Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hong Kong International Races Picks and Analysis

R4--Hong Kong Vase: Mount Athos
There isn't a horse about whom I've read more positive feedback following workouts than Mount Athos. This six-year-old son of Montjeu has ran well, as of late, as he finished just a head behind Harris Tweed two-back at Goodwood over 14 furlongs and he backed up that effort with a fantastic third in the Melbourne Cup, despite having started from barrier 22. My only concern would be that this race could be too short for him, but he may very well be the horse who's getting hot at the right time.
*Others to consider: The Fugue

R5--Hong Kong Sprint: Lord Kanaloa
No surprises here, as I'm siding with Japan's star sprinter Lord Kanaloa, who by all accounts has looked fantastic while working at Sha Tin. He's the defending champion of this race and in the past year has won every race he's ran except for a G2, which he lost by a mere neck off of a three month layoff. He rebounded off of that effort by winning a G1. Looks to be the class of the field.
*Others to consider: None

R7--Hong Kong Mile: Sky Lantern
It's hard not to like Sky Lantern, who won this year's Coronation Stakes at Ascot over a mile on firm ground. She has won every race she has contested at a mile, except for her narrow loss to Elusive Kate back in July and on paper she appears to be a perfect fit for this one mile trip over fast ground. Also, don't sleep on King Kreesa, who I believe could offer some real value underneath on your plays. While I'd be surprised if he won this race, I could see him sneaking in for a minor award.
*Others to consider: King Kreesa

R8--Hong Kong Cup: Grandeur
It was nearly one year ago to the day that I first saw Grandeur in the flesh when he ran in the Hollywood Turf Cup and I've tracked him ever since. It's true that he's yet to break through in a G1, but he does appear to be a horse on the improve. He had a strong second, just 3/4 of a length behind Mukhadram in the G2 York last summer and he enters this one off of a nice win in a listed stakes at Goodwood. Ryan Moore, who rode him to his most recent victory, retains the mount. My chief concern would be that the original plan was to run him in the Breeders' Cup Turf, but he was declared a non-runner after falling ill. I have not read anything negative about his appearance on track this week, however, and I'm more than willing to take the gamble at a price.
*Others to consider: Side Glance, Endowing


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