Who can take over Kingdom's spot?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 February, 2011, 12:00am
 

Perhaps Let Me Fight did not step into his role as the new face of Hong Kong sprinting on Saturday, but the Chairman's Sprint confirmed what many believed - the title is now up for grabs.

For all his greatness, the days when Sacred Kingdom is legitimately posted at well into odds-on for these Group One races is now past. He has made the downward transition from a rightly dominant favourite to a main player, but only a main player.

It is a malaise across the top-rated horses at all distances in Hong Kong presently and awaits the four-year-olds - who look an above average bunch - to step in and take up the mantle.

Where the next sprinter comes from in the immediate future, though, is some sort of mystery.

Both Lucky Nine and to a lesser extent Little Bridge have always been touted as future top milers, while most of the other exciting four-year-olds are on a Derby path. And there is no obvious boom sprinter of a Silent Witness or Sacred Kingdom type emerging over the sprint courses where Hong Kong has proudly boasted its worth for most of the past decade.

Perhaps Little Bridge will find his place in shorter races, although his flat Classic Mile run appeared to have as much to do with how far he has come in a short time as to whether he runs a strong 1,600m. Admiration looks the type to make it to the top grades but, again, more as a miler and perhaps the answer lies with Captain Sweet, who has been winning at 1,400m but has the speed and attitude to be dropped back to 1,200m.

Still, as a three-year-old, he is probably going to be burdened with nothing more than making his way through the handicap grades, rather than locking horns with the best older horses.

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