Hong Kong Preview: Princely Return to Form Likely
Beaten in two recent starts, #1 Chancheng Prince looks set to bounce back and win the Sha Tin Hoi Handicap over 1650m (just over one mile) at Sha Tin’s All-Weather track meet Dec. 29.
The American-bred son of Carpe Diem had started to disappoint until he was switched to the All-Weather track four starts back and paired with jockey Ruan Maia. He promptly won his next two starts prior to being asked to run on turf at Happy Valley in Class 2 company, finishing a good fifth.
At his last start he was well-beaten in eighth place on the All-Weather Dec. 5, but that was a Class 2 race over 1200m (about six furlongs) and was under the guidance of Alexis Badel.
This week he is reunited with Maia, who seems to have a very good association with the horse, and he looks very well placed in his return to Class 3 company.
The two in-form horses opposing him are #3 Ultra Express and #6 Infinite Power. They raced each other at the same Dec. 5 meeting, with Infinite Power leading all the way, but the winner was receiving 17 pounds from Ultra Express that day, and the difference is down to 13 pounds this week.
With Ultra Express getting barrier one and Infinite Power in the outside gate of 12, there is every chance Ultra Express turns the tables on his rival. But Ultra Express was decisively beaten by Chancheng Prince earlier this season, and he might struggle to reverse that result here.
#2 Beauty Fit could be an interesting prospect for exotics. He hasn’t run on the Sha Tin All-Weather before, but he has shown useful form at times on turf in Class 2 company and may be a good prospect here.
#5 Turin Redstar, #7 Ready Player One, #10 Party Everyday, and #12 Skyey Supreme look to be other good options for exotics.
Sha Tin All-Weather, Wednesday Dec. 29, Race 7
- $10 win/$20 show: #1 Chancheng Prince ($30).
- 50c trifecta: 1,3 with 1,3,6 with 1,2,3,5,6,7,10,12 ($12).
BONUS PLAY – NEW ZEALAND
Taupo, Wednesday Dec. 29, Race 5, $10 win/$20 show: #4 Habana, who won very nicely last start over two horses that have both won since. Should go very close.