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Happy Valley Next Best Bet - Race 4 No. 7 Happily Friends
While he was still very competitive, racing manners were proving a little costly for this gelding, who had a habit of over-racing and ultimately leaving himself with too much to do at the business end of affairs.
He did steadily improve with racing as last season wore on, breaking the drought on July 14 before going out and while the in-form Fire Ball is the deserved favourite from a gun map under Purton, Happily Friends is coming out of a faster run race.
Against higher rated opposition in a Sha Tin trial on September 3, this five-year-old travelled well when going to the line under his own steam and if Vincent Ho can find the back of Fire Ball in the run home, the 4.5kg advantage could prove the difference late.
Shum Wan Handicap Tips (Race 5)
Happy Valley Value Bet - Race 5 No. 1 What A Legend
All three wins for this son of Duporth have come in Class 4 level and over the Happy Valley 1200m, which included his most recent victory last October when lumping a big weight before contesting his next six outings up in grade.
Chad Schofield has been with What A Legend in his two last wins and did jump back aboard when he came back to Class 4 level to round out his last campaign, finding the line well for third on both occasions, keeping up his consistent overall record in this grade.
The map is the obvious knock from gate 10, hence we need this price to entertain for the risk, however, he still has the best figures in this line up over this track/trip and with a pinch of luck in transit, is a chance in what isn't a strong Class 4.
The Hong Kong Country Club Challenge Cup Tips (Race 6)
Happy Valley Best Bet - Race 6 No. 9 Fa Fa
Stepping up to the 1650m on April 28 was the catalyst in bringing about the first victory for this four-year-old (strong versus the pattern) and with just a 2kg penalty for a very similar race, he was well placed to go back-to-back on May 26.
Fa Fa was only a stride off prevailing in that attempt and despite a 1kg penalty, was able to quickly make amends on June 23, recording his highest rated victory at just start six in what was only his first racing preparation, so there's upside there.
Now to Class 3 level is the challenge, although there were some modest efforts put up by many of his rivals to end that season, whereas this gelding went out on a high and plummeting to a 52.5kg impost, this is as good a chance as he'll get to take that next step.
Tai Shue Wan Handicap Tips (Race 7)
Happy Valley Value Bet - Race 7 No. 2 Classic Posh
Having combined for 12 winners at a strike rate 21.1% over the last 12 months, Zac Purton is the go-to man for trainer David Hall and they did team up back in February with this son of Testa Rossa to prevail easily in a Class 4 with 60kg.
Although Purton wasn't on for the six subsequent outings, he maintained his consistency at Class 3 level, bringing up his first victory in this grade only two starts back before a third behind Simply Fluke, who Classic Posh has a big weight swing on here.
In what isn't a dissimilar case for what was made for What A Legend, i.e poor map, but right price for the risk, this honest five-year-old has the right hoop to help overcome the draw and looking to blend in late, he's in with an each-way chance.