Let Me Handle It a superstar in the making
It was another red letter day last Saturday for trainer Caspar Fownes as he claimed the feature Skol Cup with Blue Sky, but it was exciting youngster Let Me Handle It who shook the Sha Tin grandstand with a smashing 1,600m win and stamped himself as a rising star.
There was some uncertainty surrounding Let Me Handle It, who galloped in the morning before the races and was reported to the stewards as having a slightly increased pulse in his right front foot. He eventually trotted up in front of the vet and was given the green light to race.
Then at the start, Brett Doyle had to take evasive action when Let Me Handle It was checked soon after the break. He quickly recovered and settled second last and one off the fence before circling the final bend six wide. He caused Spinnaker to check badly when lugging in at the 300m, shot to the lead 200m out and won like there was no tomorrow, with the official margin reading five lengths on Lunar Reflections and King Of Scots. He stopped the clock at 1.34.87, with his final 400m in a blistering 22.2 seconds.
Let Me Handle It had already showcased his talent last season when accelerating strongly to win second up in June over the 1,400m in Class Four, before rounding out the term in Class Three with a closing fourth and then a neck second over the mile.
The four-year-old looks a horse on the way up and has a loaded black-type pedigree to support this claim. He is a son of classy stayer High Chaparral, a six-time Group One winner of the 2002 English and Irish Derby, injected with speed from the unraced Phone Trick mare Barija, who is a half-sister to Viva Zapata, a French Pattern winner at 1,400m. Let Me Handle It is a half-brother to Mercedario, a 12-time winner up to 2,200m and Listed placed in Western Australia.
With his size and scope, he has all the makings of something special and can make some noises in this season's four-year-old classics.
David Ferraris' pair of Affluence Of Rain and Fast Intentions also made nice impressions.
Affluence Of Rain had a tough run , being slow out of the gates, checked off the heels of Cheetah Boy at the 400m and held up between runners until the 300m, before grinding away for fourth behind Bet On Me. It was his second run, but he has made nice progress from the break.
Affluence Of Rain arrived off a mark of 67 last season after a maiden win over 1,300m on yielding ground at Seymour from two starts in Australia. In his first run (July 7) last season at Sha Tin, he travelled ungenerously early on but closed off well for ninth behind Flying Supreme, beaten 21/4 lengths.
The attractive looking four-year-old is a son of champion racehorse Lohnro, an 11-time Group One winner in Australia up to 2,000m, and the Magic Ring mare Stella Maree, a multiple-Listed winner at 1,400m. He will no doubt get better with racing and is one to keep an eye on when stepping up over the 1,400m and possibly a mile.
Fast Intentions, in race two, had put the writing on the wall on July 1 when staying on well for fourth behind Flying Supreme over the 1,200m after failing to measure up in three earlier outings.
Fast Intentions was not suited by the pace last Saturday, but closed off best of all under Weichong Marwing, despite travelling deep and without cover in a rearward position. The four-year-old was clearly suited by a drop in grade and, like Affluence Of Rain, has made positive progress from the summer recess. He should be able to greet the judge soon.
Fast Intentions appears on the track and from his pedigree to warrant a step up to 1,400m and, by Cape Cross, a move to the city track wouldn't be too far fetched with the likes of classy Ottimo and Chevalier King excelling there last season.
The Caspar Fownes-trained Let Me Handle It showed a blistering turn of foot in the final 400m, clocking: 22.2