Hong Kong Spot Plays: Farewell 2019

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 27th, 2019

The final race card of the year in Hong Kong will take place at Sha Tin on Sunday, Dec. 29. A 10-race card (first post time 11:15 p.m. EST on Saturday) will bring 2019 to a close, with the Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (G3) serving as the feature.

Let's try to end the year on a high note with a couple of spot plays:

Race 1: The Griffin Trophy (Restricted Race)

This 1,400-meter elongated sprint is restricted to 3-year-olds, and a few of these runners look pretty uninspiring without much in the way of positive form to recommend. #3 Lucky Quality might be the best of these, since he missed by a short head when finishing third in an open Class 4 handicap at Happy Valley on December 11. This was a promising debut from a well-bred son of Medaglia d'Oro, and Lucky Quality could be even more dangerous while facing his own age group on Saturday.

The wildcard here is #1 Noble Consort, a first-time starter from the barn of Danny Shum. His trackwork has been reasonably promising, as he rallied to win a 1,000-meter barrier trial at Sha Tin on December 10. Since this isn't the toughest field on paper, it shouldn't take a huge effort for Noble Consort to land in the winner's circle first time out.

$13 quinella: 1,3
$3.90 trifecta: 3 with 1,2 with 1,2 ($7.80)
$3.90 trifecta: 1,2 with 3 with 1,2 ($7.80)

Race 7: The Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (Group 3)

#4 Thanks Forever is 3-for-4 over this course and 1,000-meter distance. In his lone defeat, this speedy 4-year-old fell too far off the pace and endured a troubled trip en route to a third-place finish behind next-out Group 2 winner Aethero.

Thanks Forever will face just six rivals on Sunday, and a return to stalking tactics in this small field can help return him to the winner's circle. Cutting back to 1,000 meters over the straight course at Sha Tin should also prove beneficial. Legendary trainer John Moore has enlisted acclaimed jockey Silvestre de Sousa to ride.

Since highweights #1 Regency Legend and #2 Premiere have disappointed in recent runs (Regency Legend has seemingly regressed since bleeding on September 1), let's bet Thanks Forever to win key him in the quinella with #3 Jolly Banner and #5 Big Time Baby:

$20.80 to win on #4 Thanks Forever
$5.20 quinella: 4 with 3,5 ($10.40)

Good luck!