Hong Kong Preview: Force is with Stormtrouper
The addition of Karis Teetan in the stirrups may be enough to get #10 Stormtrouper an overdue victory in the Kam Tin River Handicap, Race 8 at Happy Valley on May 11.
Stormtrouper has been in outstanding form of late, but he has found one horse too good in each of his last three starts. With his rating climbing in small increments, he found himself moved up from Class 4 to Class 3 at his last start April 20, despite not having won since October, but he still put in a great effort to finish second.
He will have barrier nine to deal with, but he has the services of the in-form Teetan for the first time. He will look to find a spot one off the rail just off the pace and surge home late.
Six of the 12 runners in this race featured in an outstanding finish at Happy Valley April 13. They include the first three that day: #4 Seizing The Moment, #2 Roman Turbo, and #1 Be Ready, who were within two heads of each other.
Roman Turbo is the only one of this trio with a decent draw (7); the other two are in the two outside gates at the tricky 1,200-meter (about six-furlong) start. However, Seizing The Moment has not finished farther back than fifth in all 10 Hong Kong starts this season, which have included wins in two of his past three starts. Joao Moreira will look to take advantage of gaps that invariably appear when the field turns the sharp Happy Valley final bend 300m from the line.
#9 Proud Dragon, a close fifth behind Seizing The Moment, could get some of the money as well, as he has a helpful inside draw.
#8 Never Too Soon has the services of Zac Purton and a decent last-start effort for third April 20, while #11 Street Scream runs in Class 3 for the first time after an outstanding Class 4 victory April 13, when he dashed away despite being caught three-wide on the turning track.
Happy Valley, May 11, Race 8, Kam Tin River Handicap (1,200 meters)
Bonus play – New Zealand
Wanganui, May 11, Race 8, RiverCity Golf 2060 (2,060 meters, about 1 1/4 miles)
- $10 win/$30 show: #5 Kingfisher Lad: Starting to look like a very good middle distance horse and capable of extending his winning streak to three.