win, when he fought the champ the whole way down the straight. That was a great effort.

"Let's see what happens on the weekend and hopefully he runs well."

Dragon up in grade

The Lion Rock Trophy will also see Fownes pitch Dances With Dragon into Hong Kong's Group race fray for the first time. But the six-year-old is no stranger to big-race assignments, having won the Group 1 Levin Classic in New Zealand as a 3-year-old.

The bay failed to win for trainer Chris So in his first Hong Kong season as he struggled to acclimatize and then bagged a couple of Class 3 wins for Peter Ho in his second campaign.

Since switching to Fownes mid-way through this season, Dances With Dragon has earned three wins at Happy Valley from four outings - climbing from a rating of 83 to 104 - and heads into the weekend on a hat-trick, with Keith Yeung booked for the first time since May 2018.

"Dances With Dragon is in there with 113 lbs, so it will be a test for him, to see what he's like, and hopefully he'll run home and show us something as well. He's come a long way in a short period of time," Fownes said.

"We're looking to find out how high he can get and if he can snag one more he'll have acquitted himself very, very well."

General attempts big step

Another taking aim at a first Hong Kong feature is the Douglas Whyte-trained General's Delight, a last start winner at the distance in Class 2.

The bay raced as Millard Reaction in Australia for two wins and a second placing at Listed level and lines up for his fifth Hong Kong start rated 88, a mark that places him 17 lbs out of the handicap.

"He's way out of the weights but I spoke to Douglas and they think highly of the horse," jockey Karis Teetan said. "The race is coming at the right time, his trial was good last week, so Douglas has the horse in a good place and he wants to try him and maybe see where he stands with the horse. It's not going to be easy but he has that low weight and the nice draw (one), so it's a good chance to test him.

"I was happy with his trial because Dougie said to me the horse doesn't like the dirt and doesn't trial too well on it. But he actually trialed very well on it - he's in good condition."

The field also features the Group 1-placed Ka Ying Star (129 lbs) and the Group 2 winner Rattan (125 lbs), as well as the useful Harmony Victory (120 lbs) and talented dirt track runner Elusive State (114 lbs), who pleased trainer Tony Millard in a turf gallop earlier this week.

Fast Most Furious (113 lbs), Preciousship (113 lbs), Time To Celebrate (113 lbs) and the talented but as yet unfulfilled - at least on Hong Kong shores - Beauty Legacy (113 lbs) are also set to line up.

Beauty Legacy, a Group 2 winner and Group 1-placed in Australia pre-import, has shown flashes of that ability in Hong Kong but has also thrown away his chance on occasion by failing to settle. Trainer John Size and jockey Joao Moreira are hopeful that the 4-year-old, an unlucky-in-running fifth last time, is starting to understand what is required of him.

"Sometimes the speed of the race can be a bit tricky for him," Size said, adding, "He is getting slightly better every day."

Saturday night's 11-race action starts at 12.15 a.m. ET / 9:15 p.m. PT with the Class 5 Tsz Wan Shan Handicap (1400m).

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