Homeracing

Hong Kong Play at Happy Valley for March 31

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

March 31st, 2021

BEST PLAY

Hong Kong, Race 9 at Sha Tin

  • $2 to win, $4 to show: #2 Elusive State,
  • $1 box quinella: #2 Elusive State, #3 Glorious Artist, #5 Red Desert, #8 Hong Kong Great.

Elusive State can go back-to-back in the highly competitive Cuckoo Handicap at Sha Tin’s all-weather race meet on Wednesday.

All nine races at Hong Kong’s premier track are on the all-weather surface on Wednesday, and the Class 2 Cuckoo Handicap over 1650m (just over one mile) features many of Hong Kong’s best all-weather gallopers.

The Chilean-bred Hongkong Great runs for the first time in Class 2 company, and with 116 pounds on his back is well-placed. He has led from the front on both occasions, but he could find himself in a speed duel with Kings Shield and Magnificent also likely to press forward.

This could give the advantage to Elusive State, who can run from the back but who can also stalk. In his last start Joao Moreira made an astute mid-race move to sit outside Kings Shield and overpower him in the stretch. He carries just one pound less than Kings Shield in the Cuckoo Handicap, but he may well be the one to benefit if there is a speed duel.

The consistent Red Desert should go well again, while Glorious Artist, Righteous Doctrine, and Encore Boy are also solid chances. Watch the money also on Californiadeepshot, who races for the first time on the all-weather.

BONUS PLAY

New Zealand, Race 7 at Matamata

Melarita has had two starts this campaign in strong company and should benefit from the drop in class against Rating 74 horses and a slow track.

  • $3 win and show: #1 Quicken Away
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