Hong Kong Spot Plays: Concocting a winning brew
The Wednesday racing action in Hong Kong will take a one-week hiatus from Happy Valley in favor of a special Sha Tin card with nine dirt races on the agenda.
The specialists will take the spotlight starting at 6:45 a.m. ET, and we’ve got two spot plays to help you play along:
Race 1: Shearwater Handicap (Class 4, 6:45 a.m. ET)
The field for the opener isn’t particularly imposing; many of the runners are out of form and/or trying dirt for the first, leaving this 1,200-meter dash ripe for an up-and-comer to claim.
The biggest threat might be the first-time starter #7 Winning Brew, with successful jockey Karis Teetan (a 15% winner on the Sha Tin dirt) slated to ride. Under the care of trainer Frankie Lor, Winning Brew has impressed in a series of barrier trials over multiple courses and distances, most notably finishing a close second in a 1,050-meter trial over the Sha Tin dirt on May 12. Winning Brew held his own against classy sprinters that day, including the Group 1-placed veterans Hot King Prawn and Thanks Forever, suggesting he has the speed and talent to be a major factor on debut.
Let’s bet Winning Brew to win and play him in the quinella with #8 Little Thunder, a winner over this track, class, and distance on May 3:
- $15.60 to Win on #7 Winning Brew
- $7.80 Quinella: 7,8
- Total: $23.40
Race 4: Egret Handicap (Class 2, 8:15 a.m. ET)
#1 Buddies clearly loves the dirt track at Sha Tin; he’s cracked the trifecta in all seven of his starts over the surface, winning three times. Though he was beaten over this class and distance on Apr. 1, finishing third behind #4 Mongolian King, Buddies took a step forward when trying turf in a Class 1 handicap at Sha Tin last month, tracking the pace before rallying to win comfortably under up-and-coming jockey Jerry Chau.
Acclaimed trainer John Moore will retain Chau’s services again on Wednesday, which means Buddies will enjoy a 10-pound weight break, toting just 121 pounds rather his assigned 131. When beaten by Mongolian King two starts back, Buddies was conceding his rival eight pounds, but the story will be reversed for the rematch—Mongolian King will be burdened with 125 pounds, conceding four pounds to Buddies. This shift in the weights might be all Buddies needs to turn the tables and record another victory.
This week's Hong Kong Bet:
Let’s bet Buddies to win and key him in the quinella and trifecta while emphasizing Mongolian King underneath:
- $15.60 to Win on #1 Buddies
- $10.40 Quinella: 1,4
- $2.60 Trifecta: 1 with 4 with 3,5 ($5.20)
- $2.60 Trifecta: 1 with 3,5 with 4 ($5.20)
- Total: $36.40