Hong Kong Preview: Packing Award to deliver
#6 Packing Award can continue his great form and hold off two horses returning from Hong Kong classic company in the Hang Hau Handicap at Happy Valley April 20.
The 1,650-meter (about 1 mile, 55 yards) contest has attracted two horses that didn’t prove competitive in the 4-Year-Old Series through February and March, #2 Gorytus and #3 Rocket Spade. Gorytus won four starts back in Class 3 company at this track, while the former New Zealand Derby (G1) winner Rocket Spade’s best effort in Hong Kong was a fourth at Happy Valley in a Class 2 contest.
However, both will have to give eight pounds to Packing Award, who is seeking his third victory in a row. Both were at Happy Valley at this distance, on Feb. 23 in Class 4 and on March 23 in Class 3. He is up seven pounds in the ratings, but he looks well capable of dealing with that.
The other horse seeking a third consecutive victory is #5 Red Majesty. He led all the way for a narrow victory March 2, and then came from just off the speed to win again March 16. In both, he showed plenty of fight when challenging, and that attitude will serve him well here again.
Gorytus and Rocket Spade should be respected, while another to watch could be #9 Dr Winning. He finished quickly after being held up on the turn at his last start on April 6, and could well get closer if he can find a clear path.
Happy Valley, April 20, Race 9, Hang Hau Handicap (Class 3, 1,650 meters)
Bonus Play – New Zealand
Pukekohe, April 23, Race 7, Easter Handicap (G3)
- $10 win/$30 place: Demonetization: Won this race easily last year. On home track and will be especially hard to beat if there is any rain during the week.