Hong Kong Cup Day Horse Racing from Sha Tin Race Course: Garrity picks 4 stakes with international fields
Sunday is Hong Kong Cup Day at Sha Tin Race Course, and it’s a world-class group of horse races no matter where in the world you are. We are old enough to remember when playing these international races from the United States was difficult, but now it’s easy, and we will be thankful for that -- even if the races themselves go off in the middle of the night in most of the United States.
We have plays in the four Group 1 races on the card, which, like all races at Sha Tin, are on grass. We are expecting good turf in all four of them. Let’s go.
Sha TIn, Race 4, 1:00 am ET
Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Ten stayers go in the Hong Kong Vase, and we think the mile and a half distance is important, as it seems to be farther than the local contenders want to go. That makes the pick 7-Mogul, a 3-year-old English-bred colt who was last seen running fifth in the Breeders Cup Turf at Keeneland in November. He appears to outclass this field -- this looks to be a much, much weaker group what he’s faced in his recent races -- and he will absolutely love the condition of the turf course at Sha Tin, which is a bit softer than firm. We will bet him to win at 5/2, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Sha Tin, Race 4, $50 to win on 7-Mogul.
Sha Tin, Race 5, 1:40 pm ET
Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint, 6 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
A full field of fourteen goes to the post in the Hong Kong Sprint. We like a Japanese shipper, 5-Danon Smash, a 5-year-old who comes off a second-place finish in a Group 1 and a win in a Group 2, both in Japan. Both of those races were on firm turf, but he may be even better over grass with a bit of cut in it. Look for him to sit just behind the speed, and to be moving late. We will bet him to win at 10-1. The bet: Sha Tin, Race 5, $30 to win on 5-Danon Smash.
Sha Tin, Race 7, 2:50 am ET
Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up
This one looks like a freebie: favored 2-Golden Sixty won this race last year, part of a 10-race winning streak he brings to the starting gate here. The 5-year-old gelding looks to tower over his rivals here, and if we thought we could get his 15/8 morning line price, we would suggest selling an organ or two to bet on him. We think he will be a shorter price than his morning line number, so while we will bet him, we will do so in a slightly more reasoned manner. The bet: Sha Tin, Race 7, $40 to win on 2-Golden Sixty.
Sha Tin, Race 8, 3:30 am ET
Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Eight go in the Hong Kong Cup. We like another Aidan O’Brien runner in it, 3-Magical. He last ran in the Breeders Cup, where he was unlucky twice: There is no race at his preferred mile and a quarter distance -- there’s one at a mile, and one at a mile and a half, but no race in between -- and he ran quite well to finish second to Tarnawa in the Turf, at a 12-furlong distance that was farther than his best. He’s sharp, this is his best distance, and the condition of the turf course will be right in his wheelhouse -- look out. We think Magical wins the Hong Kong Cup, probably impressively, and if he goes off anywhere near his 5/2 morning line price, he’s the best wager of the month. We will bet him to win, and will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Sha Tin, Race 8, $75 to win on 3-Magical.
That’s all for now. Until the next time, enjoy the races, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.