Down to the Wire Kentucky Derby Round Table & Sha Tin Plays

This week on Down to the Wire, we were joined by two guests (Matt Dinerman and Rob MacLennan) and we discussed our handicapping strategies with regards to this year's Kentucky Derby.

4/25/2015 Hong Kong Sha Tin plays:

Race 2 (Class 4): Master Mind 
In a race that lacks much speed on paper, one would expect Tones to go forward, as he's recently in a similar situation. Lightly raced in Hong Kong, Master Mind has shown potential at this level, but his greeness and his mental struggles when trying to quicken around other horses has gotten in the way. He adds blinkers for this, with which he's looked much improved in the mornings. It can be expected he'll sit more forwardly than has been typical with the equipment change, which may well see him get the run of the race and if more focused this time around, he's eligible to improve.
Play: Master Mind to win

Race 6 (Class 3): Let Me Do
Packing Pins towers over this field on talent, but last time he was drawn awkwardly, he was wide without cover and he struggled to settle. Drawn wide here, he's worth taking on and we'll try to do just that with the consistent Let Me Do. Although he's not drawn ideally either, he is drawn to the inside of Packing Pins, so if they both go forward in what looks to likely be a slowly run affair to start, it is Let Me Do who should have the tactical advantage over the likely heavy favorite.
Play: Let Me Do to win

Race 7 (HKG2): Teofilo Calva
A progressive looking type, Teofila Calva enters here having finished second three straight races and four of his past five. While typically one would expect several of these to go better than him at this stage, Peniaphobia and Lucky Nine are making their first runs since traveling to and from Dubai and it was recently announced that Gold Fun will go to Royal Ascot, and thus has likely been kept fresh before this run, so the three of them could be vulnerable. Peniaphobia and Gold Fun are likely to go forward, which leaves Teofilo Calva to get the box seat run in behind them. He comes here rounding into good form and the step back up to 1200m suits.
Play: Teofilo Calva e/w

Race 8 (G1): 
Designs On Rome is the likely heavy favorite and deservedly so, but he could be vulnerable in what will be his first race since his trip to Dubai and with the step back in trip. The progressive looking Helene Happy Star was two lengths behind the well regarded Luger when fourth in the Hong Kong Derby last time out. It was his first local start over 2000m and one of the few times he's gotten a good pace to run into. With similar conditions likely here, given speedster Same World is drawn wide, he could take another step forward. Blazing Speed also intrigues in that he enters here going well enough lately and he should appreciate the step up to 2000m. Criterion merits consideration coming off his stellar run in Australia, but how he'll handle the quick turnaround and travel after a race that took place on a testing surface is a concern.
Plays: Helene Happy Star to win
            Helene Happy Star / Designs On Rome, Blazing Speed

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