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RACE 1

There’s a whole lotta good fung shui involved here with especially super superstitious owners wanting to win the auspicious first race of the new season. Though a Class 5 event over 1200 metres, there’s much at stake and it would not be a surprise if Moreira takes this out. So what else is new? The Magic Man almost writes his scripts for every day he competes in races. In Sapporo, for instance, knowing he couldn’t win the World All-Star Jockey Series, he set his goals on something else: Riding six winners from eight rides.

COME SHINE 1

Here, he can salute on Happy Sound, which is racing down a class for trainer Almond Lee, not someone for whom Moreira does much riding. There could be the Happy Sound of happy local punters if this were to win. It’s certain to start favourite and the race should go according to script. Joao’s script. Include some real roughies in your Quartet. Even with the favourite in the top four, this first Quartet of the season could pay big.

COME SHINE 2

SUGGESTIONS: (2)-5,9,10,14

RACE 2

A tough Class 5 and time to grab some lunch and work out my Triple Trio and Six Up bets. Suggested is checking out Hay Market, for my money, the best return on investment at Sha Tin Racecourse- good service, a very good lunch buffet including a special area for sushi, sashimi and other Japanese dishes plus a great view of the races. Hay Market is also one of the finest designed venues seen anywhere, let alone at a racecourse.

COME SHINE 3

RACE 3

The HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup where the chances can be narrowed down to Packing Pins, Lucky Year, the former “no hoper” trained by Chris Waller and sold to Hong Kong under controversial circumstances, and Blizzard. Lucky Year, with Moreira up, will no doubt start favourite after the “no hoper” has become a winning machine for local connections under the training of Danny Shum. However, if anywhere near right, Blizzard, with regular rider in the popular Karis Teetan, the Mauritian Usain Bolter, aboard, can blow this lot away- like his rider did at the annual pre-season sprint for jockeys. Those little legs go five to everyone else’s one.

As for the Ricky Yiu-trained Packing Pins- Yiu has three runners in the race including Blizzard and Amber Sky-  a very good purchase for the well-known Lee family- and racing down a class, though probably better over a longer trip, the booking of Alex Lai for the ride is puzzling. Then again, as Yiu has mentioned publicly, his original choice for the ride- Chad Schofield- is sitting out a suspension whereas Alex Lai does quite a bit of riding on other horses owned by the Lee’s who wanted him on their horse. Wrong distance or not, this jockey change could be a devious move by Moriarty, Sherlock!

COME SHINE 4

SUGGESTIONS: 5-6-1-2

RACE 4

The first leg of the Triple Trio and with a HK$11m jackpot carried over from last season, it’s well worth tackling. As with anything in life, the problem is tackling with much gusto, but coming up empty handed. No idea what you’ll be doing but I’ll be using Kei Chiong’s ride Peace Combination as my banker with five legs. This is the first of two 1000m races down the straight Shatin course and, at least, Peace Combination, drawn favourably in barrier 10, can take the short route home. The best legs? Probably Gwyneth Paltrow’s.

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SUGGESTIONS: (6)-1,2,4,6,9

RACE 5

The first leg of the Six Up and- good grief- David  “Darth” Ferraris has two runners entered. See what happens when your stable gets a new swimming pool? Trainers throw caution to the wind. Both of “Darth’s” horses have place chances- in fact all his runners today should be around the money- but I would prefer to stick with Super Man (2), Team Sweet (3) and, perhaps, World Record (8) with The Mauritian Usain Bolter aboard.

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SUGGESTIONS: 2-4-1-8-11

RACE 6

Probably the toughest race on the card because the horses are rather ordinaire. Whoever persuades some owners to continue to part with some very big bucks for ordinary conveyances that leave them on the losing side of the ledger with scary frequency have to be admired for their persuasive selling skills. One wouldn’t of course shake hands with them. Your hand might be returned minus a few fingers.

COME SHINE 6

As for this race, one has to put in Happy Fiery Dragon just for his name though it looks to need longer. Still Callan The Barbarian will get the most out of him. The winner however looks like being Unleashed Dragon which will be ridden by the other half of the bromance- The Zac Attack. The rest? Follow the odds.

COME SHINE 7

SUGGESTIONS: (4)-3,9,11,12,14

RACE 7

It’s the second of those straight 1000m Shatin potluck boilers which means anything can happen. I will stick with Flying Force (3) and Lucky Celebrity (10). Winfull Patrol (7) can’t be left out only because he has the Zac Attack aboard and riding a couple of pounds over, whereas for some value, keep an eye on Mr Right (4) that has a few zeros after its last two starts, but has Ben “The Plunger” So aboard.

COME SHINE 8

For the last few seasons, whenever trainers David Hall and Peter Ho use “The Plunger”, the money dribbles in before going KABOOM. And So is certainly not so so in getting them home when the money is on. Like the postman, he delivers. Mr Right is a SoHo combination. Speaking of which, just how dead has this area in Hong Kong gone along with once trendy Lan Kwai Fong??? The 7-Elevens are the most popular eateries in both areas. Those “chicken” and celery sandwiches and bag of Dorritos really hit the spot. Especially at 4am.

COME SHINE 9

SUGGESTIONS: 3-10-4-7

RACE 8

Iron Boy (8) with Douglas Whyte aboard- and a strong showing by the former champion jockey today won’t surprise at all- should go close though racing up a class whereas another hope in the race is the Derek Leung-ridden Sunny Orient which should be at good odds. John Moore’s Green Card is certain to start favourite, especially with Moreira aboard. But the  galloper has been slightly disappointing to date despite showing glimpses of potential. Perhaps John Moore has got to the bottom of the galloper during the off season and seen what makes him tick. Either that or George Moore Jr has taken him out on the town and shown him that there’s a whole new world out there. Then again, if Donald Trump becomes El Presidente, who needs a Green Card, anyway? That country could soon be Mexico.

COME SHINE 10

SUGGESTIONS: 8-4-7-3

RACE 9

Another open race with me leaning like the Tower Of Domino’s Pizza towards People’s Knight (4), Beauty Kingdom (6), Smart Boy (7) and the pretty exciting Baba Mama (8).Ten-pound claiming apprentice Dylan Lo on the bottom weight with a featherweight to carry might live up to his name by making the young rider indeed a Cheerful Boy. But this is just probably me believing in fairy tales.

COME SHINE 11

SUGGESTIONS: 8-4-7-6-3

RACE 10

A tough race to end the day with around six runners with a winning chance. Moreira’s ride Spicy Sure (2) will probably start favourite, especially if the popular Brazilian has ridden a couple of winners earlier on in the day. But Spicy Sure is a galloper not worth taking on a win line at short odds- not in such an open race. Circuit Land (1) with new apprentice Dylan Mo aboard should be around the money from a good draw whereas Merion (6), Flying Moochi (12), and Land Grant (13) are all with winning chances while lightweight Pikachu (14) is capable of blowing them all outta the water.

COME SHINE 12

SUGGESTIONS: 14-2-6-1

COME SHINE 13

BEST BET
Race 1: Happy Sound (1)

NEXT BEST
Race 6: Unleashed Dragon (4)

LONGSHOT
Race 7: Mr Right (4)

COME SHINE 14

SIX UP

R5: 1-2-4-8-11
R6: 4
R7: 3-4-10
R8: 4-7-8
R9: 8
R10: 2-6-14

COME SHINE 15

PARTING SHOT

COME SHINE 16