Hong Kong Preview: Moreira can get Eason home

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

June 21st, 2022

#10 Eason can benefit from being reunited with leading rider Joao Moreira and overcome favorite #5 Lucky Sweynesse in the Staunton Handicap at Happy Valley June 22.

The Written Tycoon three-year-old has been a model of consistency most of his career, finishing first or second at his first six starts.

Four of those starts have been in the hands of Moreira, who guided Eason to three wins and a second. However, Moreira was not aboard when Eason last went to the races May 18, and he didn’t seem to get on with Vincent Ho as well, being unable to finish closer than sixth.

However, with Moreira back aboard and with the ace draw, Eason should be able to get closer to the pace in this 1,200-meter (about six-furlong) dash and be right in the finish.

Lucky Sweynesse has been a revelation since his arrival in Hong Kong, winning four of his five starts and finishing third in yielding conditions at his only other start.

However, he had very little in hand over Navas Two at his last start at Sha Tin and is up another six pounds in the ratings for that victory. Though he may appreciate cutting back from 1,400 meters, he may be hard to back. He should still be included prominently in exotics.

Eason’s last-start sixth came in a race dominated by #1 Keep You Warm, who reopposes him again. He benefited from an inside draw and a great Zac Purton ride when winning, and though Purton’s services will be helpful once more, the barrier draw of nine and his nine-pound rise in the ratings will make it more difficult.

#7 Rewarding Together hasn’t finished out of the first two in his last five starts and should be competitive again for jockey Matthew Chadwick. He has shown great fighting spirit in his races and should be in the firing line again.

If the pace is hot, #11 Seizing The Moment could be one to watch. He was below his best at Sha Tin last start but was in great form at Happy Valley prior to that. He will sit back near the rear and power home late, so the quicker the pace up front the better. #12 Family Folks is also worth a look for exotics.

Best play

  • $10 win/$30 show: #10 Eason
  • $1.30 trifecta: 5, 10 with 5, 10, 11 with 1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12

Bonus play — New Zealand

Oamaru, Race 7, Agricom Pastures for Profit (1600m)