Luke Middlebrook: There are some nice horses in action at Happy Valley on Wednesday who look to be in for a good season.
Of those is smart-looking four-year-old KA YING SPIRIT from the David Hayes stable. The gelding can pick up where he left off when he resumes in Race 4, the Class 4 1000m Handicap.
KA YING SPIRIT burst onto the scene in May over 1000m up the Sha Tin straight off the back seven local barrier trials.
Unsurprisingly, KA YING SPIRIT was well supported in his first start, jumping a well-backed $2.6 favourite, and despite drawing the wrong part of the track in barrier No 2, he had enough early speed to get across to a handy position.
Jockey Zac Purton never really got busy on KA YING SPIRIT until passing the 200m, and he responded well to hold on by a head.
Well-prepared with two barrier trials for his return, and having trialled at Happy Valley on two occasions, KA YING SPIRIT’S early speed should hold him in good stead jumping from barrier No 9. His biggest danger, PARTY WARRIOR, will step away from two barrier positions beneath him, and is on the verge of a win after finishing runner-up in all three career starts.
Another up-and-comer is in-form trainer Chris So’s five-year-old DECISIVE TWELVE. He’ll be aiming for back-to-back wins at the city circuit in the final race of the card, the Class 3 1200m Handicap.
DECISIVE TWELVE resumed at this track and distance two weeks ago and could not have been more impressive in the manner in which he returned. Making full use of barrier No 1, DECISIVE TWELVE pinged straight to the front and never looked in danger, making all the running and drawing away to win by two lengths, even being eased down short of the line.
DECISIVE TWELVE has drawn well in stall No 3 where he can go off to the front to dictate, although MIGHTY VALOUR and QUADRUPLE DOUBLE are capable of applying some pressure.
If the pace is on, TRANSCENDENT, who placed third to DECISIVE TWELVE last time, looks the one to swamp them late. Last time he jumped from a wide berth and was ridden cold, however he has drawn barrier No 1 this time so expect to see him race much handier.
Race 1: Fast Pace narrowly beaten last start and goes close here on the quick back-up while stepping away from barrier 1 for Fownes and Moreira. Murray’s Partners drops down in grade and start following – should be giving this a shake. Red Elysees will be suited by the rise in distance and can run well second-up from a break. Methane looks overdue for a win and enters this race in good form. Villa Fionn ran the third fastest sectional time last star and can cause a surprise anytime in this class.
Race 2: Red Majesty track and distance specialist and appears suited here after running well first-up over an unsuitable 1200m. Savvy Kingman nice horse who is a model of consistency and looks a chance if he’s primed first-up. Run The Table nice run last start over 1200m and looks good chance in this race as he rises to a preferred distance. Jolly Honour ran the third fastest sectional time last start and should map kindly from barrier 1. Pearl Champion overlook the last start as current form is good and can improve.
Race 3: President Star drawn well here and should be in the finish from barrier 1 for leading trainer Shum and jockey Moreira. Has trialled well for a Class 5 horse on two occasions ahead of his return and looks to take beating. Ka Fortune well supported last start and won accordingly – a repeat sees him right in this. Anonyma last run suggested a win was very near, however he was a big dividend and questions remain if he can reproduce. Victorious Leader last start winner who remains in the same grade. Run Run Good showed good speed to lead last start and gave a good sight.
Race 4: Ka Ying Spirit impressive debut winner who is a big winning chance first-up. Well-primed for his return with two barrier trials and should be taking care of this lot. Party Warrior clearly is the biggest danger after finishing runner-up in all three starts. Overdue for a win and has match fitness on his side being second-up here. Fabulous Eight can bounce back a winner anytime in this class and respect. Noir Rider faded late last start, chance to improve under right race shape. Cheval Valiant ran the third fastest sectional time last start and looks to be improving.
Race 5: Noble Desire well supported last start and won accordingly. Has trialled well in the off season and the penny looks to have dropped with this five-year-old. A Smile Like Yours last start placing was full of merit after racing wide, nice effort and should map much better from a low draw here. Management Supreme every chance last start but still ran a good race and is open to improvement second-up. Trader simply had no luck last start and overlook the run. All Beauty has the services of a top jockey today and must be respected.
Race 6: Hong Kong Bet change of trainer recently and trialled very well in blinkers. Moreira rides and the stable looks to have him ready to score first-up. Harmony Fire winner of last two starts and looks a top chance, however his recent trial was only fair. On raw form, he is the main danger. Harmony N Blessed a fast beginner who can run well if he finds an easy lead and he won a recent trial smartly for his return. Heart Conquered showed good speed to lead last start and gave a good sight. Flying Genius can bounce back a winner anytime in this class and respect.
Race 7: A wide-open race with many chances, but Meaningful Star missed by 0.50 lengths first-up last start and should be going close second-up here. Wealthy Delight will be suited by the rise in distance second-up and can run well, however he is a backmarker who races for luck. Xiang Bai Qi last start winner who remains in the same grade, should map to be a winning chance from barrier 2. Superbella was an easy last start winner and must be respected, but barrier 10 looks awkward. Nothing New goes well second-up from a break and should be respected – outsider chance.
Race 8: Decisive Twelve more than capable of winning again in this race after easily winning first-up at this track and distance. Drawn well low which should see him pounce to the lead and give them something to chase. Transcendent good performance when storming home for third place last start. Mighty Valor goes well first-up from a break, looks a chance here with Moreira in the saddle. Quadruple Double is back in good form and must be considered a chance. Like That has shown ability and gets his chance to win here and he trialled nicely for this.