Home Estate Planning Hayes’ Boy could be his Strongest chance of the day

Hayes’ Boy could be his Strongest chance of the day

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RACING at Happy Valley in Hong Kong today once again serves up a nine-race programme of fiendishly difficult handicaps to solve, starting at 10.40am.

Furthermore, there has been an anomaly at the city-track over the past month or so, with standard race-times well above average – despite very little rain – and a track bias seemingly favouring horses coming from off the pace and well away from the far rail.

With this in mind, keep an eye on the first couple of races and see if there is any advantage for on-pace gallopers, or strong finishers down the centre of the track, before making an informed decision.

It’s good to see trainer David Hayes back in the limelight this season, after the legendary and former Hong Kong champion trainer has suffered plenty of setbacks following his return to the territory back in 2020/21.

The 61-year-old wears his heart on his sleeve, but has found it tough going over the last few seasons, with numerous gallopers looking potential champions at the start of their careers, only to subsequently fall by the wayside and quickly get dispatched to other stables.

Hayes, however, looks well on the way to surpassing his best total of 34 wins since his return, having saddled 27 winners already this season, and his stable on fire recently, with victories at four out of the last five meetings and a winning double last Sunday.

The stable sends a handful of raiders to the city-track, the majority of which have sound claims of further improving the trainer’s winning record.

Keep an eye on the Hugh Bowman-ridden top-weight Absolute Sunshine, who drops down in class and steps up in distance in the Trans-Island Chinalink Handicap (11.40am) over nine furlongs.

The former Australian galloper is finally in peak condition and looks ready to produce his best.

The likes of Harmony N Blessed in the Kwoon Chung Intercontinental Limousine Handicap (12.10pm) over six furlongs and Star Contact, who at last gets a favourable draw in the New Lantao Bus Handicap (12.40pm) over the extended mile, can also both go close, given some luck.

Hayes teams up with his favourite jockey, Zac Purton – with whom he has just over a 24 percent strike rate this season – with talented but hugely frustrating STRONGEST BOY in the KC Smart Mobility Handicap (2.15pm) over the extended mile.

The Australian-bred gelding has had his supporters tearing their hair out this season, with a series of desperately unlucky performances, and is still looking for his first victory.

The ‘Zac-Man’ has already been aboard a handful of times and surely has had his patience tested, but still stays loyal and this could, hopefully, be the day of reckoning.

There is no doubt his latest form, when runner-up to Winning Data over a mile at Sha Tin, is the best form on view and, provided Purton can unlock the key, he will be hard to beat.


Strongest Boy                   2.15pm               Happy Valley

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