Templegate's Sha Tin Tips: Your best bets for Sunday in Hong Kong as the action continues behind closed doors

SHA TIN

Race 1 – 5.30

LIKE THAT took a big step forward from his debut when winning comfortably here over 5f last time out. There should be plenty more to come and he can confirm the form with Smiling Face.

Sunny Star has a good draw and showed plenty when winning on debut here last time. He has a penalty but should be right there again.

Race 2 – 6.00

LEAP OF FAITH has Joao Moreira back on board for this return from a break. He went close a couple of times here earlier in the year and has every chance from a perfect stall two draw.

Zac Purton takes over on Armor Star who was a promising fourth on debut and should run well despite stall 11.

Race 3 – 6.30

FULL POWER won well over course and distance in March before not getting home over further here last time out. He still looks on a fair mark and can get back to winning ways.

Monster Kaka is looking for his first win in Hong Kong but has improved lately and his rider’s claim could make the difference.

Race 4 – 7.00

THANKS FOREVER went close in the Group 1 Chairman’s Cup here last time and will find this easier. It’s a while since he won but his quality can carry him home.

Hot King Prawn was just behind the tip in that hot contest last time. He won a big handicap two starts ago and has a handy draw over his favourite trip.

Waldorf has been consistent at Happy Valley and has place claims over his best distance.

Wishful Thinker is another dropping in grade from the Chairman’s Cup but he needs to improve against the big two.

Race 5 – 7.30

GOOD LUCK FRIEND is a model of consistency having followed a good win here with a head-bobbing second last time out. This is a slight hike in class but he loves the course and distance.

Zac Purton has got off my fancy to ride Biz Power who was just under two lengths off the pace in a similar race last time. Stall nine isn’t ideal but he’s got every chance.

Hafeet Alain was a useful handicapper for Adrian Nicholls before moving to HK. He was last seen winning at Newmarket in November so watch for a market move on his debut out here.

Race 6 – 8.00

KINDA COOL could have had more luck of the draw but looked a nice prospect when finishing second on debut over 5f here 21 days ago. There should be a lot more to come and Purton is doing the steering.

Gallant Legacy got the job done well over course and distance latest and has every chance despite an 8lb rise in the weights.

Race 7 – 8.35

XPONENTIAL has promising 10lb claimer Jerry Chau in the saddle and he’s been knocking on the door with a third and second heading into this contest. He likes this course and distance and comes from a handy low stall.

Yee Chong Pegasus is another consistent performer who will make a late bid under hold-up king Antoine Hamelin.

Race 8 – 9.05

EXULTANT looks the one to beat after winning the prestigious Group 1 QEII Cup here last time out. He goes up in distance here but has won three of his five attempts going this far.

Furore chased him home last time with Eagle Way an unfancied outsider in third. That trio can confirm the placings.

Time Warp was a little unlucky in fifth and can get a bit closer today given he’s a past Group 1 winner over shorter.

Chefano was an easy Group 3 scorer here latest and has plenty of stamina. His staying power could steer him into the frame.

Race 9 – 9.40

DEFINING MOMENT can give us a good run despite being in stall 12. He was even wider when scooting in here two runs ago before the step up in trip didn’t suit latest. He’s won two of his three starts over course and distance so should run well.

Enzemble has a cracking record at the trip and won here two runs ago before a close third latest. A repeat of that could be good enough.

Champion Supreme dug deep when winning over a furlong further here latest and can hit the places again.

World Famous is another who likes it here and is well drawn.

Race 10 – 10.15

BEAUTY SMILE has been running well in strong races, including when a neck behind Fantastic Show here two starts ago. The form of that race looks really solid and he has much more to offer.

At a potentially big price, Prime Minister is worth a look on his Hong Kong debut. He’s very nicely bred and won four times from five runs in New Zealand. He has moved to a top yard and has been working well.

Race 11 – 10.50

TRANSCENDANT has been snookered by car-park draws on his past two runs and finally gets better luck with stall eight here. He is proven in this class and has no issues with the trip. Joao Moreira takes over on board and can steer him home.

