Hong Kong racing fans will head to their Christmas mini-break on the back of an enticing final race at Sha Tin on Saturday.
With Christmas midweek, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is trying a fresh option for the week’s racing, moving Happy Valley to Friday night before racing on the following Tuesday for New Year’s Day but in the mean time, a clash between the promising Sea Diamond and Tour de Force awaits.
The last race is quite a decent contest and the race doesn’t end with the two untapped horses, but punters are sure to focus on them.
John Moore-trained Sea Diamond has won 4 of his 6 starts with Tim Clark aboard each time, and he will take benefit from a first-up win when he was a touch fortunate to get home but wasn’t at his top
Tour De Force, with Douglas Whyte riding on John Size, has won 3 from 6 and toughed it out impressively after racing wide when he won at 1,200m last start. Up to 1,400m is his query even though that run suggested he will get it while Sea Diamond is unbeaten at the trip in three outings.
Elsewhere on the card, there are a number of new horses, some unraced and some with race experience in Australia, Ireland, England and France, and there will be a lot more of these starting out in the coming weeks.
Interesting amongst them is John Moore-trained Flagship Shine, who raced as Win Dixie for Team Hawkes in Melbourne. He has trialled well but faces a tough first-up challenge against in form and race-fit gallopers like Ultimate Winners, Seasons Star and impressive debut winner, Disciples Twelve.
Ultimate Winners looked a certainty beaten when fifth up the straight last start and is the horse to beat but goes to 1,200m and has yet to produce his best away from the straight course.
By Nathan Mody