Hong Kong Mile runner-by-runner betting guide with form and tips

Hong Kong Mile

THE Hong Kong Mile is one of the world’s toughest thoroughbred races and it runs this Sunday night at 6.50pm on the Sha Tin Racecourse.

It’s the third of the Group one International Meeting races on the card and punters have a real affinity with the Hong Kong Mile.

Since the win of Sunline in 2000 the popularity of betting on the Mile has risen and with recent champions including Able One, Able Friend and Maurice, the quality is always present.

If your horse finishes second in the Hong Kong Mile, CrownBet will give you up to $25 in rewards points.

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2016 Hong Kong Mile betting

1. Able Friend – $5.50
2. Contentment – $13
3. Logotype – $6
4. Giant Treasure – $26
5. Beauty Only – $8
6. Helene Paragon – $6
7. Neorealism – $7
8. Packing Pins – $31
9. Beauty Flame – $41
10. Cougar Mountain – $51
11. Romantic Touch – $21
12. Satono Aladdin – $13
13. Sun Jewellery – $6
14. Joyful Trinity – $34

Able Friend has been the favourite since betting opened, but it has drifted out from $4.80 to $5.50 this week.

There has been a significant move for Logotype, Helene Paragon and Sun Jewellery. Logotype opened at $7.50 and it is the current equal second favourite with Helene Paragon ($8 into $6) and Sun Jewellery ($8.50 into $6).

Punters are prepared to risk the favourite at the moment which should make for an even betting field.

Hong Kong Mile runner-by-runner guide

1. Able Friend – $5.50

Trainer: John Moore
Jockey: Joao Moreira
Form: 133×4
Barrier: 14

There’s no doubting the class of Able Friend which won this race in 2014, but trainer John Moore has advised punters to treat it with caution this Sunday after the gelding missed 11 months due to an injury.

“He was impressive in his work this morning,” Moore said.

“He had a good blow after that gallop but recovered quickly, but Joao (Moreira) did say it was a pity that we didn’t get that extra race into him.

“It was an impressive gallop but Joao was still a little bit reserved. The incident in quarantine delayed his prep and from the wide gate on Sunday his fitness will definitely be tested.”

The former Hong Kong Horse of the Year didn’t get any favours by drawing barrier 14 and that worries Moore.

“Able Friend’s draw is a grave concern for the simple reason that he’s going into the race not 100 per cent fit, in the sense that he missed an intended run going in,” Moore added.

With what Moore has said in the media, we’re expecting Able Friend to continue to drift in the betting.

2. Contentment – $13

Trainer: John Size
Jockey: Brett Prebble
Form: 20×504
Barrier: 6

Contentment has been mixing its form this year with one win and two placings, but it has also thrown in some disappointing efforts as well.

The John Size-trained gelding won the Group 1 Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin in February, but its performance for 12th in the Sha Tin Trophy left much to be desired.

Size believes the strategy is simple and Contentment will be sent forward by Australian rider Brett Prebble.

“I think he’s a very straightforward horse, he’s done nothing wrong. His form’s been good, he’s trained well, he seems confident within himself,” Size said.

“He’ll run pretty handy, there’s not a lot of speed in the race so he’ll begin smartly and put himself up there in the first two or three. It just depends if the good horses that come from the back, whether they run over him or not.

“But he’ll run his normal honest race as he always does.”

3. Logotype – $6

Trainer: Tsuyoshi Tanaka
Jockey: Mirco Demuro
Form: 721×85
Barrier: 2

Logotype
Logotype works well before the Hong Kong Mile on Sunday

The money continues to come for the Japanese runners this Sunday and Logotype looks one of the better chances.

The six-year-old produced a career-best performance when winning the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen two starts back at Tokyo where it defeated Maurice.

Maurice would get its revenge when winning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) when Logotype ran fifth, but that outing was still a credible run and it looks tough to beat in this.

Its odds have tumbled in from $7.50 to $6 at Sportsbet after it received barrier two and trainer Tsuyoshi Tanaka is happy with the draw and its track work.

“The two gate is a good draw for him,” Tanaka said.

“He gave a good response today when he galloped and moved very nicely. There are many unknown factors to be considered, but everything has gone well so far, which is a great thing for us.”

