Hong Kong racing preview, tips and picks, April 26, 2020

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This is our preview for the Hong Kong thoroughbred meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday, April 26, 2020, a 10-race card featuring three group 1 races: the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, Champion’s Mile and the QEII Cup.

This sits alongside International Day in December and Hong Kong Derby day as one of the biggest days on the HK racing calendar.

 And there is another interesting battle within a battle to watch throughout the day as defending champion Zac Purton and former champion Joao Moreira resume their battle for the HK jockey’s title, with Moreira leading 104 winners to Purton’s 103 with a couple of months of the season to go.

 It has been a fascinating duel between two master riders, with Moreira looking to reclaim his mantle as top dog in HK.


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Purton and Moreira look to have a mortgage on the three main races of the day, as they are on the first and second favourites in each of the Group 1s.

We have examined the three Group 1 races  so read on for our free Hong Kong racing tips for Sunday, April 26, 2020.

 

Sha Tin, race 5: The Chairman’s Sprint Prize, 2.50pm local time (1200m)

This is the race for the speed machines of Hong Kong racing, and bookmakers see it as a match race between the old champ 1. Hot King Prawn (Moreria) and the rising star 11. Aethero (Purton). In a race boasting prizemoney of  $HK18 million ($US2.32 million), we don’t see it as just between that pair, though they both have impressive credentials. The John Moore-trained Aethero has won five of his eight starts and beat Hot King Prawn home in the Group 2 JC Sprint over this course and distance before running third in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint in December, with Hot King Prawn second.  Hot King Prawn is a star with 10 wins and six placings from only 17 starts and has drawn the rails here. We think he is well suited at the weights.

Suggested bet: Hot King Prawn to win at around the $3 mark but if there is to be a boilover it could come from another ageing star in 3. Mr Stunning, who has the services of star South African hoop Karis Teetan. Mr Stunning was beaten only narrowly by the first pair in the HK Sprint and is a quality performer.

Sha Tin, race 7: The FWD Champions Mile, 4pm local time (1600m)

Australians Zac Purton trainer John Moore have Hong Kong’s champion galloper 1. Beauty Generation gunning for a third consecutive win in this prestigious race worth $HK20 million. Beauty Generation should push forward from gate five and be in the firing line throughout. His biggest danger in this race is the John Size-trained 2. Waikuku, which is another outstanding galloper and should settle in behind the favourite from a widish draw. It should be pointed out that Waikuku has finished ahead of Beauty Generation four times in races and finished behind him only twice, though they are at level weights this time. The new kid on the block is the four-year-old 6. More Than This, which has won seven of his 13 starts but has yet to tackle this type of quality. He has Karis Teetan aboard which will help his cause no end.

Suggested bet: We will try More Than This each-way at 12-1 or so but this is really a race just to watch and marvel at a true warrior in Beauty Generation. We want to see him win for his trainer John Moore, who will bow out of HK racing after 45 years because of the HK Jockey Club’s compulsory retirement age of 70.

Sha Tin, race 8: The FWD QEII Cup, 4.40pm local time (2000m)

The richest race of the day with prizemoney of  $HK25 million (US3.23 million), and it’s a little disappointing that it has attracted only a small field. That is largely down to the travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trainer Tony Cruz has a powerful hand in this race with the top three horses in the betting: 1. Exultant, 2. Time Warp and 3. Furore. The topweight Exultant is a red-hot favourite at around $1.40 for Purton and has an imposing record of 11 wins and 11 placings from 27 starts. He has not started since being beaten as a $1.20 favourite over this track and distance in the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup in February. The victor on that occasion was Time Warp for Moreira and the Brazilian champ takes the ride again this time. The third of the Cruz runners Furore has been well backed in pre-post markets, and Teetan takes the mount. The other four runners are at 25-1 and more, but don’t forget the old adage about upsets in small fields in horse racing.

Suggested bet: We really think the Cruz runners are a cut above this time. Exultant should win comfortably this time but the lack of pace in the race could count against him again. For that reason we will back Furore because as a five-year-old with only 19 previous starts he still has some upside.

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