Hong Kong Preview: Igniting ready to fire at Happy Valley
The ever-consistent #6 Igniting looks set to resume with a bold performance in the Wong Chuk Hang Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
Igniting improved throughout the 2020-21 Hong Kong season, graduating to Class 2 company with two victories and a string of solid efforts, finishing further back than fifth just once in his 10 starts.
He also showed himself capable of a solid first-up effort last season, just being nosed out of second in a race won by subsequent Hong Kong Derby victor Sky Darci.
With a very nice barrier draw of 2 on the tight Happy Valley circuit, Igniting should be extremely hard to topple.
If #10 Loving a Boom isn’t somewhere near the leaders it would surprise. Amazingly, he finished second five times and third twice last season without managing to win a race. Victory would be popular, but as a closer he isn’t always suited by Happy Valley.
Don’t be put off by the long last-place finish that #4 Harmony and Rich registered at his final start for the 2020-21 season when considering this race. It came on the Sha Tin all-weather surface, which he also failed on earlier in the season. On the Happy Valley turf, his form was excellent.
Barrier 7 won’t help Harmony and Rich but he has great early speed and he will be hard to get past.
The best of the others looks to be #12 Sight Success. He is unproven at Class 2 level but he does race well after a break, as he showed when winning his first three races in Hong Kong last season. With Joao Moreira in the saddle, he should run well and must be considered for exotics, though he does have barrier 11 to contend with.
Hong Kong, Race #8 at Happy Valley:
$5 win, $10 show: #6 Igniting.
50-cent trifecta: #4, #6 with #4, #6, #10, #12 with #4, #6, #10, #12
BONUS PLAY – NEW ZEALAND
$5 win and show: #1 Hey Hey Hey, Race 4 at Otaki, Thursday: Uncharacteristically bad around the corners at its last start. Previous form was very solid and should bounce back here.