Hong Kong Preview: Diamond can be brilliant again
Late-blooming #2 Diamond Brilliant can continue his winning way when he contests the Lung Fu Shan Handicap (1200m, or about six furlongs) at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
The seven-year-old ran several good races but couldn’t win in 20 starts from June 2019 to March this year. But a victory in May seems to have woken him up, and the son of Not A Single Doubt has now won three of his last four.
In his latest triumph, Diamond Brilliant settled just off the pace before striding to the front in the stretch, winning by a neck at Happy Valley Oct. 20.
As he did on that occasion, Diamond Brilliant will have leading jockey Zac Purton in the saddle. From gate five he should be close to the pace again and be hard to beat.
Diamond Brilliant is one of two last-start winners in the field. The other, #7 Gracylove, is up in class after coming from well off the pace to win a Class 4 race at Sha Tin.
He has been very consistent but most of his racing has been at Sha Tin, a much roomier track with a long stretch which is more suited to his late-running style than Happy Valley. Nonetheless he cannot be left out of exotics.
Perhaps a stronger chance is #8 Sergeant Pepper. He won two of his six starts in Sydney when known as Able Hill before making his Hong Kong debut Oct. 20. In a good quality Class 3 race he stuck on well for third behind the speedy Harmony N Blessed and this field may not be as strong.
Debutant #10 You’remyeverything is worth a close look, especially if he’s well supported in the market. He won his only two Australian starts when racing as Biggus, and though 1200m may be a little short, he should also be included in exotics.
#9 Special M, #4 Harmony N Home, and #12 Jade Phoenix are also worth including, though the latter two aren’t helped by wide gates.
BEST PLAYS FOR HAPPY VALLEY
Hong Kong, Happy Valley, Wednesday Nov. 10, Race 9
- $6 win/$12 show: #2 Diamond Brilliant
- 50c trifecta: 2, 8 with 2, 7, 8 with 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
BONUS PLAY – NEW ZEALAND
Pukekohe, Wednesday, Nov. 10 (ET), Race 11
$6 win/$12 show: #7 Five Schillings: Very impressive when breaking maiden in a quick time and should handle the rise in class.