Eye-catcher Jolly Victor has plenty of upside
Trainer Tony Millard appears to have unearthed a nice prospect in Jolly Victor, who produced an eye-catching performance in the Class Four HKU Faculty Of Social Sciences Handicap over (1,400m) on Sunday.
The three-year-old had a solid preparation and travelled smoothly in all four trials - two for former handler David Hall.
Jolly Victory was all fired up as Andreas Suborics took a good hold from gate 13 after breaking awkwardly at the jump. He had to steady off heels behind midfield at the 1,000m, swung the final bend with only two wider out before finishing off strongly, despite showing a tendency to shift in and out under the whip, to go down by two short heads to El Grande and Notus. The ride unfortunately cost the Austrian a suspension.
Jolly Victory is a well-bred New Zealand import by the stamina influential Zabeel and unraced Danehill mare Belleville.
Zabeel is a multiple champion sire in the Southern Hemisphere and has sent out 40 winners from 52 starters in Hong Kong, among them champion Vengeance Of Rain, a former 130-rated winner of eight Group races; Helene Vitality, a double 2,000m winner; and Berio, a winner of four up to 1,600m.
His dam has produced two smart winners, including Al Qurhah (by Stravinsky), and Hentschke (by Carnegie), and is a sister to Cassis, a Listed winner of the SAJC Cinderella Stakes. He's also from the immediate family of Durtal, a champion UK filly as a two-year-old who won the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes and has produced the likes of classy Gildoran, a two-time winner of the Royal Ascot Gold Cup; and Chalamont, the grand-dam of Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Roderic O'Connor.
Jolly Victor looks a precocious type who should be effective up to a middle distance and perform on both courses as he tries to better the accolades of previous runners campaigned by David Choy Tak-wai.
Choy has campaigned some nice performers over the years, including Grand Zulu, consistent Prime Score, Prime Vain and Hekyll N'Jyde. His new purchase will definitely be winning his way through the grades.