2020 Chak On Handicap Preview & Free Picks
SHA TIN FREE PICKS - March 28 (DAVID MORGAN)
Race 1: #8 Kwai Chung Elite, #2 Speedy Missile, #1 Hurricane Hunter, #11 Golden Cannon
Race 2:: #6 Cheerful Star, #10 Happy Rocky, #4 DefiningMoment, #3 Above
Race 3: #9 Fantasy, #5 Urban Dancer, #3 Handsome Bo Bo, #1Team Spirit
Race 4: #13 Iron King, #8 Incanto Prepared, #1 DreamWarriors, #7 Regency Master
Race 5: #5 Jade Phoenix, #6 Team Power, #2 Grade One, #12 Victory Mastery
Race 6: #3 The Runner, #2 Sam's Love, #1 Juneau Park, #13Winwin Thirtythree
Race 7: #13 War Of Courage, #2 Heart Conquered, #6 ValiantDream, #7 Grateful Heart
Race 8: #1 Superich, #12 Picken, #13 Beauty Icon, #6 HardlySwears
Race 9: #13 Enzemble, #2 High Rev, #4 Band Of Brothers, #5Lobo's Legend
Race 10: #5 Duke Wai, #3 Perfect Match, #9 Hong Kong Bet,#12 Shining Ace
Race 1: Un Chau Handicap
#8 Kwai Chung Elite get the blinkers applied to sharpen him up which could be exactly what he is after to finally get on with the job. He has been racing well enough across his 13-start career to indicate a win was nearing and with the in-form Grant van Niekerk up, Saturday night could well be his day.
#2 Speedy Missile might have issues since the tongue-tie has been applied. He has put together a few admirable runs and with this applied to help his breathing, he too could be ready to finally piece it all together.
#1 Hurricane Hunter is a two-time course and distance winner. He narrowly missed last time out and a return to his preferred distance here, should see him run well.
#11 Golden Cannon has drawn to get the right run. He's proven here and is capable of snatching some prize money.
Race 2: Tai Hang Tung Handicap
#6 Cheerful Star is racing well and appears suited stepping back out to 2000m for this contest. Karis Teetan hops aboard following his recent suspension and from the gate, ridden quietly, should give him every opportunity to finish over the top of them.
#10 Happy Rocky turned his form around to grab third last start. He can figure here with no weight on his back and although he's drawn the widest ally, it's unlikely to be a hindrance if he settles at the rear again.
#4 Defining Moment mixes his form but on his day he is up to this. He gets Zac Purton on for the first time this season which warrants respect and it wouldn't be a shock to see him get the job done.
#3 Above is next best, though, he is quite a tough ride as somewhat of a grinder.
Race 3: Lai Kok Handicap
#9 Fantasy has done nothing but impress across his short five-start career with four top two finishes, including the one win on debut. If he has held his condition he's going to take a power of beating, especially with no weight on his back and the services of Joao Moreira engaged.
#5 Urban Dancer steps out on debut. It's always difficult to win on debut, especially in Hong Kong but with the early dash this guy has shown in his trials, he just might be able to string them along here and he'll represent good value to do so.
#3 Handsome Bo Bo turned his form around last start to finish third. He's proven in Class 3 previously and although he hasn't won since early 2018, he just might be ready to bounce back off what was easily his best performance this season.
#1 Team Spirit is next best, though, his task is made difficult with top weight on his back.
Race 4: So Uk Handicap (1st Section)
#13 Iron King has been racing well this season and has shown that a maiden win isn't too far away. He gets in light once again and if he can overcome the wide draw, then he is the one to catch, especially with the in-form Grant van Niekerk up.
#8 Incanton Prepared comes into this with two narrow placings under his belt at his most recent two runs. Joao Moreira retains the ride and this steady improver isn't too far away from getting the job done.
#1 Dream Warriors has the awkward gate to contend with but has thrived in Class 4 this term as a two-time winner. He can figure here and in his favor is the return to the grass from the dirt.
#7 Regency Master gets Zac Purton on for the first time. This horse has a lot to learn still but has shown glimpses of ability and the booking of Hong Kong's champion jockey for this, warrants respect.
Race 5: Shek Kip Mei Handicap
#5 Jade Phoenix has placed in all three of his runs across his short career. He's nearing a breakthrough win, especially following that latest defeat by a neck, and with Joao Moreira retaining riding duties here, he rates as the one to beat.
#6 Team Power raced well on debut before appearing to struggle at his latest. He was overrun in the finish last start but still, if he can recapture his debut performance he's a leading player and coming from the Ricky Yiu yard, he has every chance to do that.
#2 Grade One's last run in Class 4 relinquished a win and now finally dropping back to this grade should give him every opportunity to get back in the winner's arch. Zac Purton hops on for the first time and although he has drawn a touch awkward, he does warrant plenty of respect.
