Some quality returns to Wednesday racing this week, with the feature sprint race, the Happy Valley Trophy over 1,200m.
This race was once a Group race but got downgraded some years ago as Group racing disappeared altogether from the Happy Valley calendar, but is still a Class One event and that means some very talented short course gallopers are going around.
One of them is El Zonda, part of a decent book of rides for Matthew Chadwick as he returns from a careless riding suspension.
El Zonda was once seen as a Valley specialist but has changed character altogether during the past six months and surprised everyone with some very good performances on the bigger track at Sha Tin as well.
Last start, from the outside of the draw, he finished a close third to promising Frederick Engels in a good Sha Tin sprint on international day, and now he has gate one and there are no fears about taking his form to the Valley where he has won or placed at 11 of 17 runs.
Elsewhere on the night, Chadwick also has good rides for El Zonda’s trainer, Tony Cruz, aboard Cape Canaveral and Xilai Xianzi
The other feature race at the Valley is a Class Three over 2,200m where John Size-trained stayer Endowing looks well suited. When Endowing won his only previous run at the distance by over four lengths, Size said the scarcity of longer distance races on the Hong Kong schedule was going to be a problem for the three-year-old.
He has since run well finishing second over 1,800m at both Sha Tin and Happy Valley, but the step back up to what is the maximum distance for most horses in Hong Kong is going to suit him even better.
By Nathan Mody