Hong Kong Preview: Gate is Great for Wild West Wing
#10 Wild West Wing can take full advantage of the ace barrier draw in the Repulse Bay H. on the first Happy Valley raceday of the new Hong Kong season.
The 1000m (about five furlong) dash looks to be an even affair, with #3 Resolute likely to start favorite in the hands of Joao Moreira.
However, Wild West Wing usually begins his season well and should be primed for a smart effort for trainer John Size and jockey Vagner Borges.
Wild West Wing improved a great deal during the 2020-21 season, moving from a 47 rating to 62. He won three of his 14 starts, and invariably ran in the top three, or not far away, when blessed with a good draw.
Resolute spent most of last season racing on the all-weather track. But in his final start for the season, he returned to the Happy Valley turf and proved too good over 1000m. He should be a force again.
Trainer David Hayes won three races on the opening day of the new season, at Sha Tin on Sunday, and it would not surprise if his runner #12 Trader puts in a strong effort. He won first-up last season, and with just 114 pounds, he should be ready, though his barrier draw of eight doesn’t help.
#5 Goodluck Goodluck and #9 Telecom Smart both have wide draws, but they have the ability to figure. Goodluck Goodluck improved throughout last season and won two of his final four starts, while Telecom Smart did not finish further back than fourth in his last seven starts. As a horse capable of making up ground at the end, he might handle the wide draw better than Goodluck Goodluck.
Hong Kong, Race 8 at Happy Valley, Wednesday September 8 (local time):
$6 win/$12 show on #10 Wild West Wing
50c trifecta: 3 and 10 with 3, 9, 10, and 12 with 3, 5, 9, 10 and 12