Templegate's Sha Tin Tips: Your best bets for Champions Day in Hong Kong as the action continues behind closed doors

SHA TIN

5.45

TELECOM ROCKET ran well here last week when beaten just over a length in a similar contest. He didn’t have the ideal draw and was closing at the line after not getting an ideal run through. That was his second solid effort in a row after he was beaten in a photo over course and distance in March. He was messed about there too before coming with a late rattle. He has a good draw in stall two and can give another decent account.

Chairman Lo has plenty of placed efforts over course and distance. The Magic Man Joao Moreira is back in the saddle today after running on well to finish third here earlier this month. He doesn’t have the ideal draw on the outside but there’s a bit of time to get going and he has the ideal man doing the steering.

Charge On Won well here latest, winning in a photo under a strong drive. That was a similar level to this race so he should run well but is another who will have to come around the outside.

Sprint Forward isn’t out of it after a run of decent efforts around here including a win three runs ago.

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6.15

CALIFORNIA TURBO has touched lucky with a stall two draw in this sprint contest. He showed good signs when finishing third over course and distance last time from a much wider berth. There was a decent turn of foot in the closing stages and he can make good use of it again.

War Of Courage is in cracking form and can’t be ruled out despite coming from box 11. He was in stall 12 when bursting out of the gates and keeping on strongly to repel the challengers. He goes up in distance for the first time today but shapes as though it will suit if he can get across.

War Room hasn’t been in prime form lately but that could change with Zac Purton taking over in the saddle. He has been off since December but is working well and should be nicely tuned up on this debut for new connections.

Ka Ying Legend won in this grade last time out with almost four lengths in hand. That takes some doing over this distance and he finished strongly. He’s got more weight today but should be competitive again.

Bright Vision held his own when third in a similar race here last time and could have more to offer with few miles on the clock.

6.45

GOOD LUCK FRIEND has the benefit of Zac Purton in the saddle just like last time when the powerful Aussie steered him to victory over this course and distance. That was just his second run so you would expect plenty of improvement and he did well in his public work last week.

Stock Legend was held up from the wide draw here last time and was seven lengths down passing halfway. He came home well to be just over a length away crossing the line and has a much better draw today.

Casa De Forca came home just ahead of Honest Way here last time and they have both bagged good draws this time around. Both horses were showing their best form for a good while and would figure if able to repeat it.

Voyage Star is drawn on the outside but can’t be dismissed after winning as he pleased here last time out. That was in this class of race and over this trip. He did get the run of the race with nobody taking him on at the head of affairs but it was still an impressive effort. He will find those tactics tougher from stall 13 but has a chance.

7.15

LAKESHORE EAGLE came with a wet sail to nail the leader right on the line when scoring over couse and distance last month. His rider got into trouble with the stewards for overdoing the whip and will hope to time his challenge for a little less drama today. That was his third win in nine races around here and he’s capable of following up.

Joyful Heart has been on the premises all season and it’s interesting to see him stepping up by a furlong for the first time. He has been finishing strongly over seven furlongs with two narrow defeats here from his past couple of outings. He won the last time Zac Purton rode him and he’s back in the saddle for the first time since.

Ever Laugh came home well over shorter here last time on the back of a course and distance win last month. That was in a slightly lower class but he should be competitive again.

Great Treasure was forced wide and caught out a little by a slow pace before coming home to grab second here last time. That was a similar race to this and he should be competitive again.

7.50

HOT KING PRAWN can give Aussie trainer John Size his third Chairman’s Sprint in a row. He warmed up nicely for this with a good second in the Sprint Cup here earlier this month. He was blocked a couple of times before rattling home once in the clear. The winner had flown by then but he’s in the ideal stall one and the Magic Man will be hoping to go one better.

Zac Purton will be hoping to put one over on his big title rival by steering Aethero to victory. He has a solid draw in stall five and you can put a line through his Sprint Cup effort when he was badly hampered at the business end. He was right behind Hot King Prawn in December’s Hong Kong Sprint and there won’t be much between them again.

The draw has been unkind to Sprint Cup winner Voyage Warrior. He’s berthed out in stall ten but he was impressive in winning that Group 2 last time and will try to get across. He usually starts well so there’s a chance he’ll make it — but he’ll need to save something for the finish.

Thanks Forever is also drawn in the car park but he was third in that Sprint Cup so is no mug. He’s likely to attempt a late run through horses which won’t be easy.

