Hutchison Whampoa is controlled by the Cheung Kong Group, and headed by Li Ka-shing, Asia’s wealthiest man, who has been nicknamed “Superman” because of his investment prowess. Its operations include utilities, energy, ports, with property and hotels, retailing telecommunications (Hutchison Telecommunications International) and infrastructure (Cheung Kong Infrastructure).
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When Granite arrived in Bruce Hutchison's stable last season there were many decent form judges from Ireland saying keep an eye out for this son of Project Manager.
He was well thought of in his homeland but, as is the case with any number of first-season private purchase imports, he took a while to acclimatise. Even when they leave Ireland to be trained in England, especially the National Hunt horses, they can take a good 12 months to settle in. Last season, Granite raced four times for Hutchison, bolting before the first of them and then running badly on his next two outings.
But he showed there was a fair race in him on his final start when only 3.75 lengths eighth of 13 to Espresso in early May. This was a considerable improvement on what had gone before and yesterday he continued that improvement when staying on strongly just behind the placegetters in the final event at Sha Tin which was won so handsomely by the David Hill-trained Dollars And Sense.
Hutchison's horses nearly always need a run or two and Granite is already on the cusp of Class Three. A drop into that company should see him home, though there's every chance he could even hold his own in a Class Two mile contest.