Hong Kong Preview: Take Note of Phantom
#2 Toronado Phantom can take advantage of a better trip in transit to beat likely favorite #4 Eason in the Bowrington Handicap (1,200 meters, or about six furlongs) at Happy Valley April 13.
Eason is likely to start favorite after a clear-cut win at Happy Valley March 16, accelerating smoothly from a stalking position to win by an easy 2 1/2 lengths.
But he had the advantage of barrier three that day, whereas he has the outside gate of 12 for this race — not an easy task at Happy Valley. In addition, he has gone up nine pounds in the handicap.
A winner three starts back, Toronado Phantom then finished second to the exciting Lucky Sweynesse March 2 before finishing fourth to the same horse March 23, after having to cope with the outside gate and a wide trip.
Though he is likely to get back, Toronado Phantom should save ground from his better gate prior to storming to the line from about midfield.
Eason should still go well again for leading jockey Joao Moreira, as should the horse he beat at his last start, #9 Stock Legend. The latter has Zac Purton’s services and once again has drawn the ace.
Horses to watch for exotics could be #3 Armour Eagle, who had to work hard early and was only 1 1/2 lengths from the winner when seventh at this track March 16, and #11 Mercurial, who won two starts back before finishing sixth behind Eason at his last start.
Best Play — Race 9, Happy Valley, Wednesday, April 13
- $10 win/$30 show: #2 Toronado Phantom
- $1.30 trifecta: 2, 4 with 2, 4, 9 with 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11
Bonus Play – New Zealand
Otaki, Race 7, Wednesday, April 13
$10 win/$30 show: #4 Albufeira: Not far away from the winner at premier day on April 2 despite a slow start and may find this easier.