Made To Figure running at head of griffin class
Saturday's action at Sha Tin kicked off with an exciting griffin performance as Made To Figure made light work of 11 rivals in the 1,200-metre Tung Chung Plate.
Unlike in a couple of barrier trials, the David Oughton-trained youngster jumped smartly and was always travelling sweetly on the pace. Quickening in impressive fashion when asked, the result was never really in doubt and his winning time of one minute and 10.4 seconds equates to a Topspeed rating of 66.
This season, only three griffins have bettered that level of overall time performance.
Unbeaten in two starts, Lord Of Warriors tops the rankings with a rating of 74 when winning over 1,400 metres but his debut victory came with a speed rating of 59 and recent 1,000-metre winner Fairy King Prawn has a superior first-up griffin rating with a time figure of 69.
But it wasn't simply the overall time that suggests Made To Figure is a class act.
Yes, Speedy (49) set a slow early gallop so the fact a horse racing on such a sedate pace won hardly surprises - given the shape of the contest the winner certainly had the run of the race.
But to produce such a good overall time off a slow pace, Made To Figure had to put in a special finishing burst and he did with a blistering final split of 22.50 seconds.
Make no mistake, a smart overall time rating combined with a very slick closing fraction provides ample evidence that Made To Figure is a quality animal with a top-class turn of foot. An exciting prospect indeed.
Super Goal Winner also made a highly promising debut to run second and a first-up Topspeed rating of 58 stamps him as another to follow. Unlike the winner, he missed the break and had to use up energy to recover before racing well in third.
The second section of the Tung Chung Plate was also won by a very useful prospect, with Cheers Win leading his 11-rivals a merry dance after getting to the front before the first bend.
This David Hayes-trained griffin had given notice of his quality by running second to Fairy King Prawn on his debut when clocking a speed figure of 65 and, although he clocked an inferior 59 in winning at the weekend, he too is one to keep close tabs on.
Win For Lily did improve on his first-up rating of 41 with a fast finishing 49. Ivan Allan's charge appreciated this step up from the minimum trip and fast pace, but the way he flashed home to fill the quinella leaves no doubt he will improve again when sent over farther.
Lucky Ahead (58) and Faster Mount (49) are also both progressive types who should be found a race, while newcomer Footprints (49) is another to post an encouraging debut.
Only a small field for the Group Three Juvenile Sprint Trophy, but Holy Grail made sure it was a decent enough gallop and although only just touching off Solid Contact (70), he clocked a decent time rating of 77. It represents another improved effort from Allan's unbeaten sprinter and there is probably still more to come.