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Horse Racing Trader’s Tips: Happy Valley – Wednesday 20th May

Our expert Christopher Neale looks ahead to the nine-race card

There’s not long before UK racing resumes, but there’s still plenty of international racing to enjoy in the meantime.

France is into its second week of action, while there’s a nine-race card to look forward to at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

Jockeys to Watch

Zac Purton is in superb form at Happy Valley. He bagged a double here last week, with a fabulous five-time in the week prior to that.

But he faces serious competition from Joao Moreira in the race to be crowned Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey.

Moreira’s treble at Sha Tin on Sunday means the duo are both on 117 wins apiece with 16 meetings to go.

They’ve both got a full book of nine rides here, with plenty of scope for twists and turns as they battle for the title.

Zac Purton’s booked rides: 11.45 – Gintoki, 12.15 – Dionysus Collin, 12.45 – Amazing Luck, 13.15 – Be Ready, 13.45 – Ares, 14.15 – Jade Phoenix, 14.45 – Farshad, 15.15 – Golden Dash, 15.50 – Amazing Star.

Joao Moreira’s booked rides: 11.45 – Happy Good Guys, 12.15 – Salto Olimpico, 12.45 – Lightning Steed, 13.15 – Explosive Witness, 13.45 – Monkey Jewellery, 14.15 – Simply Fluke, 14.45 – Green Reign, 15.15 – Californiadeepshot, 15.50 – Shining Ace.

Race of the Day

The highlight of the day is the Class 2 Ho Chung River Handicap (15.50).

It’s a strong 12-runner field, with nine of them having won a combined total of 21 races so far this season.

Amazing Star under Zac Purton is at the top of the weights and he’ll be looking to deliver again, having won four of his last five outings at the Valley. The most recent of those was in mid-March and though he’s been rested since, he should be in excellent condition.

It won’t be easy though. This is Class has a formidable course and distance record. He’s chasing a four-time, have completed a hat-trick of wins over five and six furlongs on his previous three appearances. Karis Teetan takes the mount for the first time, with regular rider Vincent Ho booked elsewhere.

Shining Gem and Larson have both come on this season and should feature near the top of the market.

Shining Gem is stepping up in grade here, having won a Grade 3 handicap last time out. He’s well drawn as he searches for back-to-back wins. Larson’s draw isn’t as favourable, but that was no issue when making all from Gate 12 to win over five furlongs in his last race. He’ll be carrying an extra 10lbs this time, but you feel there’s more to come. Expect him to make a bold bid from the front.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication