O'Sullivan aims high with Fruity Fruity
Paul O'Sullivan joked that he would have to go and look up the Class One programmes after Fruity Fruity ended any notion he was a Happy Valley-only runner in the Kowloon Tong Handicap (1,800m) yesterday.
'Ask me about the Class Five programme - I have the races memorised - now I guess I'll have to see what there is coming up for a horse of Fruity Fruity's calibre,' the trainer quipped after Fruity Fruity (Brett Prebble) set himself on a path to shorter races with his victory.
With seven prior wins on the board, Fruity Fruity had not scored at Sha Tin since his Class Four debut quite some time ago, but O'Sullivan wasn't concerned.
'I knew Derek Cruz targeted, and won, the Happy Valley Million Challenge last season with the horse so I expect that was why he had done all his racing and winning there rather than Sha Tin,' O'Sullivan said.
'But something we are finding out is that he probably doesn't run as far at this track.'
Prebble admitted he had 'got it all wrong' with Fruity Fruity after winning on the horse at Happy Valley over 1,800m recently.
'That night, he felt like a real stayer, a horse looking for further, but I got it wrong,' he said.
'When he stepped up to 2,000m last time he simply didn't run it out and even today he was right at the end of it over 1,800m here.'
O'Sullivan said Prebble recommended Fruity Fruity be switched to mile racing in future.
'He said the tank was empty at the 100m today but the horse kept going on heart,' the trained explained.
'At least now we know where we're going. They get hard to place these sorts of horses once they are over 100 in the ratings - you have to start taking on the very best. Which is okay if you're good enough to win, but if you've got just an honest horse who runs his fourths and fifths all the time it's hard to get any drop in the handicap and they get stuck there. Fruity Fruity is certainly very tough and honest, so now we'll have to see if he's up to the next level.'