Doubts linger about Scintillation's staying power
Although Scintillation won the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic mile (race 388) the picture for March 13 Derby favouritism became no clearer, given there was more than one hard luck story in the prestigious event.
Firstly, Scintillation was expertly rated out on the lead by French ace Gerald Mosse, setting a steady tempo and thereby making it virtually impossible for any rival to win who settled worse than mid-field last Friday in Sha Tin.
There has to be serious doubts whether Scintillation has the required stamina to see out the 2,000 metres Derby distance.
There was plenty of merit in the run of Sambuca, who was caught three-wide without cover and went very close to winning. High Intelligent (third) ran a game race in defeat and given he has already proven competitive over the Derby trip, deserves to be one of the leading chances.
Town Of Fionn (fourth) probably would have won with a clear run but was never tested, while Special King Prawn (fifth) defied the steady tempo and there was plenty to like about his effort.
Hot-favourite Grand Zulu wasn't far away in sixth place, and there is little doubt he is going to relish the step up to a mile-and-a-quarter next time round.
Even though Vengeance Of Rain didn't take part in the Classic mile, he probably deserves to be the early favourite for the Derby, particularly given he has already won over the course and distance.
It has taken a little time for Super Kid to unveil his true potential this term, but he won the Chinese New Year Cup (race 389) over the Sha Tin mile in a stylish manner. The Duke (second) ran another honest race.
There was heavy support for Oriental Magic (fifth), who showed improvement, but he may need more time, and more of a test of stamina before being followed again.
Given Main Attraction is looking for far more ground than the minimum trip, he ran superbly when second to Grandway Shuttle down the straight course (race 384). He can be followed over a mile or further next time round.
Top Brass (third) is bred to handle further and he too deserves another chance.
Fortune Princess ran on strongly in the concluding stages of the 1,400 metres (race 385). She deserves plenty of respect when she next appears.
Stablemate Tchaikovsky displayed plenty of class in cruising to victory over 1,200 metres in a comparatively good time on the day and he leaves the impression he could be something special.
Pretty Trio did well to win on his seasonal reappearance over the Sha Tin mile (race 391) and he is open to plenty of improvement and can win again.
Able Knight (second) and debutant Soprano (third) both ran well in defeat and look capable of winning on their current mark.
ONES TO NOTE:
Fortune Princess, Soprano.