Tender Melody ready to hit the right notes
The Almond Lee-trained Tender Melody was unwanted in the market at 284-1 odds, but turned in an eye-catching performance in the Class Four Bukit Timah Handicap over the straight 1,000m on Sunday at Sha Tin.
The three-year-old had faded after showing some early toe in an 800m lead-up trial on March 15 behind Bear Hero, but showed more resiliency after breaking from the slower section of the track from gate one under Keith Yeung Ming-lun to settle fourth behind the leading brigade.
He was aggressively ridden hands-and-heels and sometimes under a left whip before staying on well to be a clear-cut third - just over two lengths behind the top pair of Space Race and Eagle Regiment in a swift 1,000m time of 56.80 seconds.
The son of the Group Three winning sprinter Ishiguru, who has produced eight winners from 12 starters in Hong Kong, including Mark Up (six wins) and the consistent Hot Shot (four wins).
His female line's not one that will jump off the page at you. His dam, the Random Chance mare Unspoken was a double winner at 1,200m and produced one other foal in a maiden performer by Green Perfume.
The youngster had been educated in New Zealand by Aaron Lloyd and was a cosy winner of a four-runner trial over the 800m.
Tender Melody doesn't appear one that will set the world on fire, but he looks a decent sprinter and should prove a better prospect when crossing the harbour to Happy Valley as well.
John Moore produced a double to maintain his one-win advantage in the trainer's premiership over surging Tony Cruz, and will come away from the meeting confident after the promising import Zaidan made a thundering finish in the Class One Lion City Handicap (1,400m).
Zaidan made his run third from the rear for Jeff Lloyd, hit the top of the straight four lengths down and closed the gap three off the fence to finish 11/4 lengths in arrears of the in-form stablemate Leading City. It was an effort which proved he is heading for better-class events.
The three-year-old performed four times under the same name for Clive Brittain in Britain, winning his opening two starts at Doncaster and Ascot. He has clearly arrived with some untapped potential off an opening mark of 89 and will get better with maturity.
The colt is a son of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, who has established a world-wide reputation as a top stallion on both turf and dirt with the super talented Zenyatta, a 19-race winner in the United States; and Australian stalwarts Whobegotyou and Shocking while commanding a stud fee of US$150,000.
Tender Melody stuck on gamely behind the smart pair of Space Race and Eagle Regiment to clock: 22.26
The John Moore-trained Zaidan arrived with some untapped potential off an opening mark of: 89