Unbeaten Brave Kid can join immortals in seventh heaven
Unbeaten Brave Kid is set to join the immortals by taking his fantastic record through the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) today at Sha Tin to become racing's new superstar.
The John Size-trained gelding has taken the fast track to the top and has the momentum and the engine to give Size his first Derby, jockey Brett Prebble his second and the horse himself the honour of being the first to win seven races in a season.
From a 1,000m Class Four contest in late November, Brave Kid has been a relentless climber up the ratings ladder to put himself into the Derby as a serious contender only late in the piece and came through the same lead-up race as last year's winner, Collection.
Like that gelding, he carried a big weight to victory, but the difference came in the manner of the success - Collection put his rivals away by a big margin to make himself a racecourse certainty in the classic, while Brave Kid's tough victory rated a little short of Collection's in terms of both performance and the eye.
Nevertheless, a Class Two win with 133 pounds is a good pointer for the Derby in any season and Brave Kid's ability to bring that to the races again can't be underestimated as he has yet to take a backward step in life.
Prebble has been on fire and his luck held as the beneficiary of an agonising decision by regular rider Douglas Whyte to choose Caspar Fownes' Super Satin, then again as he found himself on the right end of a barrier draw that could easily have made Whyte's choice look perfect.
From gate four, Brave Kid has the tactical pace to race handy to what looks just an even sort of speed, but he has shown himself just as happy to sit back off the pace and finish, a versatility that will give Prebble all the options from the tricky 2,000m start point.
On paper, this is one of the better Derbies of recent times in terms of depth - a view supported by the statistics accompanying the favoured runners, with two unbeaten horses, Beauty Flash with six wins from eight starts, Super Satin four wins for the season already and King Dancer with four wins from his nine starts.
In any year, any one of five or six runners would have been a worthy standout favourite, but fans will be the winners by having them pitched in together in a real contest.
So dangers are plentiful, but Super Satin represents the strongest, another who has dragged himself up the ratings impressively for Fownes and Whyte and leaves no doubt that he will be finding the distance to his liking.
Trainer John Size has done wonders with talented four-year-old Brave Kid, who has so far earned: $3.4m