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Hong Kong Sprint preview

They say the best sprinters in the world usually come from either south-east Asia or Australia. There are no Aussies in this one, so it must be left to the home team surely? Taking the reins for this race is international form guru, Dan Munn. Follow him on Twitter at @chalkbeater and read more of his work on his blog.

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Hong Kong Sprint

Pace often proves key in races up and down the grading levels across the world, and this year's renewal of the Hong Kong Sprint is no different.

Go Baby Go, a prolific five furlong straight track star in Hong Kong, is a standing dish in these top level contests, but despite taking the lead on every occasion he has race over six furlongs, he is yet to hold on for the top prize.

However, whilst his chances of victory are somewhat minimal, he proves key to the chances of the 'Hong Kong Elite', a large number of late-running charges who's hopes of victory seemingly lay in the hands of Go Baby Go continuing his perfect record of making the lead.

With that in mind, there must be some concern over the bid to restrain Go Baby Go in his most recent barrier trial. Go Baby Go has struggled to be restrained all year by Tye Angland and this was entirely evident in the most recent trial, where Go Baby Go struggled to make any ground and impression on Rich Tapestry, who went on to win that.

In the event that Go Baby Go is placed back on the lead, the chances of Eagle Regiment are ones which stand out for me. A winner of a five furlong Group 1 in January, Eagle Regiment has been giving weight away to his home turf rivals all season but finally gets the weight break back onto levels in this top level international affair.

The key piece of form to note is the run of Eagle Regiment in the key trial race for this event back in November. Stuck for room twice on the inside of runners, Eagle Regiment had nowhere to go, bottled up behind a wall of horses with a lot of running left in the tank. In the event that Eagle Regiment was angled to the outside, or was graced with a gap at the right time, he would've been incredibly close to the likes of Charles The Great and Sterling City quite probably with a big chance of winning that race.

Given that Eagle Regiment was giving weight away to both of those rivals, and the whole field, it is quite clear who is the one to chance at level weights, particularly at a large price of 25-1.

Lucky Nine returns after a brief foray in Australia for two Group 1 contests, and whilst he is the obvious starter point for the home team I cannot help but be concerned over just how much the trip may have taken out of him. Lucky Nine looked to empty incredibly quick in his final Australian race, uncharacteristically so, and taking him back in this at such short odds would be of a concern.

In addition, Lord Kanaloa also has question marks over him. A stunning sprinter and miler, it is fair to say that the Japanese raider has not received the praise of racing's mass media that many feel he does deserve, yet his performances this year have left a little to be desired.

Time After Time, a strong fancy for this race last year, is a big price this year but with the pace layout likely to be quick in the event that Go Baby Go does go on, he could also run into a place. As such, his current price with the British bookmakers is substantially overpriced.

Selections
2pts EW EAGLE REGIMENT @ 25/1 (Generally)
0.5pts EW TIME AFTER TIME @ 66/1 (Bet365)

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