Hong Kong Preview: Golden opportunity for Marquis
A winner of two of his three starts in his New Zealand homeland when known as Designer Genes, Gold Marquis faced a good Class 3 field on his Hong Kong debut at Happy Valley Jan. 12 and went very close to winning, finishing just behind Special M and Stoltz over 1000 meters (about five furlongs).
The way he rallied from midfield suggested he should appreciate the step up in distance in this race to 1200 meters (about six furlongs), something that his New Zealand form also shows.
Jockey Blake Shinn has an awkward draw of nine to deal with, but he should be able to find a good slot midfield and finish quickly.
Gold Marquis faces a solid field with a number of horses either in very good form or with solid excuses for recent defeats.
#7 Rewarding Together has won two of his last four starts and was highly impressive in Class 4 company at his last start. He received a nice barrier draw, but he is up nine pounds in the ratings following his victory and faces tougher company here.
#1 Astrologer has also come into top form in recent starts, winning won two of his last three starts. He’s up five pounds in the ratings after winning here Jan. 5, but does have the services of Joao Moreira on his side. The horse he narrowly beat last start, #9 Meridian Genius, should also go well again.
#2 Decisive Twelve, #3 Jolly Good Heart, and #5 A Smile Like Yours all finished out of the placings last start but had excuses after either using up energy to lead from wide draws or being caught wide without cover. Jolly Good Heart in particular went too quickly in the early stages and was only swamped in the final sixteenth, and could bounce back with a more patient ride.
January 26, Happy Valley, Race 9:
- $10 win/$30 show: #6 Gold Marquis
- $1.30 trifecta: 1, 6 with 1, 3, 6, 7 with 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9
BONUS PLAY – NEW ZEALAND
January 26, Hastings, Race 7:
- $10 win/$30 show: #9 Cacofonix: Highly impressive victory on debut and looks good enough to repeat here.