Agiaal will be one to follow over longer trips
He may have shown nothing in the mornings, but Agiaal showed what he is capable of with an eye-catching second in the Ta Kung Pao 110th Anniversary Cup (1,650m) on Wednesday night.
The Andreas Schutz-trained gelding looked green in his trials, despite having plenty of sharp gallops, and was sent out at juicy odds of 51-1 for his first assignment against seasoned gallopers.
Agiaal lifted his front feet off the ground and was slow to begin, but recovered to settle under a tight hold with cover about seven lengths off the leaders at the 1,200m. He was held up briefly behind Nordic Star at the top of the straight, switched to a position two off the fence at the 200m before responding nicely over the last 100m to get up a neck second to Jimson The Best.
Raced under the same name in Britain for trainer John Gosden, Agiaal finished third in his first three starts as a three-year-old - two over a turf mile and one over 2,200m on the polytrack. He then opened his account when dead-heating with Enthusing, who has already saluted in Hong Kong at a mile, before finishing fifth in his final start.
The four-year-old is bred to be a middle-distance specialist on top and bottom of his pedigree. He is by smart Bahri stallion Sakhee, an eight-time winner from a mile to 2,400m. Sakhee also won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
His dam, Lahan, is by Unfuwain, who showed plenty of stamina with wins in the Group Three Chester Vase and Group Two Prince Of Wales's Stakes and placed fourth in the 1988 Arc behind Tony Bin. Lahan was the fourth top-rated three-year-old filly in England in 2000 and has produced two other winning foals, including a Bahri foal who has won a race over hurdles.
Off a mark of 65, Agiaal has a pedigree to head higher and will prove effective over a mile to 2,400m.