Leg issues solved, Keep Your Promise is worth keeping safe
California Choice should be racing up the grades despite his wind issues after a stellar debut win in the Class Four Chatham Handicap over the 1,000m last Saturday at Sha Tin, but the runner-up, Keep Your Promise, put in a bold performance of his own and will be able to salute the judge with some patience.
The David Hall-trained four-year-old copped a slight bump breaking from gate 14, picked up speed to take up the running behind Bear Elite under Way Leung Ming-wai and responded well to the whip to finish second behind California Choice, who drew clear for a 21/2-length victory.
His debut was an anxious one for connections as they had to wait out a recovery period for what was recorded in April by the vets as a 'left fore suspensory lateral branch injury', but all signs now point to a full recuperation.
Keep Your Promise is a son of Lucky Owners, a winner of the Group One Hong Kong Derby and Group One Hong Kong Mile in the 2003-04 season who has four other performers in Hong Kong for two winners, the best of which has been the smart sprinter Lucky Amore (two wins and three placings from eight starts).
Keep Your Promise is a first foal of the Tale Of The Cat mare Grisabella, a triple Australian winner up to 1,150m, while his second dam was also a competent sprinter who won seven times at 1,200m and 1,400m, including the Listed Gore RC Princess Mellay Stakes in New Zealand.
With patience and time, Keep Your Promise should be picking up his fair share of sprint successes and will prove effective at Happy Valley just like a few of his sire's earlier starters.
Stablemate Lots Of Fun was staying on well to finish fourth in the Class Five Nathan Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather track and looks more than capable of getting away with a race in this grade. Lots Of Fun was posted four wide from gate 10 under Brett Prebble until slotting in three deep with some cover rounding the first bend and made a nice bid before peaking in the final 50m and losing third to the battle-hardened That's It.
Lots of new things were the order of the day for the chestnut four-year-old. He was down in grade in his first run of the season and was wearing blinkers, but he appears from this run to have come on from the summer recess and will be an interesting play when next stepping out on either surface over a distance of 1,200m to 1,400m.