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Hong Kong: Great value bets, 20-1, 10-1, 6-1…
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Sha Tin: Bookmakers have posted future odds for all races on Hong Kong International day and there are good bets to be found for those ready to strike early .

Three names in particular stand out as way over-priced in some books, and they are all likely to be cut over the next few days. Make sure you get some of the value before it disappears.



HONG KONG MILE

PRESSING
looks like the value bet in the books at this stage, as Ladbrokes have him at 20-1. Quite how they have come to that conclusion, is hard to work out. Pressing is one of the best horses in this field, he is very effioctive over a mile, his running style (prominent) makes him a big danger over a turning mile trip like this, and he is an experienced traveller.

Give him a decent draw, and a 20-1 bet on Pressing looks great value. The Michael Jarvis trainee has won the last two runnings of the Topkapi Trophy (G1) on Turkey, a race run over a mile at a track quite similar to Sha Tin. He produced yet another tough performance when beating Dream Eater by a nose in Istanbul in September, and he has since run third (bit below his best) in the Premio Ribot (G2) in Italy (2 ½ length behind Silver Arrow on unsuitably heavy ground). Pressing is a game and consistent runner, who acts well on firm, good and soft ground, he is 10-for-32 lifetime and he has won five of his last ten races. Over this period, he has also been second once and third twice. What more do you want, if looking for an each-way bet at 20-1…


HONG KONG SPRINT

CALIFORNIA FLAG
can be backed at a massive 10-1 with Coral / Eurobet for the HK Sprint, and this looks almost too good to be true. Of course, he will up against better horses here, than what was the case at the Breeders’ Cup, but the way he won the BC Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita suggests that he can handle some of the best turf sprinters in the world these days. Califiornia Flag has developed into a serious racehorse this term, and he made virtually all to beat a solid field at Santa Anita – where leading from start to finish over 6 furlongs at the downhill turf course is almost unheard of. But California Flag did just that, and he had all his opponents in trouble as soon as he turned for home. The filly Gotta Have Her, another course specialist coming into the race in top form, ran on for second – without ever being a serious threat. Cannonball, who had shown such good form at Royal Ascot in the summer (and also runs here), had to settle for third, 2 ½ lengths behind California Flag, who earned a career best Globeform 121 in the process. His blistering early speed, combined with his ability to keep going right to the wire over six panels, will make the US runner hard to beat.


HONG KONG CUP

VISION D’ETAT
, who is 6-1 with Ladbrokes, is a very interesting runner in the Hong Kong Cup. Having been rested since the Pric de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) in Paris in early October (where he ran below form), he comes here a fresh horse, he is racing over his optimum trip and both the course and the likely going should suit last year’s winner of the Prix du Jockey Club (G1) – or the ‘French Derby’ if you like. Vision d’Etat has improved since that classic win and he proved his class in no uncertin manner by landing the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (G1) over 10 furlongs at Royal Ascot in June (beat Tartan Bearer half a length, with Never On Sunday third and Twice Over fourth). He subsequently ran another nice race when second to Spanish Moon in the Prix Foy (G2), where Vision d’Etat was given a very tender ride and finished well. His sub-standard effort in the ‘Arc’ was disappointing but let’s forgive him that one dull showing – he is much better than the tenth place finish behind Sea The Stars suggests. That said, he was beaten just over six lengths behind the European champion and to call it bad form would be harsh. It was just not his best.

Eric Libaud’s charge holds a good chance in the Hong Kong Cup. He has won 8 of his 12 races, been successful in 4 of his 5 attempts at this distance, and he goes well fresh. Lots of plus points, in other words, and Vision d’Etat is certainly one to consider. 6-1 looks too big and it is a price that makes him an excellent each-way bet.


RECOMMENDED BETS

Three Each-way bets: Pressing 20-1, California Flag 10-1, Vision d’Etat 6-1

Three win doubles & an each-way treble on the same horses / the treble works out best with Ladbrokes (14.10 BTS, 3nd Dec).




Last update: 2009-12-05 09:15:17 (First published: 2009-11-30 06:02:44 )

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