Master Eight best at Sha Tin

Master Eight best at Sha Tin


Luke Middlebrook: Hong Kong racing returns to Sha Tin on Sunday for an action-packed card with a few smart ones stepping out across the day.

One of those is unbeaten four-year-old MASTER EIGHT, who can pick up where he left off when he returns in the Class 3 1200m Handicap in Race 8.

MASTER EIGHT burst onto the scene in mid-May, justifying plenty of pre-race hype to win by 3.25 lengths as a heavily supported $1.7 favourite at this track and distance. Trainer Frankie Lor was quick to say: “He’s the most exciting young horse in my stable.” Those words were warranted as the son of Oamaru Force repeated the dose second-up despite a 13-point in the handicap.

Drawn in barrier No 10 as he took to Class 3, MASTER EIGHT produced a carbon copy of his debut win, leading from pillar to post to score comfortably by 0.75 lengths but with a further 2.25 lengths back to third.

The up-and-comer has trialled smartly on two occasions ahead of his seasonal return and looks ripe and ready to continue his winning ways as he steps out in a moderate Class 3 contest.

It could be a big day for Lor, as in the subsequent race he has another smart-looking one in three-year-old FIVE ELEMENTS.

FIVE ELEMENTS only found one better on debut at this track and distance 28 days ago – trainer Danny Shum’s unbeaten four-year-old PACKING VICTORY, who brings great form to this week’s race.

Just the same as before MASTER EIGHT’S debut, there was a bit of buzz around FIVE ELEMENTS even before he stepped out, with a usual indifferent Lor going on record to say the New Zealand import has big things ahead.

FIVE ELEMENTS arrived in Hong Kong a two-time winner from three, breaking his maiden before winning the Grade 2 Wakeful Challenge Stakes at Trentham second-up and finishing second in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes to up-and-coming filly Imperatriz at his final NZ-start. FIVE ELEMENTS clearly looks one to follow this season and he should be getting on the board on Sunday.


Race-by-Race Previews

Race 1: Super Fortune newcomer, who cost AUD$1m as a yearling, who has trialled well for debut on numerous occasions, boasts plenty of gate speed and should be giving them all something to run down up the straight course here. Ka Ying Spirit holding form with recent good trial and looks well. Suited back at this track and distance and is the next-best chance. Carry The Diamond well-placed and looks a chance in race like this. Symphony looks well prepared for debut and must be respected. Cheval Valiant blinkers have been added and might surprise for a placing.

Race 2: Sight Spirit newcomer who has trialled well for debut, jumps from a decent draw in barrier No 2 and will get his chance to score first-up for Moreira and Size. Shenron recent trials have been quite good and he look an improver second-up at his third starts here. Good Buddy resuming from a break and trialled well recently, can sprint well first-up. Peak To Peak blinkers have been added and can surprise. Fire Ball recent barrier trial was good, suggesting an improved run can be expected.

Race 3: A wide-open Class 5 but Brave Power’s last run suggested a win was very near and he gets his chance coming into a better draw here. So Awesome drops down in grade and start following, needs some luck from the wide draw but on class, he can give this a shake. Kwai Chung Elite should gain a good run from the nice barrier draw and can surprise in a race like this. Little Player had genuine excuses last start and consider again at his second Class 5 start. Zacian will win in this grade very soon – just needs some luck from out wide.

Race 4: Durham Star blinkers have been added, which he trialled strongly in, and he looks a good chance to breakthrough second-up from a break. Courageous Knight holding form with recent good trial after an eye-catching first-up run and looks well. Boom Stitch turned in a very nice debut run and looks to have good ability. Leading Fortune is capable of running a fast final 400m sectional time and should map soft from barrier 1 to be a chance. Golden Bolt good effort last start leading all the way to win, a repeat of that sees him right in this.

Race 5: Casimiro will be suited by the rise in distance, as a three-time winner from six at the track and distance, and can run well third-up from a break in an open Class 4 race. Soulmate drops down in grade and start following, should lead them up and give a good sight under Moreira. Oscar Glory well supported last start and won accordingly, has trialled well for his return and should be competitive fresh from barrier No 1. Decisive Action last start winner who remains in the same grade, but is drawn out wide. Easy Fortune had excuses last start and forget the run, prior effort was solid.

Race 6: Maldives well-placed in barrier No 1 and looks a chance in race like this after ridden for luck first-up from barrier No 14. Should be bouncing back for a win here. Xiang Yin last start winner who rises in class but it was an easy win and he can measure up returning to Class 3. Hall Of Champ looks overdue for a win and enters this race in good form. Gallant Crown narrowly beaten last start and goes close here if he can bring his Happy Valley form to Sha Tin. Gorytus turned in a nice debut run and should map well to be a chance second-up.

Race 7: Copartner Ambition racing well with excellent sectional time rankings and enters this race off the back of a nice barrier trial win. An open race, but he looks well. Dragon Fortune was an easy last start winner, leading all the way to score easily, and if he gets a soft time on the lead, he’ll go close again. Beauty Glory nice 3yo with a good chance on debut. Just needs a good steer from the widest of draw, but he looks progressive. Beluga a last start winner who trialled well since. Crossford having second start and can improve with experience with Moreira taking the ride.  

Race 8: Master Eight highly promising horse who shows nice ability after remaining unbeaten in two starts last season and looks the one to beat as he returns to the scene. Looks too good for this lot and is one to follow this season. The Golden Scenery remains a maiden galloper but clearly gets a chance to win here after showing promise. Namjong Sings last start winner who remains in the same grade but place chances are preferred. Gallant Express from astute yard and watch betting support first-up from a break. Good View Clarico was not disgraced last start when beaten by a very smart horse.

Race 9: Five Elements turned in a very nice debut run and looks to have good ability. Should map to get all the favours from barrier No 3 and looks too good for this field. California Spangle emergency runner with solid winning claims now he gains a start. Won two in a row as a griffin last season and is progressive. Gluck Racer video replay showed last run was very good when ridden for luck, can improve in a weaker race here. Rock Ya Heart should gain a good run from the nice barrier draw.

Race 10: Sea Of Life nice run last start and looks to be back in good form. Drawn in barrier No 3 can see him map the better over his rivals. Master Montaro was an easy last start winner and must be respected, but he was entitled to win given the race was run too fast to suit his get back, run on pattern. Mister Snowdon faded late last start in a fast run race, chance to improve under right race shape. Californiadeepshot go on the win two starts ago and give a chance here. Beauty Fit go on solid previous efforts where form looked okay.

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