Group 1 debutant Aerovelocity is currently available at Hong Kong Sprint odds of $5 and is a narrow favourite to take out the feature sprint at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Aerovelocity stamped himself as a leading contender for the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) when he took out the Group 2 The Premier Bowl (1200m) at Sha Tin on October 26 and maintained his place on the top of betting despite finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint (2000m) at the same venue on November 23.
Jockey Zac Purton blamed himself for Aerovelocity’s finishing position in the Jockey Club Sprint, but he remains confident that the Pins gelding can record his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Hong Kong Sprint this weekend.
“He had to take the next step this season and I think that he has done that,” Purton told Racing Ahead earlier this week.
“He went through the grades nicely last season and he rattled off five or six wins in a row and then he came back this season and obviously won at the start of the season.
“He was unlucky the other day, I went for a rails run and it closed on me, but if he had off got through then he would have been right in the finish.
“He is an exciting horse, but we still don’t know how good he is.
“I think he can take the required step and be very competitive in the race.”
Lucky Nine was another horse that had very little luck in the Jockey Club Sprint and is currently on the second line of Hong Kong Sprint betting markets at a quote of $6.50.
The Dubawi gelding was sent to the spelling paddock after he recorded a dominant win in the Group 1 Singapore International Sprint (1200m) at Kranji in May and he was badly held up when fifth in the Jockey Club Sprint.
Gordon Lord Byron is no stranger to Australian racing fans after he took out the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in Sydney earlier this year and he has been one of the best backed runners in Hong Kong Sprint betting markets.
The Byron gelding is an experienced traveler and he is taking winning form into the Group 1 event this weekend following his impressive win in the Group 2 British Champion Sprint Stakes (1207m) at Ascot on October 18.
The other Irish hope in the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint field is Edward Lynam-trained Sole Power, who finished second behind Lord Kanaloa in the Group 1 event last year.
Sole Power stamped himself as one of the leading sprinters in European when he took out both the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1005m) and Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes (1005m) in the United Kingdom and he is available at odds of $8, despite failing to fire in the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye De Longchamp (1000m) on October 5.
Jockey Club Sprint winner Peniaphobia ($9) is the only other horse available at single figure Hong Kong Sprint odds, while Australian hope Buffering has been on the drift and is out to $11 after being available at $9 earlier in the week.