How to bet the Hong Kong Sprint
Among the four Hong Kong International Races taking place on Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse, the most difficult to handicap is surely the Hong Kong Sprint (G1), in which 14 talented speedsters will square off over 1,200 meters.
No matter how the race unfolds, the payoffs figure to be lucrative. There are at least half a dozen viable win contenders in the mix (probably more), and finding a horse to confidently build wagers around is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Most folks figure to land on #2 Hot King Prawn as the most reliable runner, and understandably so. A four-time group stakes winner, Hot King Prawn has hit the board in 20 of his 21 starts, including when runner-up by a neck in the 2019 Hong Kong Sprint. He enters the 2020 renewal in fine form, having rallied from just off the pace to win the 1,200-meter Jockey Club Sprint (G2) at Sha Tin. With Hong Kong’s leading rider Joao Moreira in the saddle, Hot King Prawn is an obvious choice to vie for victory.
#1 Classique Legend is another logical contender, albeit one with a big question to answer. Formerly based in Australia, where he won The Everest on Oct. 17, Classique Legend has displayed improving form and is thoroughly effective over 1,200 meters. But the Hong Kong Sprint will mark his first start outside of Australia (and his first start under the care of Hong Kong-based trainer Caspar Fownes), so it’s hard to gauge how Classique Legend will fare.
A wildcard in the Hong Kong Sprint field is #12 Amazing Star, who has improved by leaps and bounds over the last year. A formidable front-runner with the ability to set a fast pace and keep going, Amazing Star appeared to resent being rated in the Jockey Club Sprint, but nevertheless stayed on to finish just 1 3/4 lengths behind Hot King Prawn. Breaking from post 2 should allow Amazing Star to secure a forwardly placed trip, setting the stage for a rebound under Hong Kong’s reigning champion jockey Zac Purton.
Since Amazing Star figures to start at a fair price, a win bet will be our primary play. But we’ll also key him in the exacta with Hot King Prawn and the Group 1-placed Japanese raider #5 Danon Smash.
- $15.60 to win on #12 Amazing Star
- $2.60 exacta: 12 with 2,5 ($5.20)
- $5.20 exacta: 2,5 with 12 ($10.40)