HAPPY Valley’s final meeting of the season gets underway tonight and you can guarantee there will be plenty of celebrations.
Expect fireworks, all-night action in the famous ‘Beer Garden’ and entertaining themed shows on stage throughout the night.
The inner-city track at Happy Valley is one of the sharpest and tightest tracks in the world, think Chester but smaller.
The rails are positioned in seven different places throughout the season, and tonight they race on the ‘A course’.
This course is probably the fairest of them all, being 30.5metres wide from rail to rail.
The tightest – ‘C+3’ course is only 19.5m wide, which doesn’t give much room for horses trying to dash late in the race.
The draw will play an important factor, with horses drawn low having a distinct advantage.
For example, there have been 105 races run over six furlongs this season, with horses drawn 1-5 winning 60 races.
As I have said before, Class 5 contests are not the best betting mediums, being for horses that don’t win very often, coming to the end of their careers, or just not any good.
However, it’s hard to get away from the chances of GOLD TALENT in the 12.45pm.
This old campaigner hasn’t had much racing this season – six races – because of health problems, but his recent efforts over distances short of his best, suggest he is ready to visit the winners’ circle again.
His last victory was over tonight’s trip, carrying 9lbs more, and two recent trials have put him spot-on for this contest.
His draw is ideal for a trouble-free journey, and with in-form Australian jockey Brett Prebble riding with plenty of confidence, he should prove hard to beat.
The following race at 1.15pm is a tight and competitive handicap with plenty of contenders having chances on their best form.
It may be worth taking a chance with the talented PEARL WARM WARM now that he steps back up to his favourite distance of just over a mile.
This fairly consistent ex-New Zealand five-year-old is back on the same rating he last won from, and did finish runner-up over the track and trip in January from a 9lb higher mark.
He is another who is ideally drawn, and his trainer Paul O’Sullivan – renowned as the handler of recently retired world champion sprinter Aerovelocity - is ending the season with a bang.
The former New Zealand champion trainer has saddled six winners and eight placed horses from his last 30 runners.
Works of Art is an obvious threat after returning to form with a creditable second to well-handicapped Go Go Win over course and distance at the end of last month.
Great Joy and Ambitious Heart, who will appreciate the step up in distance, are both worth including in the popular ‘Trio’ bet, which can be placed in any bookmakers which bet into the Hong Kong pools - Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Betfred.
For example, pick five horses – Great Joy, Works of Art, Spinning Dancer, Pearl Warm Warm and Ambitious Heart to finish in the first three in any order (10 bets). If you are lucky, expect a rich dividend. Good luck.
Punters are able to place bets into the Hong Kong pool at Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Betfred shops.
Gold Talent 12:45pm Happy Valley
Pearl Warm Warm 1:15pm Happy Valley