Glorious Spectrum went close over a furlong shorter last time and is rarely out of the frame. He won’t be far away, while Purton takes over on Happy Fun who has gone close a couple of times in similar contests lately. The champ was on board the last time he won in October.

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Australian racing tips: Preview and best bets for the high-class card at Morphettville on Saturday

SET your alarm (or maybe just Sky+ it…) as there is some top-class racing Down Under this Saturday.

There are Group races galore at Morphettville in Adelaide. We've previewed the big races and have some top tips.

6.16am: Euclase Stakes (Group 2)

The ground is going to be testing on one of Morphettville's big racedays of the year.

It's probably wise to focus on those at the head of the betting in Euclase Stakes, with preference for the locally-trained GARNER.

He won pulling a cart in his trial for this race over 1100m last time despite getting a wide trip.

He is clearly on the up and the extra furlong here won't be an issue. Heavy ground is an unknown but he has won twice on soft.

Xilong was well-fancied when fourth behind the selection that day. But she probably overdid it early and still commands the utmost respect on the strength of her previous run when third in Group 1 company.

Roccabascerana was also among those to come up short behind the selection last time out and has solid place claims – but provided he handles conditions Garner should be very hard to beat.

SELECTION: Garner

6.56am: Australasian Oaks (Group 1)

TOFFEE TONGUE has rattled the cross bar in the Adrian Knox Stakes and ATC Oaks the last twice behind the top-class Collette.

She doesn't have that rival to contend with this time, and from a good draw and with conditions to suit, this looks a good opportunity to get a Group 1 on the board for her powerful connections.

Nudge wasn't a million miles behind the selection in the ATC Oaks last time and had previously finished placed at the top level at Rosehill. She is a mud-lover and looks the chief threat.

Affair To Remember shaped as though she was ready for this step up in trip when a never-nearer third at Caulfield last time, so she has to enter the reckoning, while Vegas Jewel is better than she showed last time and won't be far away.

Silent Sovereign had several of these in behind when winning the trial for this contest at this venue two weeks ago. She is untested on ground this slow and faces a stiffer assignment this time around.

SELECTION: Toffee Tongue

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7.36am: Robert Sangster Stakes (Group 1)

The speedy Sunlight has a clear class edge on her rivals having bagged three Group 1s during her career.

However, the likelihood of a testing surface is a serious negative as all of her best form has come on fast ground.

Given the amount of weight she receives (a stone and a half to be precise), this could go to the gun two-year-old AWAY GAME.

She was in a league of her own at the Magic Millions earlier in the year and was a ready winner in the Percy Sykes last time on heavy ground at Randwick.

Two-year-old's don't have an amazing record in this contest, but she is out of the top drawer and has a good berth in stall four.

I Am Excited won The Galaxy at Rosehill two starts ago and commands the utmost respect, for all she has to put a below-par effort behind her.

At a price, Bam's On Fire should go well with a last-time-out Group 3 success under her belt.

SELECTION: Away Game

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Five tips to sleep like an Olympic athlete during coronavirus crisis

In a time of such uncertainty, good quality sleep may not come easily to many of us.

Luke Gupta, who works as a senior physiologist and sleep scientist for the English Institute of Sport, helps ensure Great Britain’s top Olympians get a good night’s sleep before big competitions.

He shares his tips on how to sleep well amid all the anxiety brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Are you calm before bed?

Inevitably there will be nights when you go to bed and you are not calm. You might have just had a stressful phone call or checked the latest coronavirus news before you went to bed.

Of course we want to know what is going on because there is a lot of uncertainty. The problem isn’t necessarily that we’re doing that – it’s the timing of it.

It creates a sense of heightened alertness that means it will take a long time to go to sleep. If you have just checked the news and it’s stressed you out, don’t try and sleep because it is unlikely to happen.

If that is the only time at which you can do that then it is OK to go to bed later and have a wind-down routine.

Instead of just turning the light off and trying to sleep, you are better off getting up and going to do something relaxing like watching TV or reading a book, then going to bed in a much more relaxed state, than forcing sleep.

