Yee Cheong Baby will race Fat Turtle and a decent line up of other Class 2 horses at Happy Valley tonight. Photo by HKJC.

 

Australian imports set to battle at the Valley


 

By Clint Hutchison

22 May 2019

 

One of the more fascinating events on the eight-race Happy Valley card tonight is the last, the Suffolk Handicap. Australian-imports Yee Cheong Baby (formerly Neutrality, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden) and the interestingly-named Fat Turtle (formerly Butchoy, trained by Mack Griffith) will clash over 1200m.

Each horse started their respective careers in New South Wales but have wasted no time making their presence felt in Hong Kong, both scoring on their local debut.

Fat Turtle had his first Hong Kong start in March at Happy Valley over 1,200m and was heavily punted into a $3.60 favourite when scoring a narrow victory. Since then, he has acquitted himself very well in two more outings including a solid second to the highly progressive Champion’s Way. The rise in grade (to Class 2) for this race ultimately means he drops 12lbs (5.5kg) in weight, which gives him solid claims to land back in the winners enclosure, especially given he maps beautifully from a low draw. He was a winner over a mile at Randwick, so this trip might be sharp enough given it is his fourth run this preparation, but the light weight will no doubt help him sprint effectively.

Whilst Fat Turtle has a solid chance, Yee Cheong Baby does get the nod as the horse to beat. He too was heavily backed on his debut when starting a $2.40 favourite over the minimum trip at the city course and he delivered on the market’s expectations. Although the form doesn’t always translate from one country to another, this galloper finished second in the Group 3 San Domenico behind Graff, when he started favourite and he clearly has plenty of upside overall. The son of Sebring has Champion jockey Zac Purton on board and from gate 1 he can lead, or ‘box seat’ and he’ll take a power of beating.

If playing the exotics, Tornado Twist makes appeal. In his rookie season the John Size-trained galloper has won three of seven and placed on another three occasions. He needs a fair track and at least a genuine tempo, and with the rail in the “B” position, he is likely to get both.

The suggestion for this event is a win bet on Yee Cheong Baby, who overnight is around $3.00. Also taking a quinella with Yee Cheong Baby as the banker, with Fat Turtle ($4.20 overnight) and Tornado Twist ($5.90 overnight) is a viable option.

Zac Purton will ride another short-priced favourite in the second event aboard Lucky Thought. The Danny Shum-trained galloper had to work very hard when crossing from a wide gate last time, only to be caught in the shadows of the post. In a pretty thin contest, he should find the lead and take a lot of catching this time around. For those that like to play a multi, consider taking Lucky Thought to win the second race into Yee Cheong Baby to win the last.

 

Suggested Outlays:

Race 8:

6 Yee Cheong Baby – WIN

6 with 5 & 11 – QUINELLA

 

Additional Multi:

Race 2: 5 Lucky Thought – WIN

Race 8: 6 Yee Cheong Baby – WIN

 

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