IT WILL be imperative for the majority of racegoers entering Sha Tin on Saturday to make some ’lucky’ money on the eve of the four-day Chinese New Year Festival.
For the start of the ‘Year of the Rabbit’ celebration, Lucky Red Packets – red envelopes with dollars inside – will be exchanged between family and friends, and it can be a costly few days!
The 10-race programme at Sha Tin, at least offers bettors a chance to fill their wallets before the impending holiday, and then look generous when distributing their small gifts.
There have been numerous ‘unlucky in running’ comments about gallopers in the territory already this season… but then there is BEAUTY ETERNAL.
If ever a horse should have won by a wide margin when last seen in November, it was the John Size trained four-year-old, who got into more pockets than on a snooker table, much to the anguish of his supporters.
The Starspangledbanner gelding seeks to retrieve losses in the Peony Handicap (9.00am) over six furlongs, but it must be stressed it hasn’t been plain sailing since.
He has subsequently been withdrawn twice before races; once with a leg injury, and then again after unshipping Zac Purton on the way to post.
His subsequent trials, however, have seen him much more amenable and, if running to his best, he has plenty in hand over the handicapper.
It may also pay to have a saver on the Silvestre De Sousa-ridden newcomer MAGNIAC, who represents in-form trainer Jamie Richards.
This Australian-bred three-year-old has caught the eye in all four trials since being shipped over to his new surroundings; notably when pulling double over rivals, including Beauty Eternal, recently.
Having won three of his six starts in Australia, he is obviously smart and, if the favourite doesn’t perform, he could be the one to surprise.
Beauty Eternal 9.00am Sha Tin
Magniac (e/w) 9.00am Sha Tin