Achiever and Forza knocking on the door
Trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak's Call Me Achiever and Forza stamped themselves as horses to watch out for following solid efforts in their respective races on Wednesday night.
Call Me Achiever hasn't run a bad race at Sha Tin and showed he could handle the tight city track with a gutsy second to exciting newcomer Tour De Force in the Class Four Sha Tau Kok River Handicap (1,000m).
It wasn't surprising to see the three-year-old, who was heavily backed from $73 to $54, produced a career-best effort with a move to Happy Valley as his sire Ishiguru, a multiple sprint winner in Ireland, has had good success with his progeny over the city course. They are Mark Up, Viva Guy, Novel Start, Perfect Joy, Gurus Dream, Shanghai Pioneer and Natural Flame.
He's out of Green Perfume mare Greensleeves, who won six times as a sprinter from 1,200m to 1,350m and has produced two short-course winners, including his full-brother Natural Flame. Greensleeves is a full sister to the retired Happy Master, a six-timer winner (four over 1,400m at Sha Tin and another two at Happy Valley over 1,200m and a mile), and half-brother to Majestic Heart, a multiple winner at both courses up to 2,200m.
Call Me Achiever should continue to improve with racing and should be a major player next season.
Forza, who made no impression behind Undoubtedly Mine at 89-1 odds after racing near the speed from a difficult gate one over the Sha Tin straight last month, showed he had significantly improved for his debut run.
Drawing favourably in gate one in the Class Four Shan Pui River Handicap (1,200m), Forza stepped out at 21-1 odds for Keith Yeung Ming-lun with the hood removed.
He jumped well to sit on the back of the speed in third along the rails, stayed one off the fence upon straightening and kept plugging away to finish third behind Sunshine Kid.
Forza is by the influential Elusive City, who has sired 15 winners from 20 local performers, including smart Brave Kid, Crown Witness and rising star Fionn's Treasure. His dam, Howbaddouwantit mare Yodel, was unraced and is from the family of the retired New Chapter, a double winner over the Valley extended mile.
The gelding carries a versatile pedigree and should prove effective over a mile and under at both courses and surfaces.