#12 Victory Mastery is lightly raced but appears capable. He's next best.
Race 6: So Uk Handicap (2nd Section)
#3 The Runner is lightly raced but has been thereabouts on a number of occasions. He has improved back to Class 4 and now with those two runs under his belt in this grade, he just might be ready to go on with it now.
#2 Sam's Love appears to have found his mark. He won well three starts ago and since then has held his condition well for two sound efforts, including his latest short-head defeat. This is suitable.
#1 Juneau Park rattled home to win by a nose just a fortnight ago. He remains in Class 4 off that performance and he definitely does appear to have a number of ratings points still in hand.
#13 Winwin Thirtythree is winless, though his last three runs have clearly been his best, placing in each. He's unlucky not to already be a winner and with a good draw and no weight on his back, he's expected to get his chance.
Race 7: Cheung Sha Wan Handicap
#13 War Of Courage has shown immense talent across his short four-start career having never finished outside the top three, which includes one win. He can figure here down in the weights against this bunch.
#2 Heart Conquered has done well so far in Hong Kong across his four starts and if he manages to step up once again he can challenge these. His Australian form stacks up here and it's only a matter of time before he delivers.
#6 Valiant Dream has won twice from his last five starts, though, appeared to struggle at his latest. Still, he can bounce back and this race is well within his grasp.
#7 Grateful Heart did well on debut and his latest trial was seriously impressive. He gets Zac Purton on here and he remains a leading player in a hot little race.
Race 8: Nam Shan Handicap
#1 Superich put his best foot forward in a recent barrier trial and he appears to have recaptured his blistering best. Zac Purton takes the reins which indicates exactly that and from the soft draw he's going to get all of the favors.
#12 Picken is unlucky not to have won a race already this term. He has gone close on a number of occasions and if he manages to piece it all together here, he's in with an excellent shout with Joao Moreira up.
#13 Beauty Icon grabbed third last time out. He's winless but with the right run from the inside draw he can turn that around.
#6 Hardly Swears is somewhat of a Happy Valley specialist after notching a hat-trick of wins there at his first three runs this term. He struggled last start but with that under his belt, he can improve.
Race 9: Pak Tin Handicap
Although winless #13 Enzemble is ever so close to that breakthrough success having placed in each of his last four runs. He has found this distance to be suitable and with no weight on his back, as well as the services of Joao Moreira, he once again gets an excellent chance to finally go on with it.
#2 High Rev is on the seven-day back-up. He's talented and although he has done his best at Happy Valley, he's still suited by this distance at Sha Tin after racing over 2000m last week. He can figure from the gate and he'll be worth keeping safe.
#4 Band Of Brothers found his feet last start to grab fourth after a two month break. He's ready now with that performance under his belt.
#5 Lobo's Legend narrowly missed over 1400m last start. He'll relish the step up to the mile here and he remains a leading player.
Race 10: Chak On Handicap
#5 Duke Wai won four in a row before his last two defeats. Still, his last two defeats were narrow and against serious opposition and if he has continued to hold his condition out of both of those runs, he is the one to beat. He'll be rattling home for Karis Teetan.
#3 Perfect Match has won his last two. He has had his runs spaced which is a slight concern but his recent trial caught the eye and he's proven in Class 2 also.
#9 Hong Kong Bet has the ability. He's a two-time Valley winner who returned from a lengthy break this campaign to grab fifth first-up and third last start. He's on the right trajectory.
#12 Shining Ace is next best if he can recapture his form at Happy Valley.
2020 Chak On Handicap Odds & Entries
Race 10 at Sha Tin on Saturday, March 28 - Post 5:50 AM
|2||California Whip||50-1||Victor Wong
|A S Cruz|
|4||Speedy King||50-1||Alex Lai
|11||Perfect Match||3-1||Zac Purton
|C S Shum|
|14||Mission Tycoon||40-1||Derek Leung
|5||Duke Wai||5-1||Karis Teetan
|7||Computer Patch||11-1||Matthew Chadwick
|8||Water Diviner||40-1||Vincent Ho
|K W Lui|
|3||Hong Kong Bet||50-1||Neil Callan
|A S Cruz|
|A S Cruz|
|13||Helena Baby||80-1||Keith Yeung
|9||Shining Ace||18-1||Joao Moreira
|12||Speed Vision||13-2||V Borges
|10||Graceandmercy||80-1||Grant Van Niekerk
|A T Millard|
Hong Kong: Transcendent aims to keep rising at Sha Tin
Transcendent will attempt to maintain a perfect start to his Hong Kong career when he lines up under a new pilot in a smoking hot Class 2 Chak On Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin on Saturday night.
The Tony Cruz-trained 4-year-old notched a smart win on his Hong Kong debut two weeks ago under Zac Purton, but with the champion jockey pre-booked for the opposing Perfect Match, Chad Schofield will take the reins at the weekend.
