Hong Kong Spot Plays: We’re back at Happy Valley
A few days after Sha Tin in Hong Kong hosted a race meet originally scheduled for Happy Valley, the latter racecourse will return the favor by hosting the Wednesday, October 30 evening card originally set to be run at Sha Tin.
Eight races are on the agenda, with first post time slated for 7:15 a.m. (EDT). You'll definitely want to tune in early, because the first two races on the card are among the most intriguing from a betting perspective.
We'll make these events the focus of our Wednesday spot plays:
Race 1: Wa Mei Shan Handicap (Class 5)
In a race filled largely with maidens, two-time winner #2 Savannah Wind looms as the horse to beat. The son of Savabeel hasn't enjoyed much luck lately while competing in Class 4 handicaps, but his last two defeats both came off layoffs, and he should be sharper on Wednesday with the benefit of an October 1 prep run under his belt.
Even more important is the drop down to Class 5 company. Savannah Wind's two career victories have come at this level, including a triumph over this course and 2,200-meter in November 2017. He's the only horse in the Wa Mei Shan Handicap field with a previous victory over this testing distance, and you can't knock his connections—trainer Danny Shum and jockey Joao Moreira are currently leading the Hong Kong circuit.
Let's bet Savannah Wind to win and play him in the quinella with #1 Happy Hour, who is likewise dropping in class off a series of efforts against tougher company:
- $10.40 to win on #2 Savannah Wind
- $10.40 quinella: 1,2
Race 2: Tin Ha Shan Handicap (Class 2)
There's plenty of speed in this 1,000-meter dash, which could set up a strong effort from #12 Demons Rock. This capable four-year-old has knocked heads with some nice sprinters in recent starts, among them Snap Fit, Gentle Breeze, and Aquila, all of whom have gone on to win or place at the Class 3 level.
Demons Rock has demonstrated a sharp turn-of-foot over this course and distance, frequently sprinting the final 400 meters in less than 23 seconds. It's possible all he needs to win is a fast pace to tire out the leaders, which seems probable since the classy speedster #9 Very Sweet Orange is marooned in post 12 and will have to gun from the gate to secure good position.
Rather than get creative with the exotics, we'll place a hefty win bet on Demons Rock, who figures to be overlooked in the wagering:
- $20.40 to win on #12 Demons Rock