Five Stars Hotel can prove a good buy
Five Stars Hotel may have looked green in the run, but made an encouraging debut on Thursday night at Happy Valley when hitting the line strongly in the Mount Cameron Handicap (1,200m).
The David Hall-trained three-year-old had a good preparation, including a nice 1,000m turf trial, but had shown a tendency to shift ground and be difficult to manage in the mornings.
Derek Leung Ka-chun had a tough task with the gelding. He was patiently allowed to find his feet, lay out at the 600m, was again wanting to shift about when asked to pick up at the 500m, hit the straight with Star Legend widest out, switched underneath Chater Power to a five-deep position, shifted out abruptly towards the heels of Assure after shying away from a gap at the 150m before staying on well under a hands-and-heels ride to finish a respectable 43/4 lengths fifth behind Snitzel Kid.
Five Stars Hotel will need further education and may need a move to head gear to keep his mind on the task. However, he has some scope and will be worth following with some confidence. He is an Australian-bred by the Redoute's Choice stallion Al Samer, a double winner at 1,200m and 1,300m, including the Group Three Canberra RC Black Opal Stakes and Listed STC Darby Munro Stakes; mated to the sprint winning Danewin mare Dostour, a three-quarter sister to quality County Tyrone.
Five Stars Hotel has a nice mix of some top-line speed and stamina on the bottom half of his pedigree. So, expect him to find his feet early on as a sprinter at 1,400m or under.
Win, lose or draw at his next outing, he will gain further experience and be adding to his initial HK$23,000 cheque and eventually winning races for Mr & Mrs Yung Yu-yan, who have had a perfect record as owners with four winners from four starters, including the five-time winner Five Grains.