Dragon Keeper trials like a good buy
The first of the 2012 Hong Kong International Sales' stock were revealed at yesterday's Sha Tin turf trials and the Peter Ng Bik-kuen-trained Dragon Keeper impressed most with a professional display.
The two-year-old son of Keeper was knocked down for HK$3.7 million to clients of Ng, and the shrewd horseman looks to have a precocious talent on his hands.
The grey was a touch fresh going to the gates, but once loaded, the nerves were gone and he took the new experience in his stride.
He jumped nicely for Keith Yeung Ming-lun, stuck straight to the outside rail from the widest gate and raced on the bunny throughout his 800m heat.
The overall time of 47.84 was the slowest of the four short course jump-outs, but he got home in a tidy 22.7, and the horse's no-fuss attitude should ensure a decent career if he stays sound.
Lot 12 of the sales was a favourite of HKIS executive Mark Richards, who described the gelding as 'a mature, no-thrills racehorse ... neat and compact with a decent attitude' before the auction.
Dragon Keeper produced a solid pre-sale breeze-up, looking better the further he went and had obviously progressed well since he was purchased for NZ$330,000 (HK$2.03 million) at the 2011 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.
Ng also unleashed Lot 22 from the sale, Dashing Super, a three-year-old by American sire Mailbu Moon who cost connections HK$2.5 million.
Dashing Super had breezed well pre-sale and showed some good early speed in his 800m trial, before Howard Cheng Yue-tin took the pressure off and cruised to the line in fifth, in a time (47.10) faster than his stablemate.