December 14, 2017

Horses to watch during the International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley

Twelve world-class riders will compete in the International Jockey Championship at Happy Valley (photo courtesy of the Hong Kong Jockey Club)

Early risers throughout North America will want to check out tomorrow’s International Jockeys’ Championship, which will be held during the evening hours Wednesday at Happy Valley in Hong Kong.

Defending champion Hugh Bowman, the regular rider of Australian super mare Winx, is back in the competition as is the dominating Ryan Moore and the U.S.-based Flavien Prat. I think another jockey will emerge on top at the end of the four-race competition, that is if the following spot plays run to our expectations.

Race 4 — 7:10 a.m. (EST)

#12 MONEY WINNER stretches out a bit after rallying for minor awards at shorter trips in September and early October. Standout local rider Joao Moreria takes the reins for the first time after a couple lackluster runs from the gray gelding at Sha Tin.

Race 5 — 7:40 a.m. (EST)

#1 JOLLY BOUNTIFUL is co-topweight here for trainer John Size, who saddled two of the four Jockeys’ Championship race winners last year. The lightly-raced bay didn’t get a clear run when third as the favorite at Sha Tin last time, but has placed in all five career starts including one previous try at Happy Valley.

Race 7 — 8:40 a.m. (EST)

#3 CURLING LUXURY adores Happy Valley, where he’s won three of six. In comparison, he’s run out of the money in all but one start at Sha Tin. A winner in two of his last three and with valid excuses for his dull try on November 11, he’ll be tough if he can overcome barrier 12 under Moreria, who’s the pick here to keep the Jockeys’ Championship prize in local hands.

Race 8 — 9:10 a.m. (EST)

#7 KIRAM, just 1-for-30 lifetime in Hong Kong, has a better record at the Valley, where he’s won or placed in five of 10 starts. Narrowly missed at this level two back, and came out of a tough-trip ninth lame when last seen October 18. Also worth noting he missed by a short head in a 2016 Jockeys’ Championship race. Return of jockey Karis Teetan a plus.

Get your wagers in early at TwinSpires.com, where the races can also be viewed. Good luck!

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