Sha Tin On Sunday – Avdulla Hopes Love Will Prevail

Sha Tin first due off @ 06h45

Brenton Avdulla hopes Howdeepisyourlove can add further lustre to a flourishing season when he partners John Size’s sprinter in the HK$5.35 million Gr2 Sprint Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Brenton Avdulla has 24 Hong Kong wins this season (Pic – HKJC)

Riding in peak form after a pair of elite victories last month aboard California Spangle – the Gr1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin on 10 March and the Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai last Saturday (30 March) – Avdulla has posted 24 wins in Hong Kong this season.

The Australian hopes Howdeepisyourlove can prevail this weekend against a field topped by Lucky Sweynesse as well as Lucky With You, Duke Wai, Flying Ace, Adios, Whizz Kid, Invincible Sage, Packing Treadmill, Nervous Witness and Tomodachi Kokoroe.

Howdeepisyourlove has drawn barrier 10 (Pic – HKJC)

“Howdeepisyourlove is racing really well. Obviously, he didn’t miss by far the other day (beaten by a nose when second to Flying Ace),” Avdulla said. “He’s drawn a bit awkwardly (10), but I think he deserves his chance at this level and I’m sure he’ll measure up. He’s honest and now he’s back to the sprint trips, he’s racing really well.

“I’ve got no doubt he can put his best foot forward and run really well.

“I don’t think there’s much between the horses when you get to Class 1 or a bit better level here. Class 1 horses – they’re good horses anywhere. I expect he will continue to improve. He’s still only lightly raced, and I think he’s got plenty of upside still available.”

Avdulla believes barrier 10 is largely irrelevant because of Howdeepisyourlove’s racing pattern.

“He’s not quick early any way. The barrier won’t play a factor. He’ll probably be back a little bit. He’ll settle and relax, and I hope there’ll be a good speed.,” he said.

Andrea Atzeni rides Lucky With You and Super Sunny Sing this weekend (Pic – HKJC)

Entrenched in the Hong Kong jockeys’ championship top five with 34 wins behind Zac Purton (87), Karis Teetan (60), Hugh Bowman (42) and Angus Chung (36), Andrea Atzeni will partner Frankie Lor-trained Lucky With You in the Sprint Cup.

“He’s obviously a good ride. Hopefully we don’t get any rain. I think if the track is fast, we’ve got a nice draw (3) – he’s been very consistent – if he turns up, he’ll be there or thereabouts,” the Italian said.

Lucky With You has twice finished second at Group 1 level at Sha Tin this season behind Lucky Sweynesse in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint on 10 December before chasing home Victor The Winner in the Centenary Sprint Cup on 28 January.

Atzeni will partner Super Sunny Sing in the HK$5.35 million Gr2 Chairman’s Trophy on Sunday when Chris So’s galloper searches for his fourth course and distance victory from six attempts despite drawing barrier 13.

“The draw is a challenge, it’s not ideal,” Atzeni said.

Russian Emperor heads the field with 128lb, while Beauty Eternal, Beauty Joy, Sword Point, Nimble Nimbus, Red Lion, Encountered, Healthy Happy, Money Catcher, Taj Dragon, Happy Together, Super Sunny Sing and The Best Peach will all carry 123lb.

Sunday’s 10-race card at Sha Tin starts with the Class 5 Severn Handicap at 06h45.

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