It is OK to go to bed later because it’s better to go to bed in a relaxed state than it is in a stressed state.

2. Are you appropriately sleepy?

Sleep is like an elastic band. It stretches while you are awake and the stretchier the band is when you go to bed, the quicker it’s going to snap back – which represents falling asleep.

If you have been awake for a very long time, you are very sleepy when you go to bed and the likelihood is you will fall asleep very quickly.

Exercise also drives our sleep. By doing a certain level of activity in the daytime, it makes you sleepier at night.

Athletes want to go to bed the night before competition and get a good sleep because they think it will have a big effect on their performance.

But it doesn’t work like that. If you go to bed slightly earlier than normal because you want to get more sleep you won’t be very sleepy – that elastic band won’t be stretched.

If you go to bed earlier than normal and it’s a time when you’re not feeling sleepy, it will give you more chance to worry so you will spend more time in bed thinking.

So don’t go to bed unless you feel sleepy. You wouldn’t go to a fridge unless you felt hungry but for some reason we tend to go to bed at certain times when we think we should go to bed, as opposed to when we should.

If you go to bed when you feel sleepy, you will fall asleep faster and will get better quality sleep.

3. Is it the right time of day?

People have a preferred bedtime and before this isolation we went to bed at a certain time driven by the time we needed to get up in the morning.

That has been removed a little bit and some people have the opportunity now to go to bed at a time that is suitable for them.

Even though we have more flexibility about our day, it’s important to keep a structured bed and wake time.

Once people have worked out what a suitable bedtime is for them, it’s important to establish some regularity around that. Our sleep works well when it’s regular. If your sleep times start chopping and changing, our sleep isn’t going to be great.

You don’t have to go to bed and wake up at the exact same time every day, but you create a sleep window and then there’s a bit of a buffer of about an hour either end. You can lie in for an extra hour or go to bed an hour earlier or later.

4. Is the place you are sleeping in familiar, safe and secure?

Most people will sleep in a bedroom which will be safe and secure. When we say is the space familiar, the question is is it familiar with them? But also, is it familiar with sleep?

It is great to keep the bedroom as a place of sleep where possible. If you can’t do that, you have to try to avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep.

And if you do have to use your bed for work, you could put a blanket over it during the day so that it looks different at night.

It can also help if you change your posture and sit upright so you are doing something differently to what you would do when you sleep.

5. Are you getting enough light exposure?

Our bodies are trained through exposure to light to be awake during the day and sleep at night.

At the moment we are all contained and going outside as little as possible for good reason but that brings about the challenge of not getting enough light exposure. If you get a constant low level of light there is no real distinction between night and day.

You have to be more creative, so if you are doing exercise try and do it in your garden. If you are going to sit down and work, try and do it next to a window.

That ensures we are training ourselves to be awake in the daytime and sleep when that light is not there at night.

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Newspaper tips: Sun Racing's Each-Way Thief and today's horse racing NAPs

NOT managed to pick up your copy of The Sun today?

Fear not. You can catch all of our top tips right here.

Each-way Thief

HAVE an each-way double at Gulfstream. AERODYNAMIC (6.00) was a decent winner over course and distance last time and looks a fair price to follow up.

Pair her with UNO BABY BIRD (7.07) who has some decent form in the book and is capable of placing at least.

Longshot

VARSOVIA (7.39 Gulfstream) looks a potentially big price for a horse that won by four lengths last time out. This trip suits her well.

Templegate NAP

WICKED MERCURY (8.11 Gulfstream) looks red hot after a close-up third in a similar race to this last time, with a couple of today’s rivals struggling to land a blow.

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Six simple tips for learning a new language from your home

Join the culture club from the comfort of your home: Six simple tips for learning a new language

  • Have your Netflix show dubbed into a foreign language with English subtitles   
  • Organisations will send a ‘word of the day’ email to your inbox every morning 
  • Read online versions of overseas newspapers straight after reading a UK paper

Gone are the days when you need to attend evening classes and carry a well-thumbed dictionary to learn a new language. 

