PERHAPS one of the best things about racing in Hong Kong is the competitive nature of their handicaps.
Such is the ratings system with only around 1,300 racehorses in the territory, it’s unusual to find wide margin winners during the season.
A horse that has bucked the trend and has already been mentioned elsewhere is High Rev, a seven-length winner at the end of last season and then a three-length victor in October.
The handicapper has raised him 30lbs since his win in July and will surely be praying he has finally caught up with him when he tries nine furlongs for the first time in the 4th leg (2.10pm) of the IJC.
Despite a step up in class, a 7lb penalty and the likelihood of a wider than ideal trip, you can guarantee he will be very popular with the betting public which will offer some value about his rivals.
The trouble is this looks a difficult puzzle to solve with at least half-a-dozen horses having gilt-edged chances on their best form, and luck is probably going to play an important role in the result.
The one who looks of interest is the horse lurking at the bottom of the handicap, GLORIOUS DRAGON, who may prove much better than his current mark.
This former UK galloper, known as Stephensons Rocket when trained by Ed Walker, has taken plenty of time to acclimatise to conditions since arriving in HK.
He finally got his act together on unfavourable fast ground when chasing home Splendour And Gold in a hot handicap at Sha Tin last month.
With plenty of water sprayed on the Happy Valley turf, he should find conditions to suit and with in-form Vincent Ho aboard, he makes plenty of each-way appeal.
Glorious Dragon 2.10pm Happy Valley