Wednesday 8th April

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I hope you are all well and all staying safe.

 
With no Horse Racing things have been pretty boring so today I have decided to spend a few hours on one race at Happy Valley in Hong Kong.
 
It looks like the race of the day given the prize money on offer at 3:50pm.
 
As you all know this is not my speciality I am simply trying my hand at International and simply sharing what I have come up with for free. Take from it what you want.
 
I hope you enjoy the read and at least it is something to read in these strange times.
 
3:50 Happy Valley
 
Selection = THIS IS CLASS – Each Way – Currently 6/1 (4 places on offer)
 
I have gone over the race for a few hours this morning looking at course stats, trainer form and jockey form. One thing I noticed is a low draw seems to have an advantage over 5f, if you have a horse who breaks well, although winners do come from the outside, but it all depends on if the horse is able to get out fast and gain an early position.
 
I narrowed this race down to four horses:
 
The favourite STRONGER can go close here but at odds of 15/8, he is worth taking on. He is drawn well in stall 4 and was a very good winner at this course, back in February, travelling smoothly throughout the race. The reason I am inclined to take him on here is the fact he is now up the handicap 10lb and this is a stronger race. His last start was at Sha Tin last month, and the mark of 93 seemed to stop him in his tracks that day. On the whole and on the back of a poor effort, 15/8 looks a little skinny.
 
MR LUMIERES looks a big price at 50/1 given he was a good winner at this course back in November, at this level. He won with a bit in hand that day and was raised to a mark of 88. Since then he has been below par racing off that mark, but has come down to a handicap mark of 85 today. If he can find his form in November, he would have a chance. His draw in 11 is not ideal as the horse can be hit and miss out of the stalls. If he did ping the stalls and got a nice early position he can outrun his huge odds. His trainer has not had a winner in the last 14 days, from 18 runners and has only had two horses placed, which is less than ideal. Seen worse bets at the odds but happy to look elsewhere.
 
HONG KONG BET has been running well in defeat on his last two runs at this course. On his penultimate start he was 3rd of 10, beaten just 3/4 of a length and then on his last start 4th of 14. Both runs were over 6f and the drop back to 5f, could bring out improvement, given the last time he ran over the trip was at Happy Valley, back in July, when winning. He won well that day but it was off a mark of 79. I expect him to place again but not sure he is good enough to win off a mark of 88. His trainer had a couple of winners at Sha Tin on Wednesday so his form coming into the race looks solid. He is drawn in 6 which looks ideal and should not be far away.
 
THIS IS CLASS looks like an improving horse who still has plenty more to come. He has run 3 times this season, all at Happy Valley with his form reading 211. All three runs were over 6f, so is down in trip but after reading the race comments from two of his runs, ”just holding on” and ”headed 100 yards out”, I am inclined to think the step down in trip will be appreciated. He has gone up the handicap from a mark of 66 to 83 but could still be unexposed. Looking at his draw in 10, you would immediately think he is badly drawn but given he gets out of the stalls very well, as he has made all of his last two starts, he should be able to get a nice early position. His trainer has had a winner at the last two meetings at Sha Tin, so his horses seem to be in good form. 
 
VERDICT
 
I think Stronger is the right favourite but I do feel his odds a short enough, especially carrying 9st 4lb. 
 
Lumiere will need to get out of the stalls fast if he is to overcome stall 11, something he does not do consistently. I have seen worse 50/1 shots so with 4 places on offer he could be a small E/W bet.
 
Hong Kong Bet is sure to be involved but I believe another place awaits him.
 
That leaves THIS IS CLASS who is carrying just 8st 8lb and is improving with each start. He is 10lb better off at the weights with the favourite which could prove the difference. He is fast out of the stalls so should be able to overcome his draw in 10. With 4 places on offer, I am happy to take the 6/1 available. Given he stays that bit further they will try to go straight to the front from a wide draw and if he can pull it off, he will be hard to catch in front.
 
Good Luck and hope you all stay safe.
 

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