Hong Kong Spot Plays: Betting On a Moreira Double

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TwinSpires Staff

May 28th, 2019

by J. Keeler Johnson Jockey Joao Moreira has been acclaimed as one of the greatest jockeys in the world, and I’ll be heavily relying on his skills when I play the Wednesday card at Happy Valley in Hong Kong. The eight-race card kicks off at 7:15 a.m. (EDT), but I’ll wait half an hour before jumping in for the second and third races, which strike me as among the most interesting events on the card. Let’s dig in and look for a couple of price plays…. Race 2: Kam Tin River Handicap (Class 5) - 7:45 a.m. #3 Very Sweet Orange has never won a race, but there are a few reasons to believe this gelded son of Exceed and Excel can break through on Wednesday. For one, he’s cutting back to 1,000 meters after a series of pace-setting efforts going 1,200 meters, and some of Very Sweet Orange’s best efforts have come over 1,000 meters. Secondly, he’s dropping down from Class 4 company into a Class 5 race. Thirdly, he’s switching from the all-weather track at Sha Tin (where has never run particularly well) to the turf course at Happy Valley, where he fired off arguably the best race of his career back in March. Toss in the services of top jockey Joao Moreira, and I think Very Sweet Orange has a live chance to win. $10.4 to win on #3 Very Sweet Orange   Race 3: Lam Tsuen River Handicap (Class 4) – 8:15 a.m. #10 The Joy of Giving slips into this race carrying just 114 pounds, 19 less than #1 King’s Man and 18 less than #2 Happy Rocky. But is such a wide spread warranted? The Joy of Giving boasts a win and two seconds from four starts going 2,200 meters, and two starts back he produced a big finish (final half-mile in :47.63) to finish just 1 3/4 lengths behind Happy Rocky in a Class 4 over this distance at Conghua. Draw a line through his latest effort, a troubled run going just 1,650 meters, and it’s not hard to envision The Joy of Giving rebounding in a big way while returning to his preferred trip. Joao Moreira has the mount, and take note, Moreira is 2-for-2 aboard The Joy of Giving, guiding him to a pair of wins at Happy Valley during the winter, including one going 2,200 meters. Let’s bet The Joy of Giving to win and play him in the Quinella with Happy Rocky: $10.4 to win on #10 The Joy of Giving $5.2 Quinella: 2,10 Good luck!   Happy Valley Racecourse (c) Vance Hanson