HAPPY Valley punters will be hoping to accumulate some dollars for the start of the three-day Chinese New Year Festival next week, which signals the ‘Year of the Pig’.
Chinese New Year always highlights good fortune, prosperity, luck, wealth and happiness – and bettors will be hoping for a welcome combination of each at the inner-city track.
As seems to be the norm at Happy Valley this season, the eight-race card is as tricky as ever, with ultra-competitive handicaps and luck sure to play an important part in determining the results.
It could be worth following the fortunes of local trainer Danny Shum, who has his horses in a rich vein of form at present.
Shum, who presently lies second behind John Size in the trainers’ table with 29 winners, is well on his way to surpassing his best-ever total of 54 victories back in the 2015/16 season.
The 58-year-old, who is best remembered in the UK for saddling Little Bridge to victory in the 2012 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, has visited the winner’s circle nine times from his last 57 runners.
He has an even better record at the Valley, having saddled 10 winners and 21 places this season, giving him a 33 per cent win-and-place strike rate.
Shum is represented in six of the eight races and, at least on form, can be fancied to go close with the majority of his contenders.
Regency Honey produced a promising effort behind Show Mission a fortnight ago following a two-month break, and should go close when he lines up in the opener over six furlongs at 11.15am.
An even better proposition could be CHARITY WINGS who has an ideal opportunity to resume winning form in the 12.15pm over the extended mile.
This dual course-and-distance winner delivered an encouraging performance when chasing home Starlit Knight over the festive period.
The winner has since advertised the form by being placed against better company from a 7lb higher mark.
With young Victor Wong claiming a valuable 7lb in the saddle, the five-year-old should break smartly from the stalls and hold a prominent position from the off, before hopefully holding off all challengers down the home stretch.
Charity Wings 12.15pm Happy Valley