A punter’s guide to betting on the 2015 Hong Kong Vase

Racing Online - Tips - A punter’s guide to betting on the 2015 Hong Kong Vase
Hong Kong

Hong KongONE of the biggest race meetings around the world goes down in Hong Kong this Sunday and we have previewed the four Group 1 races on offer.

The International meeting at culminates some of the world's best thoroughbreds in all distance categories and Australia has been well represented this year.

Preferment, Not Listenin'tome, Lucia Valentina and Criterion all have Australian connections and they're set to mark their mark on the world stage.

The Group 1's kick off with the over 2400 metres where the Chris Waller-trained Preferment flies the Australian flag. It won't be easy for the Zabeel colt as current favouritre Flintshire has attracted the majority of support with bookmakers.

Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m)

1. Flintshire – $2.50
2. Cirrus Des Aigles – $21
3. Cannock Chase – $8.50
4. Preferment – $5.50
5. Helene – $34
6. Dominant – $13
7. Helene Happy Star – $15
8. Harbour Master – $61
9. Khaya – $61
10. Ensuring – $61
11. Highland Reel – $6
12. Ming Dynasty – $12
13. Dariyan – $12

2014 Hong Kong Vase winner Flintshire is back to defend its title and punters have climbed into the $2.50 available at Sportsbet.com.au. The Andre Faber-trained horse is coming off a two-month spell after it ran second behind the world-performed Golden Horn in the Arc De Triomphe. The conditions this year look very similar to what it faced last year and seeing as its average odds from bookmakers is $2.57, punters are getting the right price this Sunday.

Preferment is the Australian hope which will appreciate the dousing of rain Sha Tin got earlier this week. The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old is coming off an unlucky effort in the Melbourne Cup and that run should be scraped from form guides. Having your first run in Hong Kong is never easy and some of the best thoroughbreds have tried and failed, but the son of Zabeel has plenty of quality to call on. It opened at $6 in the betting, dropped to $5 after the rain, but it has since drifted out a touch to $5.50.

Highland Reel is a three-year-old for master trainer Aiden O'Brien which ran well for third in the at Moonee Valley in October. The son of has won four from 10 overall and its Group 1 win at Arlington Park two starts back was impressive. The rain will dramatically increase its winning chances which has caused its price to drop from $6.50 to $6.

Cupsbetting.com tip: Flintshire to win ($2.50) at Sportsbet.com.au

Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m)

1. Gold-Fun – $2.25
2. Sole Power – $17
3. Lucky Nine – $31
4. Dundonnell – $67
5. Mikki Isle – $19
6. Peniaphobia – $5
7. Rich Tapestry – $31
8. Charles The Great – $41
9. Green Mask – $14
10. Mongolian Saturday – $14
11. Not Listenin'tome – $11
12. Sakura Gospel – $31
13. Strathmore – $26
14. Straight Girl – $8.50

Former Australian runner Not Listenin'tome for trainer Gary Moore showed plenty of potential when sprinting in Australia, but it has come of age since transferring to Hong Kong in March. It defeated race-rival Charles The Great in May and again at Sha Tin three starts back. That win came by two lengths and although it hasn't been facing the tough group 1 field it faces here, it has been respected in the market at $11.

Gold-Fun is a local chance for Irish-born trainer Richard Gibson after beating a very similar field last time out. The six-year-old held off challenges from Peniaphobia and Not Listenin'tome and that makes it very tough to beat in this. Its winning record of 11 wins from 29 starts has given punters a 38 percent return on investment (ROI) and even though the $2.25 is short, it will be heavily supported on the win totes.

Sole Power has plenty of experience to handle racing at this level having had 53 starts for 12 wins and more than $25 million in stake money. The Edward Lynam-trained gelding is past its best form, but it did win its most recent race at The and it will derive plenty of benefit out of that. In March it was able to beat both Peniaphobia and Green Mask in Dubai and if it can hold that form, the $17 available looks like a great bet.

Cupsbetting.com tip: Sole Power to place ($4.60) at CrownBet.com.au

Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m)

1. Able Friend – $1.90
2. Maurice – $4
3. Beauty Flame – $14
4. Mondialiste – $17
5. Toormore – $17
6. Fiero – $12
7. Contentment – $21
8. Rewarding Hero – $151
9. Red Dubawi – $67
10. Giant Treasure – $101
11. Romantic Touch – $41
12. Secret Sham – $151
13. Danon Platina – $14
14. Esoterique – $12

The champion that is Able Friend will have the home crowd cheering at their loudest on Sunday. The Hong Kong superstar, trained by John Moore, has won 13 from 27 starts and even though it was beaten last time out, it didn't have much luck in running. It beat the star sprinters two starts back which bodes well for this and it won this race last start. The defending champion is at a short quote, but expect a scintillating run in the straight.

Maurice is an interesting Japanese runner which has been well supported in the betting at $4. The four-year-old has rattled off five consecutive wins and those included some high-profile races in . Jockey has stuck with it after being aboard the -trained runner last start and it has been a punters friend to date. With an average win price of $2.77 and a ROI of 62 percent, the $4 looks like a wise investment based on those stats.

The next best in the market is fellow Japanese runner Fiero at $12. The six-year-old is a lightly-tried type having won five from 17 starts and it hasn't won in its last nine starts. It did finish only 1.3 lengths behind Maurice last start and that experience should assist it well here. This race looks a race in two, but consider Fiero for place options at $3.30.

Cupsbetting.com tip: Able Friend to win ($1.90) at Bet365.com.au

Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m)

1. Designs On Rome – $6
2. Free Eagle – $4.60
3. – $7
4. Criterion – $7
5. Military Attack – $10
6. Dan Excel – $67
7. Staphanos – $13
8. Gailo Chop – $11
9. Satono Aladdin – $26
10. Beauty Only – $17
11. A Shin Hikari – $26
12. Free Port Lux – $51
13. Lucia Valentina – $15
14. Nuovo Record – $7.50

The David Hayes/Tom Dabernig-trained Criterion has had plenty of experience racing around the world and it gives Australia a top chance of scoring some success here. The five-year-old ran a credible second in the Cox Plate behind Winx and its third in the Melbourne Cup was a good effort. Craig Williams knows what it takes to win in Hong Kong and Criterion has strong winning chances at $7.

Designs On Rome has the class factor and will be looking to rebound after a poor effort last start. The John Moore-trained 2014 champion has drifted out to a handy $6 price which is better than punters usually get for this runner. It loves Sha Tin and we're expecting the five-year-old to be tough to beat with the master Joao Moreira in the saddle.

Military Attack should always be respected in top Hong Kong races and it's coming off an impressive and hard fought win last start. The Caspar Fownes-trained gelding was good enough to win the Sha Tin Jockey Club Trophy last start and it should never be discounted. It has won 13 from 38 starts and that warrants inclusion for this.

Cupsbetting.com tip: Criterion to win ($7) at Sportsbet.com.au

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