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While many are still talking about the Magic Man’s five-timer at Shatin on Sunday and that amazing Houdini act to get out of a pocket and win on Arapanti, others are wondering (A) who does Joao Moreira’s form and (B) how and why he has gone winless at the last two Happy Valley meetings.

Will tonight see Moreira make the city track, below, his happy hunting ground, or will he ensure he keeps his powder dry and outta harm’s way and save his best for Sunday and the eagerly anticipated BMW HK Derby Day? You guess.

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Frankly, I can’t wait for Sunday to come along and see the best riders in the world do battle- Christophe Soumillon, Damien Oliver, Ryan Moore and Hughie Bowman- while hoping we don’t see any of those Yahoo rides by some cowboys in the last race at Shatin on Sunday.

Thank goodness for Vincent CY Ho who, on the eventual winner- Laugh Out Loud- outrode at least two of his Western counterparts who had their horses five and six wide and went searching for the nearest McDonald’s.

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They looked like bigger clowns than Ronald McDonald’s and one has to wonder if they will retain their rides.

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As for tonight, Happy Valley has seldom been a track to follow favourites, or base selections on form, tipsters, The Three Amigos, and ratings.

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With races comprising average equine talent and, almost always, some form of track bias, it provides a kinda weirdly lopsided level playing field where even the magic of Moreira often goes Poof and the local boys get a few benefit meetings to ride a winner.

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RACE 1

Caspar Fownes and Joao Moreira very rarely team up, but here they get together with Cool Bean, not exactly one of the stable’s stars.

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The question is the reason for the trainer and jockey teaming up when, usually, if a Fownes runner has a winning chance, it goes to Zac Purton, and if he’s got a previous booking, the ride goes to Brett Prebble or Vincent CY Ho.

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One cannot take this Cool Bean partnership lightly, but I wouldn’t be taking it too seriously either. Apart from there being better winning chances, being the first race of the night, it’s best to watch the race, see how the track rides and wander over to the Beer Garden or Adrenaline and check out the Wines In The Valley promotion and the Group 1 Happy Wednesday Dancers shaking a mean tail feather.

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QUARTET SELECTIONS:(1-9)-2-4-7-10-11

RACE 2

Australian Guineas winning jockey Brett Prebble, below, and Lean Journey went backwards on Sunday, but could make amends here with Timely Arrived.

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The sprinter has being going close over the Shatin 1000m scamper despite not drawing favourably and tackles the city course for the first time. It’s drawn well and should go very close. Fingers crossed.

SELECTIONS:(3)-8-5-2-1

RACE 3

Gold Talent is a moderate galloper, but then again, its trainer and jockey- Almond Lee and Alex Lai- are also on the average side.

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With this race also being on the average side, and Gold Talent being a last start winner and Lee still to make up the numbers that will ensure his trainer’s licence next season, it stands to reason that it’s ready for this race.

SELECTIONS:(7)-1-3-6-11-12

RACE 4

Trendy Win is Mr Inconsistency that puts in one good run and then two bad ones to go down a few rating points before reaching a winning handicap- and the circle game starts all over again.

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As it won its last start, who knows what trainer Peter Ho is doing with it tonight? Ho turns to Ben “The Plunger” to partner Trendy Win, and if at around 7-8’s,follow it. These are “SoHo” odds.

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SELECTIONS: 4-8-6-1

RACE 5

Derek Leung is riding with supreme confidence and having almost a winner every meeting.

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Happy Homing can be one more to his tally despite Moreira seemingly deserting the last start winner to ride the regular “Donkey” Callan ride Baltic Warrior which is drawn barrier 12.

Somehow, there’s a strong local flavour to this race with Peace On Earth where trainer David “Darth” Ferraris sticks with regular rider Alex Lai. Hmmmm.

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SELECTION:(8)-1-4-5-9-10

RACE 6

The Paul O’Sullivan stable is absolutely flying- and don’t ever underestimate the role of Assistant Trainer Pierre Ng, son of now retired trainer Peter Ng, in this success. The younger Ng, below, is all set to a be trainer in his own right some years down the road.

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Here, Joao Moreira rides Star Majestic for O’Sullivan, and which is certain to start favourite, and a favourite that might bite the dust in what is a pretty shallow race.

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SELECTIONS: (1)-2-3-8-9-12

RACE 7

Eye On You should make up for its failure as red hot favourite when making its debut in May. The galloper had a lameness issue but has had five trials and Johnny Size is too good a horseman to race a young horse if not race fit.

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Racing Ace cannot be ignored whereas St Yazin with “The Plunger” up can surprise at some value.

SELECTIONS: 1-7-10-11

RACE 8

This is the race where I am reasonably confident of Moreira turning on the magic tonight aboard the Chris So-trained Let Me Do.

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Having said this, luck in running is going to play a huge part in the result and include No Money No Talk in all bets.

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SELECTIONS: (3)-1-2-5-11

RACE 9

Caspar Fownes backs up Sunday winner Disciples Twelve with regular rider Zac Purton replacing Vincent Ho. Ho did a great job to win on it by bringing it home from last.

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Here, it’s drawn barrier 12, but, stepping up to 1200m and sure to be ridden off the pace, it will be storming home late. Like that Carole King song, it might be too late.

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This is an extremely open race with at least 5-6 promising types competing. This is the type of end to the night where, this season, just when you think you have the Six Up and Treble in the bag, Smokey and the Bandit sneaks up and bites you on the bum.

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SELECTIONS: (6)-2-4-5-9-10

BEST BET: RACE 2:TIMELY ARRIVED (3)
NEXT BEST: RACE 6: ALBICELESTE(1)
LONGSHOT: RACE 7:ST YAZIN (9)

SIX UP

R4: 4-8
R5: 8-9-10
R6: 1-3
R7: 1-7
R8: 3
R9: 3-4-6-8

PARTING SHOT

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