HONG Kong’s Class 5 events are the equivalent of lowly handicaps in the UK.
These races are for horses that are either getting too old – invariably becoming too unpredictable – or are just not very good anymore.
The opening contest at Happy Valley is such a race. At first glance, it looks like a matter of whose turn is it to win today.
Old campaigner Happy Friendship, who has already raced nearly 40 times in four seasons, sprang back to life with an all-the- way success over course and distance a month ago, and despite a small penalty, he could be fancied to successfully follow-up.
That form looks okay on paper, but this time he will have the Moreira-ridden Megatron vying for the lead and could find himself going a stride too fast throughout the contest.
A better proposition for a speculative wager could be the lightly-raced four-year-old CELEBRATION (11.15am).
This NZ-bred import had never been sighted in eight races in HK until a step up in distance to an extended mile produced a glimmer of encouragement.
Given time by jockey Karis Teetan to find his rhythm from a wide draw in a slowly run race, the David Ferraris gelding made stealthy late headway in the latter stages of the contest and could now be at his peak racing over 1m1f for the first time.
An hour later, keep an eye on consistent stayer GARLIC YEAH (12.15pm) who was beaten less than the extra distance he covered (racing very wide into the home stretch) last time out at the Valley.
Celebration e/w 11.15am Happy Valley
Garlic Yeah 12.15pm Happy Valley