8.25

WELLINGTON has done nothing wrong in winning three in a row here, with the last two of those successes coming in this grade. Zac Purton didn’t have to pick up the whip for his latest success as he sauntered past his rivals despite having the worst of the draw. He steps up in trip for the first time but it shouldn’t be an issue and that 100% win record can be maintained.

Fantastic Show looks a big threat as he goes for his fourth course and distance win on the spin. He stepped up to this grade last time and battled to score. He has a bit more weight today so needs to improve again. That could well happen as he seemed to have a bit left in the tank under Magic Man Moreira.

Harmony Spirit was a regular winner in the UK for William Haggas and showed some improvement on his second Hong Kong run. He’s got a bit to find but could hit the frame.

Toycoon just failed here last time when coming off second best in a head bobber over today’s trip. Neil Callan keeps the ride and they should be right in the mix again.

9.00

BEAUTY GENERATION is one of the greatest horses in Hong Kong racing history and won ten races on the spin last season. He hasn’t quite scaled those heights this campaign but has been kept to Group 1 and 2 contests where he’s yet to finish out of the first three. He landed a gutsy success in the Chairman’s Trophy here last time when picking up well when Purton pressed the button. Horse, trainer and jockey have won the past two runnings of this race and can make it a hat-trick.

Waikuku hasn’t been friendless in the market despite trailing home almost five lengths behind the selection last time. He finished ahead of Beauty Generation when coming with a stunning run to nail him on the line in the Stewards’ Cup in January. That was over this trip so he’s capable of surprising the favourite.

More Than This is fresh from his decent third in the Hong Kong Derby where the longer trip may not have been to his liking. He’s not won at anything like this level before but is solid and could hit the frame again.

Ka Ying Star was second to Beauty Generation last time when running on well over this distance. He’s yet to win at Group level but has plenty of placed form and is another for each-way backers to consider.

9.40

TRAINER Tony Cruz will be disappointed if he doesn’t carry off the near £1.4m on offer for winning this as he has two leading chances. Clear pick of the pair is EXULTANT who already has three Group 1 wins on his CV. He started this year by winning the Group 3 Centenary Vase before running a close second in the Hong Kong Gold Cup last time. He missed the break and had to come from a long way back, which he did, but the winner — stablemate Time Warp — couldn’t be reeled in. It was still a good effort and he’s got much the best form on show.

Time Warp looks the biggest danger again as he showed masses of heart to hold on for that last win. He wasn’t winning out of turn as it was his third success at the highest level from just ten attempts. The trip clearly suits and it could be a Purton v Moreira ding-dong up the straight.

On form, Furore looks the only one capable of upsetting that match. He ran on well in the Chairman’s Trophy over a shorter trip last time but was never getting near Beauty Generation. He likes this trip but needs to take a step forward to hit the target.

Eagle Way has won a Group 1 but that was a while ago and he was well beaten in a hot handicap here latest.

10.15

COMPUTER PATCH has the plum draw in stall one and can make the most of it. He comes here in excellent form after finishing second despite racing wide over this trip. He earlier won a similar race to this when coming out best in a blanket finish. This is a competitive contest but he should be right there.

Shining Ace is a consistent sprinter, especially over this distance. He was impressive when scoring in this class here last time and could be a step ahead of the handicapper. Stall four is a decent draw for good measure.

Gold Chest found the line coming a few strides too soon when beaten half a length here last month. That was on the back of a good win when his late rattle paid dividends. He is drawn low so could be closer to the pace today and have less ground to make up late.

Transcendent has been unlucky in drawing stall 14 but managed to win from out wide two runs ago and saves his best for this trip. He doesn’t have the benefit of Zac Purton in the plate today but could run well if getting some luck.

10.50

BAND OF BROTHERS has won five of his 12 career runs and has another three places for good measure. He was in winning form last time out when picking up really quickly to score by a neck. That was a cosy success and he is capable of taking another step forward. This is a step up in class but he won’t be far away.

Butterfield should be in the mix after a cracking second in a better race last time. He takes a drop back in distance under the Magic Man but that could be a plus as he’s landed two victories at the trip from just three attempts.

Monica is a solid performer over this trip and was less than a length behind in the race won by Band Of Brothers. He was eating up the ground in the straight and will hopefully time his run a little better this time.

Preciousship has a bit to do from out wide but landed two wins in a row over this course and distance before finishing just half a length away last time. He takes a drop in grade here and is another in with every chance.

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