Hong Kong Spot Plays: A Remarkable Play for Wednesday

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TwinSpires Staff

June 4th, 2019

by J. Keeler Johnson The racing action in Hong Kong shifts to Happy Valley on Wednesday for an eight-race evening card that gets underway at 7:15 a.m. (EDT) on June 5. As usual, jockeys Zac Purton and Joao Moreira have plenty of promising mounts lined up, and we'll focus our attention on some of their best chances while looking for spot plays. Race 1: High West Handicap (Class 3) #5 Tashidelek was a bit overmatched against Group 3 company last time out, but two starts back he finished second in a slightly higher-quality Class 3 over the same course and 2,220-meter distance as Wednesday's race. A lightly-raced four-year-old son of Street Cry, Tashidelek will be making his first start for accomplished trainer John Moore, who has assigned Hong Kong's leading jockey Zac Purton in the saddle. Tashidelek has displayed a nice turn-of-foot on occasion, finishing in :23.88 two starts back, but he also has the tactical speed to secure a good early position and will carry just 123 pounds, ten less than highweight #1 Giant Turtle. Let's bet Tashidelek to Win and key him in the Quinella with Giant Turtle and the 114-pound lightweight #8 Salto Olimpico, who stretches out after a series of quality efforts running 1,650-1,800 meters against Class 4 company at Sha Tin: $10.40 to Win on #5 Tashidelek $3.90 Quinella: 5 with 1,8 ($7.8) Race 3: Mount Gough Handicap (Class 4) #4 Snap Fit was impressive in his debut sprinting 1,000 meters at Happy Valley in January, running the last two 400 meter sectionals in :21.42 and :22.71 to rally and win by a neck over the capable Gracious Ryder. He hasn't run since, but he'll have Zac Purton in the saddle, and a repeat of his debut performance would make him the horse to beat while sticking to the same class level and distance. His main opposition should come from #6 Hong Kong Win, who has likewise shown good speed in three runs going 1,000 meters this year. Acclaimed jockey Joao Moreira has been in the saddle for all three runs, including a couple of narrow runner-up efforts at Happy Valley. Hong Kong's leading trainer John Size conditions Hong Kong Win, whose recent runs could give him an edge if Snap Fit comes up rusty off the layoff. $10.40 Quinella: 4,6 Race 5: The Cricket Club Valley Stakes (Class 4) Trained by John Size, #5 Remarkable had a tough trip in a Class 4 handicap over this course and distance (1,650 meters) on May 22. He broke a step slowly, had to wait behind horses on the far turn, and then lacked room while full of run down the homestretch. Despite repeatedly shifting lanes and ultimately getting cut off in the final 50 meters or so, he managed to finish fourth by just 1 1/2 lengths while running the final two 400-meter sectionals in :23.69 and :23.60. Remarkable has repeatedly shown the ability to finish fast at the end of his races, and I'm optimistic that with a clean run on Wednesday, he can step up his game and reach the winner's circle under Joao Moreira. $10.40 to Win on #5 Remarkable $5.40 Quinella: 5,11 Good luck!   Happy Valley Racecourse (c) Vance Hanson