Today it’s easy to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and pick up key phrases from the comfort of home. 

Here are six surprises if you think learning a language isn’t for you. 

SURPRISE ONE: It’s easy to check things. Google Translate (or similar smartphone apps) let you type words or phrases you don’t recognise and have them translated into English (or vice versa). You can also click to hear the words spoken, so you hear the right intonation from native speakers. In something worthy of Harry Potter, you can even point your phone’s camera at a foreign menu, for example, and watch as the words are translated in front of you. Fans say it’s a ‘see it to believe it’ experience.

You can use Google Translate to hear words spoken in another language, so you hear the right intonation from native speakers

SURPRISE TWO: You can start the moment you wake up. Whichever language you choose, dozens of organisations will send a ‘word of the day’ email to your inbox every morning. The ‘palabra del día’ sent out by spanishlanguage.co.uk, for example, also includes phrases using the word. Let just a few of the phrases sink in and the firm says you end up learning an average of eight words a day, not one. 

SURPRISE THREE: Learning can be part of your daily routine. Tutors suggest clicking through free online versions of overseas newspapers straight after reading a UK paper. They say following the same stories, even in different styles, helps anchor words and phrases in the mind. Try lemonde.fr or 20minutes.fr for French, elpais.com for Spanish, or corriere.it for Italian. It also helps to stream overseas radio stations as background music (tutors say you’re making progress if you find yourself singing foreign lyrics). Find stations on apps such as tunein. The last parts of the immersion armoury are e-books. Experts suggest starting with translations of mainstream, ‘easy-reading’ titles, perhaps something by Dan Brown or Danielle Steele.

SURPRISE FOUR: Film and TV fans can tweak the technology to keep learning all night. Let’s say you want to watch The Crown on Netflix. Click on ‘Subtitles and Audio’ and you can have the show dubbed into French, for example, while the subtitles come up in English.

SURPRISE FIVE: It will pay to try it in person. The classic way to learn a language is a home-stay overseas while attending daytime classes. Such stays across Europe are off-limits for now, but tourist money will be vital as the worst-hit countries recover, so staying with a local family will be a great way to help. Search for language schools in the city you want to visit and course providers will suggest accommodation when the storm passes.

Learning curve: Study hard now and test out your new vocabulary in the cafes of Paris in the future

SURPRISE SIX: Unexpected experts can help. Hotel concierges are getting more creative as guests look beyond traditional excursions and activities. Stay somewhere like the sleek Monument Hotel in Barcelona, for instance, and black-clad concierge staff can suggest reasonably priced language tutors who will sit and chat for an hour over coffee in the lobby (or up by the rooftop pool) before you head out to try your new skills in the restaurants of La Rambla.

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Tips for buying used books during the coronavirus outbreak

Just a few weeks ago, I was sitting around the house, looking for something to read to get my mind off of things, and I decided I wanted Terry Hayes’ “I Am Pilgrim,” a thriller from 2014 about a terrorist planning to release a horrible virus upon the United States.

The problem was that our local bookstores — including our own Printed Page — were closed following the governor’s “stay-at-home-and-read” order, so I went online to order it. (These days, you take your adventures where you find them.)

You want a real book, not an electronic one, and you want to avoid paperbacks because this is your favorite book since “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

You could start your search at Amazon, but that isn’t the only source for used books.

With brick-and-mortar stores largely shuttered, online sales are all that’s keeping some booksellers afloat. One Denver bookseller, Eric Meyer of Bluebird Books, said, “Business is slow but better than expected.” But another, Dianne Hammer of Hammerbooks, is enjoying better online sales. She’s seeing less competition in the sense that booksellers aren’t able to add to their inventory through their regular avenues of estate sales, library sales and house calls, so that’s bumping prices up.

Some other options: visit Abebooks (which is owned by Amazon). Biblio‘s booksellers often offer more detail about books in their listings. (Check out the detailed description of the first edition of Albert Camus’ “The Plague” by Downtown Brown Books.) Ebay has an advantage of showing photos of books for sale, which gives the shopper a better idea of condition. Better yet, find a bookseller you like and visit their websites to see if they have their inventory online. Some will give you a discount if you buy directly from them.

