It’s a strange little meeting at Sha Tin this afternoon. Favourites should take centrestage with most interest being in how Waikuku does as it steps up in distance and carries top weight with the very good galloper’s main goal being the upcoming Hong Kong Derby.

The Jockey Challenge looks to favour Silvestre de Sousa and Karis Teetan. Joao Moreira with a new bandito beard has an ok book of rides with Waikaku looking his best chance of riding a winner. Yes?

As for Zac Purton, it seems like he’s decided to kinda chill out and decide not to have a full book of rides.

After his glut of winners over the last few meetings, and with no ride in the last, he’ll probably ride a double or treble before winging it to Macau to be a spectator tomorrow in the first round of those somewhat politically correct, but lacklustre “clashes” between a handful of okay horses from Hong Kong and the best Macau can serve up with Hong Kong usually bringing home the garlic clams and sangria.

We’ll be taking side bets as to what Macau Jockey Club Chairperson Angela Leong and the powerful fourth wife of ailing casino magnate Stanley Ho, wears when she hosts the race meeting at Taipa.

One thing’s for sure: There’s going to be territorial warfare between the various families when Dr Ho finally calls it quits and which could happen any minute.

As for this afternoon at Sha Tin, below are just some suggestions. Those gallopers that will be backed, but where we don’t share the confidence of others are Hasta Luego (R1), Flame Lilly (R4), Roundabout and Uncle Steve in the last and bothering about the first THREE races. They’re trappy affairs.

RACE 1

Watching brief recommended.

Too many question marks hanging over several first starters tackling the Shatin 1000m straight for the first time. Hasta Luego (3) with Joao Moreira aboard just might need more time. And a longer distance.

Happy Good Guys (2)
Joyful Heart (5)
Hasta Luego (3)
Iron King (4)

RACE 2

Royal Prerogative (2)
Adonis (3)
Striking Mr C (1)
Jimson The Famous (7)

RACE 3

Ezra (6)
Win Win (2)
Golden Mission (7)
Hurricane Hunter (12)

RACE 4

Perfect Pair (5)
Savvy Seven (14)
Flame Lilly (7)
Big Fortune (1)

RACE 5

Prince Of Gems (1)
Happy Alumni (4)
Craig’s Star (3)
Yichun Blitz (10)

RACE 6

Gameplayer Emperor (4)
Strathclyde (8)
Phantom Falcon (12)
Joyful Moments (3)

RACE 7

Thrilled (3)
First Responder (10)
Flying Thunder (1)
Aerohappiness (11)

RACE 8

Could get ugly…

Kasi Farasi (2)
Mighty Maverick (8)
Young Legend (10)
God Of Dragon (14)

RACE 9

Waikuku SHOULD win, but…

Waikuku (1)
Charity Go (6)
Savvy Six (7)
Enrichment (2)

RACE 10

Right Choice (2)
Hidden Blitz (3)
Roundabout (8)
Uncle Steve (5)

PARTING SHOT