Hong Kong Spot Plays for season finale at Happy Valley

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TwinSpires Staff

July 8th, 2019

by J. Keeler Johnson With the 2018-19 racing season in Hong Kong winding down, Happy Valley will hold its final meet of the season on Wednesday. As usual, it's an evening card in Hong Kong, which means bettors in North America will enjoy nine races between 6:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. (EDT). Let's bring the curtain down on Happy Valley with two final spot plays. Hopefully we'll go out with a bang! Race 1: Kings Falcon Handicap (Class 4) #1 Look Eras looms as the horse to beat in this 1,000-meter sprint. A veteran of 39 starts, Look Eras ran a big race over this distance at Sha Tin last month, finishing fourth by 3 3/4 lengths against Class 3 company. What impressed me about Look Eras performance was the way he sprinted the penultimate 400 meters in :19.97, making a middle move into a hot pace before weakening only slightly in the final 400 meters, which he ran in :22.85. Look Eras has also demonstrated a strong middle move here at Happy Valley while keeping good company. Now he's dropping down to a Class 4 handicap and has drawn well in post position one, which should allow him to save ground around the tight bend. For these reason, I think Look Eras has found the perfect spot to gain his first victory since October 2017. Let's bet Look Eras to win and play him in the Omni/Swinger with #4 Aquila, a promising speedster who has unfortunately landed the far outside post position: $10.40 to win on #1 Look Eras $5.40 Omni/Swing: 1,4   Race 8: Sweet Orange Handicap (Class 3) #2 True Grit has seemingly forgotten how to lose. Conditioned by Hong Kong's leading trainer John Size, True Grit has utilized a sharp turn-of-foot to rally and win his last four starts, all traveling 1,650 meters at Happy Valley. He'll be stretching out to 1,800 meters on Wednesday and picking up six pounds off his last victory, but his strong finishing speed (between :22.79 and :23.19 in his last four runs) suggests he won't have any trouble with the extra distance. Regular rider Joao Moreira, one of the top jockeys in Hong Kong, will retain the mount. We played True Grit in his last run, and we'll count on him to win right back. Let's key him on top of a trifecta with the logical contenders #1 Giant Turtle, #3 Tashidelek, #4 Vigor Fame, and #10 Salto Olympico underneath: $1.30 trifecta: 2 with 1,3,4,10 with 1,3,4,10 ($15.60)   Happy Valley photo (c) Vance Hanson