"This race is a tougher race," Cruz said. "He's gone up in class, he's up five points to a rating of 85, and I haven't got Zac this time, he rides Danny Shum's horse, but still, he's got a good draw (1) and he's fitter than last time.
"I believe he's in great shape, I'm very happy with the horse and I'm hoping he'll do something on Sunday."
Transcendent raced 10 times as Pizzicato for Fabrice Chappet in France and bagged five wins, including a 1300m Listed contest at Chantilly and the All-Weather Championships Conditions Stakes (1201m) at Lingfield, both on Polytrack.
"He was very impressive at his first outing in Hong Kong," Schofield observed. "It's quite rare for horses to come and win on debut in Class 3 but he did it really well. He goes up to Class 2 now with a light weight (120 lbs).
"It's never easy but he showed really good ability on his Hong Kong debut so let's hope Tony can keep him winning."
Schofield notched his first win for the Cruz stable aboard Circuit Three as recently as February and has followed up this month with another success on that racer plus a victory on Sunshine Warrior at Happy Valley a couple of weeks back.
"Tony's given me some nice rides and I've had a few winners for him, and he's starting to throw me some quality rides, such as this horse, so I've just got to make sure I make the opportunity count," the rider said.
Purton, meanwhile, was pleased with Transcendent's first-up win but will side with the hat-trick seeking Perfect Match this time.
"Transcendent did what I thought he was going to do (first-up), he was trialing well and he gave me a good feel," the Australian said.
"It was an awkward gate (12), I had to go a long way back, he sprinted through nicely and I thought when he got to the front he switched off so there's a little bit more there, and there's no doubt he's up to this grade."
Purton will climb aboard Perfect Match for the first time since they teamed up for a Class 3 1400m score 11 months ago. He takes over from Alexis Badel who has returned to France following the conclusion of his winter contract.
"I had the booking on Perfect Match quite a way out," Purton said. "These Class 2 and Class 1 races, there are normally only one or two of them available a month and the trainers are quick to look ahead."
The progressive 4-year-old has risen to a career-high rating of 95 since his last outing at the end of January and will make only his third start at the 1200m trip; the first of his six career wins came at that distance but all subsequent scores have been achieved at 1400m.
"He's an honest horse, he always gives his best, he goes well when he's fresh," Purton noted. "He ran very well at this course and distance earlier in the season - he traveled four-wide no cover and it looks like that might be the same again this weekend, so he's going to need to be at his best. There's a lot of pressure in the race and it's a bad gate (11) so we're going to need some luck.
"His trial was good. He's a horse that always wants to please and he did that."
Cruz is also set to saddle top-weight California Whip (131 lbs) and Hong Kong Bet (123 lbs), the mount of Neil Callan. The latter, a two-time winner last term, made a belated return at the beginning of February and followed up with an eye-catching third at Happy Valley a month ago.
"I haven't seen any easy Class 2 races but he's got a good draw (3), which I think will be important to him. When you look at it, he's won his races when he's been close to the pace or around it so I think that's important to him and if we can sit handy, he could run a good race then," Callan said of the 4-year-old.
The 14-runner contest also features the talented Paul O'Sullivan-trained prospect Duke Wai (128 lbs) and the horse that beat him last time out over 1000m, the John Moore-trained 3-year-old Computer Patch (126 lbs).
"He's done everything right," Moore said after watching Computer Patch work at Sha Tin on Friday. "He sprinted up in :23.9 by my timing this morning and he did it with ease.
"It was a good win the other day against some smart horses in Duke Wai and Hong Kong Win so he's done everything right leading into this race. He's drawn nicely in gate seven because he's a horse that comes from off the speed, preferably back, because he's got a turn-of-foot which I don't think is as effective when he's ridden up close."
Matthew Chadwick was up top for the win last time and the in-form rider is seeking a third win in as many meetings.
"Chadwick is on again, he's done everything right and if he's able to get the horse into a rhythm I think the horse is up to it," Moore said.
"He can really close off strongly and the way he galloped this morning I expect him to be right there when the whips are cracking."
Joao Moreira sides with the John Size-trained Shining Ace (118 lbs) in a contest that also features Gunnison (128 lbs), Speedy King (131 lbs), Mission Tycoon (129 lbs), Water Diviner (124 lbs), Helena Baby (119 lbs), Speed Vision (118 lbs) and Graceandmercy (117 lbs).
"Shining Ace has surprised me in that he has climbed a lot in the ratings, going up a couple of classes, which I'm happy to see," Moreira said.
"He's now against very good horses, so we have to respect them but at the same time give some credit to him for doing what he has done."
Saturday night's 10-race card starts at 12:45 a.m. ET / 9:45 p.m. PT with the Class 5 Un Chau Handicap (1400m).
Bet Belmont Stakes 2020
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