The Japanese thoroughbreds are some of the best in the world at this distance and Logotype should be considered at $6 with CrownBet.com.au.

4. Giant Treasure – $26

Trainer: Richard Gibson
Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Form: 986×90
Barrier: 10

Giant Treasure was one of Hong Kong’s brightest stars to begin the year and after winning the Group 1 Stewards’ Cup it had the world at its feet, but its subsequent efforts have been poor.

The Richard Gibson-trained gelding has not finished closer than sixth in five starts since which also included a 10th in the Premier Bowl.

That form isn’t going to be good enough to win the Hong Kong Mile and Gibson stated earlier this week that he’s hoping the enigmatic type brings its best on race day.

We couldn’t suggest backing it at $26 which is too short for our liking.

5. Beauty Only – $8

Trainer: Tony Cruz
Jockey: Zac Purton
Form: 42×231
Barrier: 13

Beauty Only enters the Hong Kong Mile having won the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile which will be one of the form races.

The five-year-old gelding is a consistent type which has finished fourth or better in its last eight starts. It has beaten and finished close behind some top thoroughbreds during the time which includes a fourth in the Champions Mile behind Maurice.

The $8 on offer at Bet365.com is a great price for a runner which has proven itself on the world stage and trainer Tony Cruz believes the track will suit the son of Holy Roman Emperor.

“The fast ground will suit him more than the track he struck last time. Last time, there seemed to be give in the ground, because it was a newly laid down winter grass,” Cruz said.

“It was very loose and there was a lot of kickback. This Sunday will be much tighter.”

6. Helene Paragon – $6

Trainer: John Moore
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Form: 110827
Barrier: 5

International Jockeys’ Championship winner Hugh Bowman partners this four-year-old colt which hasn’t quite lived to expectations on the big stage.

Despite its best run being a second placing in the Group 3 Ladies Purse behind Horse Of Fortune, the John Moore-trained runner has been smashed into $6 which suggests a top effort is expected.

It finished only seventh in the Jockey Club Mile last start and it’s hard to see that it will improve enough to figure in the finish, but we’re weary of that betting move and punters should keep an eye on the market.

We won’t rule it out, but we’ll opt to back the horses proven in the big time.

7. Neorealism – $7

Trainer: Noriyuki Hori
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Form: 3x61x3
Barrier: 9

Neorealism was given a soft exercise throughout the week and there’s no doubting that it will be ready to fire in the Hong Kong Mile.

The Japanese runner finished third in the Group 1 Mile Championship at Kyoto last start, but it was its win in the Group 2 Sapporo Kinen which impressed many.

The five-year-old defeated Maurice and that form should be highly respected in this and it has. Neorealism has firmed in from $7.50 to $7 and if it can get a good run from barrier nine, it should be tough to beat with top jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle.

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8. Packing Pins – $31

Trainer: Ricky Yiu
Jockey: Maxime Guyon
Form: 355950
Barrier: 1

Packing Pins is a son of Pins which burst onto the scene with three consecutive victories in 2015. It hasn’t won since after stepping up in grade and it appears as though it has found its level.

The five-year-old isn’t quite up to Group one level, but trainer Ricky Yiu is hoping a chance in jockey can change its fortunes.

“He’s a horse that always tries to please you, he tries hard,” Yiu said.

“He’s still holding his condition. The pattern of the races haven’t suited him so far this season, so maybe a change of jockey on Sunday will mean a change of luck.”

The former exciting thoroughbred has lost its touch and we can’t see it winning here.

9. Beauty Flame – $41

Trainer: Tony Cruz
Jockey: Kevin Leung
Form: 64×376
Barrier: 12

Beauty Flame isn’t showing the same form which had it winning the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile last season.

The Tony Cruz-trained runner then ran sixth in the 2015 Hong Kong Mile, but it hasn’t been able to win a race this year and a win on Sunday doesn’t appear likely.

It has placed in only two of its last eight starts and we fail to see how it could make up ground on the likes of Beauty Only and Sun Jewellery which defeated it last start in the Jockey Club Mile.

$41 is about the price punters would want.

