Vengeance Of Rain's best is yet to come
Horse of the Year candidate Vengeance Of Rain overcame a steady tempo and an on-pace and rail bias to extend his winning streak to five when taking out the Champions & Chater Cup (race 634) over 2,400 metres on Sunday.
The margin of victory this time was only half a length over Best Gift, but it was arguably his best performance this season when taking into account the state of the track and the tempo of the race.
His victory in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup on April 24 proved he has the ability to beat some of the world's best, and his tremendous success since winning the Derby on March 13 proves the best is yet to come.
He is arguably the best middle distance galloper Hong Kong has ever had.
And the Derby form took a further boost on Sunday when Green Treasure, who finished fifth in the classic race, when landing the Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Trophy (race 635).
He is going from strength to strength and following this success he will prove highly competitive in the Premier Grade.
There were encouraging signs for second-placed River Esperanto, who was resuming after a six-month absence.
Although the track bias clearly played into the hands of Brains Trust, the manner in which he booted away from his rivals over 1,200m (race 631) was indicative of a highly progressive galloper. His magnificent trial win last month was no fluke. Award (fourth) defied the bias and his finishing burst was most encouraging.
There was plenty of merit in the performance of Traviano, who finished sixth to Flaming Lamborgini over the Sha Tin mile (race 637).
He had the blinkers applied for the first time and hadn't competed since last November. The on-pace and on-rail bias was also prevalent on May 21 where the majority of winners were positioned in one or the other, or both.
David Hill conjured plenty of improvement out of Thousand Wins, who scored an effortless 61/4 lengths victory over 1,400m (race 621) on a yielding surface.
If he strikes similar conditions before the season is out, then he must be followed again. Sun And Zameen fought on well to finish second and it shouldn't be too long before he breaks through.
The run of Plenty Of Heart, who finished third over 1,400m (race 623), was decent, considering he hadn't competed in almost two months.
Fokine ran very well on his first start for Tony Cruz when coming from virtually last on the turn to finish fifth in the ATV Sha Tin Vase (race 625). It was hard to make ground in the testing conditions and he is one to keep safe next time.
It took every metre of the straight 1,000m (race 627) for Shiny Ribbon to reel-in debutant Harmony.
The winner looks good enough to string a series of wins together and is a very smart galloper.
ONES TO NOTE:
Award, Sun and Zameen, Harmony.