And here’s something to watch for: On Amazon, you’ll find 18 hardback copies of “Pilgrim.” The copies range in price from $5.47 to $39.40. They are indistinguishable, except for price, and are described as “used good,” which in Amazon-speak means “shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and functions properly.”

Two more copies are listed as “used very good,” which means they may show some limited signs of wear, but could also arrive with damaged packing and missing accessories (reading glasses, I assume). The seller of the costliest copy has a 93% positive rating. The seller of the cheapest copy has a 92% rating.

Chances are, you’ll buy the cheapest copy available. Then you wait to see what shows up on your porch.

You can count on most things you buy online to meet a high standard, but buying used books can be a trickier proposition, particularly if you’re concerned about the condition of the book, and whether it’s a first edition or a cheap reprint. Ever since online bookselling started, anyone with a book and computer access could present themselves as a bookseller. Buy enough books online, and you’ll learn that one person’s “acceptable” is another’s “recycling-ready” and that what you see isn’t necessarily what you’ll get.

For most ethical online booksellers, Amazon itself is a double-edged sword. It provides a sales outlet for thousands of virtual sellers, but it also takes a hefty bite out of every sale through listing fees, referral fees and closing fees. It has also led to what booksellers call “a race to the bottom,” meaning it has forced prices down as booksellers try to provide the lowest price possible.

Plus, Publisher’s Weekly recently reported that the surge at Amazon for such items as household staples and health and medical goods has resulted in extended shipping times for other products, including books.

So where does this leave the buyer? Here are a few tips:

  • Professional booksellers stick to a prescribed nomenclature when describing books. Condition is listed as “Fine” (the best), “Very Good,” and “Good.” They avoid terms like “good shape for its age” or “acceptable.” The more information a listing has about condition, the more you can trust the seller.
    If editions are important to you, avoid sellers who describe a book as “presumed first edition.”  They should know, or know how to find out if a book is a first edition.
  •  Look for sellers who are members of trade groups. I think they have more skin in the game. Our local one is the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Association. (I’m a member.)
  • Always make sure you can return a book if there’s something wrong with it, such as it’s not as advertised in terms of condition. I recently ordered a copy of Michael Crichton’s “The Andromeda Strain” that arrived with a large Andromeda stain.
  • Bookseller Hammer urges buyers to pay attention to a seller’s feedback score. “It makes a difference in customer service, how fast your book will get shipped, the accuracy of the description and how safely it will be packed,” she said. Hammer also said that eBay could have a price advantage because many sellers have the “Make an Offer” feature. (There’s a copy of “The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time” for $7.99, but you can make an offer.) “Sellers will often accept a lower offer for their book if it’s been listed and hasn’t sold for some time,” Hammer said. “But don’t low-ball. This may just make the seller mad and the negotiation stops before it starts. Be reasonable and considerate in your offers. We’re trying to support our families with our book business, and are stressed out like everyone else right now.”
  • How the book is packaged is important. Early in my career, I was taught to pack books with the expectation that they would be repeatedly drop-kicked by violent primates with steel-toed boots. It’s a lesson lost on some. My copy of “I Am Pilgrim” arrived in a plastic envelope. It was twisted out of shape and unreadable. Here I wanted something to read during the pandemic, and all I got was something that made me kind of sick.

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Newspaper tips: Sun Racing's Each-Way Thief and today's horse racing NAPs

NOT managed to pick up your copy of The Sun today?

Fear not. You can catch all of our top tips right here.

Each-way Thief

Have an each-way double at Sha Tin. EXPONENTS (12.15) has plenty of placed form over course and distance so can hit the frame again. Pair him with KING'S RACE (2.15) who has been going well in stronger races than this lately.

Longshot

NAMJONG SINGS (2.45 Happy Valley) needed his first run after a break when sixth last time and has placed form in better races than this. It's still early days for him in Hong Kong and he could be well handicapped.

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