Good as Lucky Nine is, Entrapment still to come
Lucky Nine has stamped himself as one of the most exciting prospects in town and they don't win much easier than he did in the National Day Cup.
Trainer Caspar Fownes seemed keen to sidestep the top set-weights races against older horses and make the Mercedes Benz Classic Mile on January 23 the Group One target, but a revised rating of 122 might make any choices redundant - the only races for Lucky Nine between now and the end of the year are the very ones he was going to avoid.
He has been beaten only once in six runs since being gelded in April, and the horse that gave him 24 pounds and a defeat - Entrapment - will presumably make his return in the Premier Bowl (1,200m) on October 24.
While there were excuses for Lucky Nine that day - missing the start then being used up to catch the leaders in the first half of the race - that result back in June does still carry with it the promise of, 'How good is Entrapment?' There was a real wow factor in Sacred Kingdom's first-up win last Friday, but there is Entrapment to come and, for that matter, Happy Zero.
In 2001, the great Fairy King Prawn resumed for the season by winning the National Day Cup with 133 pounds in comprehensive style, but the Sha Tin crowd was reduced almost to stunned silence a few weeks later when Electronic Unicorn won first-up for John Size in a manner that screamed: 'Bring it on, champ.'
That was a proposition that was never tested when Fairy King Prawn was injured soon after but we could see something similar if Entrapment returns to racing still holding a distinct gap over the standards being set by Lucky Nine.