10. Cougar Mountain – $51

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Donnacha O’Brien
Form: 526158
Barrier: 7

Donnacha O’Brien is the son of trainer Aidan O’Brien and he has been given an almighty task of riding Cougar Mountain this Sunday.

The five-year-old by Fastnet Rock has won only once from its last 15 starts and it’s tough to see that form turning around any time soon.

It finished eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last month and its win three back at Newmarket is a better form guide for this, but it would still need to improve to feature.

Assistant to Aidan O’Brien, Pat Keating, talked about the hopes of both Highland Reel and Cougar Mountain.

“Both horses seem very well, and their lads are happy with both of them,” Keating said.

It would be an incredible story if Cougar Mountain was to win, but the betting drift from $34 to $51 tells us all we need to know.

11. Romantic Touch – $21

Trainer: Tony Cruz
Jockey: Matthew Chadwick
Form: 574402
Barrier: 4

Romantic Touch has been specked at odds after running second in the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile last start.

The Northern Meteor gelding has firmed in from $31 to $21 and remains an each way chance if it can replicate than form from last month.

The problem for punters is that it hasn’t won since November of 2015 and trainer Tony Cruz hasn’t given punters the green light they needed.

“Romantic Touch is a horse that likes give in the ground and it’s looking like it will be fast on Sunday,” Cruz said.

With conditions going against it, Romantic Touch looks well-held in the Hong Kong Mile.

12. Satono Aladdin – $13

Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee
Jockey: Yuga Kawada
Form: 314×15
Barrier: 8

The five-year-old son of Deep Impact has solid form coming into this with a fifth placing in the Group 1 Mile Championship at Kyoto last start.

Its form prior included a win in the Group 2 Keio Hai Spring Cup, but that form is tricky to line up and the market indicates it should be overlooked.

After opening at $6 it has since drifted to $13 in an alarming betting drift which is uncommon for the Japanese runners.

Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee believes his runner has prepared well after it worked over 1000m in 1.06:07 on Thursday.

“I think he will be able to gain a good position from his middle draw, watching both horses inside and outside,” Ikee said.

“He has settled well and looks fit. I am happy with his condition so far.”

13. Sun Jewellery – $6

Trainer: John Size
Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa
Form: 7x1x63
Barrier: 3

Sun Jewellery
Sun Jewellery looks one of the better bets for the Hong Kong Mile

Sun Jewellery is a well-bred gelding by Snitzel which hasn’t done much wrong in a limited career to date.

The four-year-old finished third in the Jockey Club Mile last start and its starts prior included a win in the Premier Cup, Hong Kong Classic Cup and the Hong Kong Classic Mile.

It was able to defeat Werther on two occasions which is strong form and trainer John Size thinks it’s a good winning chance.

“He seems OK, he’s only had the two starts (this campaign),” Size said.

“The first race was a very slowly run race and it wasn’t a good indication of any horse’s form, and then at his next start he competed quite normally, he put himself in the finish and he fought out the finish with the winner and the second horse so I thought he raced very well.

“This is his third run this campaign, he will be a little bit fitter and I think he’s got a good chance of winning the race.”

We agree and believes Sun Jewellery is worth a bet at $6 with Sportsbet.

14. Joyful Trinity – $31

Trainer: John Moore
Jockey: Gerard Mosse
Form: 122145
Barrier: 11

Four-year-old local chance which ran well for fifth in the Jockey Club Mile and prior to that it ran fourth in the Sha Tin Trophy.

It won the Group 3 Celebration Cup when beating Beauty Only and Beauty Flame so its form should be respected, but it’s currently $31 in the betting which suggests it won’t be good enough.

We think otherwise and it could be worth a gamble at $31 with Bet365.com if it gets some luck from the wide draw.

Hong Kong Mile betting tips

1st – Sun Jewellery at $6 with CrownBet.com.au
2nd – Logotype
3rd – Able Friend
4th – Beauty Only
Include in multiples – Joyful Trinity

We have always been a fan of Sun Jewellery and although its form doesn’t quite stack up to some of its opposition, it has any amount of ability.

Logotype on the back of strong Japanese form and a market push goes into second and we can’t overlook the chances of 2014 winner Able Friend.

Beauty Only should always be included and Joyful Trinity is over the odds.

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