No rush to throw Happy Zero in with big boys, says Moore
John Moore will resist the temptation to throw Happy Zero 'in with the big boys', despite the gelding's effortless disposal of Class Two rivals to maintain his unbeaten record.
Moore and jockey Darren Beadman are doing their best to keep the Happy Zero boom under control. But no one has told the handsome black Australian-bred sprinter, who has racked up four from four, won them all stylishly and still remains untested.
Win number four looked remarkably like the other three, with Beadman putting Happy Zero out of trouble, outside the leader, and then leaving the opposition standing with a killer kick of acceleration at the moment of his rider's choosing.
While some local media wondered if Happy Zero might go looking for Good Ba Ba and Sacred Kingdom in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup in two weeks, Moore quickly poured cold water on the idea.
'We're in no hurry to mix it with the big boys just yet,' Moore said. 'He's won this race very nicely today off a rating of 91 and my guess is that he'll get nine points for that and remain in the class. If that's the case, there is a Class Two over 1,400 metres here on March 15.' What Moore did not say, however, is that Happy Zero's fate lies firmly in the hands of senior handicapper Nigel Gray, and if the numbers man was one pound more impressed than Moore anticipates, his programming might be in a spot of bother.
Moore said the combined effects of an early colic operation and the knock-on effects of Equine Influenza in Australia delayed the start of Happy Zero's career but he now looks at it as 'a blessing in disguise'.
Beadman agrees: 'He still does a bit wrong, even today he was wanting to hang out a bit on me. I think the extra time that he's been given, even though it was out of John's control, has been a positive for the horse's career.' Beadman said, however, Happy Zero's chance at bigger prizes definitely awaits.
'He's a nice horse all right,' he said. 'I made a mistake on him today, trying to restrain him in the early stages and he didn't like it, so a furlong [200m] later I had to let him cross to be outside the leader anyway.
'He's won well again, and quickened up like a nice horse, so there's a good bit more to come. Put it this way, he gives me at least as good a feel as Inspiration does, and look where he is now - a two-time Group One winner including one on International Day.'
Happy Zero completed a double for Moore and Beadman, with the trainers' premiership pacesetter hitting the half century for the season, while Beadman took the tally of his interrupted season to 30.
Elite Sixty-Six improved his record to two wins and a second from four starts in landing the Friendship Bridge Handicap and Beadman said the three-year-old has many admirable qualities.
'He had to do a bit of chasing today, with topweight of 133 pounds and he didn't have cover, so he's done a lot of the hard work taking the field up to the tearaway leaders and still been too good,' he said.