Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips for Sunday’s racing coming your way from Sha Tin on 10 December 2023.
Race 4 LONGINES HONG KONG VASE (Group 1)
Trainer: Andre Fabre – Jockey: Maxime Guyon
Andre Fabre’s presence at Sha Tin bolsters the prospects of JUNKO in a truly International start to the track’s biggest day of the year. The gelded son of Intello, who Fabre also trained, has impressed work watchers here, and although disappointing on his only previous race out of France can give the best of his foes plenty to think about.
ZEFFIRO rates the best of a triple Japanese attack on the prize after an impressive Group 2 triumph in Tokyo, while his countryman LEBENSSTIL enjoys the services of Joao Moreira and also needs respecting.
Aidan O’Brien’s WARM HEART faces males for the first time but has a good draw against the rail with jockeys’ championship winner Ryan Moore in her saddle.
Prediction: 1st JUNKO, 2nd Warm Heart, 3rd Zeffiro, 4th Lebensstil
Race 5 LONGINES HONG KONG SPRINT (Group 1)
No1 LUCKY SWEYNESSE
Trainer: Manfred Man – Jockey: Zac Purton
Overwhelmingly the best sprinter in Hong Kong, LUCKY SWEYNESSE might nevertheless require a personal best to remain at the top of his division. He had only a neck to spare over the improving VICTOR THE WINNER in his trial last month, and has previously suffered successive defeats to that rival and SIGHT WINNER.
However his early year sequence of six straight wins makes imperious reading, and just as importantly he’s drawn well while HIGHFIELD PRINCESS must try to compete from a post one from the outer. The brilliant mare has been freshened up for this since the Prix de l’Abbaye, and all other boxes are ticked. WELLINGTON is getting longer in the tooth, is not as good as he was and has changed stables.
Prediction: 1st LUCKY SWEYNESSE, 2nd Victor The Winner, 3rd Highfield Princess, 4th Wellington
Race 7 LONGINES HONG KONG MILE (Group 1)
No7 BEAUTY ETERNAL
Trainer: John Size – Jockey: Zac Purton
GOLDEN SIXTY will bring the house down if he makes this a fourth win on the spin in an unbeaten 2023 campaign. The reigning champion nearly always finds a way to win, but from the 14 slot things could go against him in running.
I prefer BEAUTY ETERNAL, who is perfectly drawn under the champ and is a genuine pretender to this miling crown. The chestnut needs to go further forward, but recent evidence from the track indicates he can.
CALIFORNIA SPANGLE is solid at this level but has often chased Golden Sixty’s shadow. He appeals for a minor cheque, while of the roughies BEAUTY JOY is no mug, and can also earn.
Prediction: 1st BEAUTY ETERNAL, 2nd Golden Sixty, 3rd California Spangle, 4th Beauty Joy
Race 8 LONGINES HONG KONG CUP (Group 1)
No1 LUXEMBOURG (Nap)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – Jockey: Ryan Moore
This isn’t the strongest renewal of the race the locals regard as their prized asset. ROMANTIC WARRIOR will head the market under James McDonald and needs respecting. He rarely fails to cut the mustard at the top level and is a horse you couldn’t throw out of a frame finish at the very least.
There are a couple of recent improvers that can also figure which brings STRAIGHT ARRON into the equation for trainer Caspar Fownes, but in order to win he needs to progress further.
Japan’s PROGNOSIS enters calculations, but if LUXEMBOURG can overcome gate 10 he can win. The son of Camelot was only just denied by stablemate Auguste Rodin when last seen in the Irish Champion Stakes and has been laid out for this ever since.
Prediction: 1st LUXEMBOURG, 2nd Romantic Warrior, 3rd Prognosis, 4th Straight Arron