Medallist has the pedigree to shine
David Hall has some promising young talents in his barn and Medallist is certainly one of them.
The three-year-old was given an easy time of things in three trials by Brett Prebble and an Australian jump-out when second behind Secret Hills, who has since gone on to win twice and was second in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
Medallist was well-punted from $82 to $55 at the jump in the Class Four Pui O Handicap (1,200m) on Sunday at Sha Tin.
He was slow out of the gates, but travelled nicely throughout and was closing the gap to go under by 33/4 lengths to the runaway winner Solar Great, clocking 22.72 seconds for the final 400m.
He is a well-bred son of Danehill stallion Exceed And Excel, an exciting sprinter who won the Group One Newmarket Handicap and Group One Dubai Racing Club Stakes among seven successes up to 1,400m and the sire of 10 winners from 21 local starters, including Bullish Champion, Exceptional Art, Pretty One, Shibala and Lucky Record this season.
The colt is also the fourth foal of the unraced Peintre Celebre mare Morning Dews, who has had two other starters in Daybreak Command - a 1,800m winner by Commands - and Sutton Power, a placed performer by Testa Rossa.
His dam Morning Dews is a half-sister to Allez France, who won the listed AJC Keith Mackay Handicap (1,200m). Further down the pedigree tree is the smart broodmare Valour, the grand-dam of Group One STC Golden Slipper Stakes winner Burst.
Medallist should be at his most effective as a sprinter at 1,400m and like most progeny of his sire, show an affinity for the Happy Valley venue as well.
Hall has had good success training for owner Kenneth Chung Kin-shu, winning with past retirees Victory Code and Ambitious General and the current 93-rated, three-time winner Happy Tumbler, who looks a leading chance in race seven tomorrow night at Happy Valley.
Surrounded, who joined the Hall stable during the break, appears ready to turn his career around after another positive performance in the Class Four Tung Chung Handicap (1,400m).
At 16-1 odds, Surrounded was allowed to fade back to last, round the final bend five wide, check between Patrioch and White Hart King at the 350m before shifting into the clear running outside White Hart King soon after to run on nicely to go down by 33/4 lengths fifth to the uncontested leader Benefactor.
It was an encouraging effort on the back of a closing eighth last month in an all-weather sprint after missing the jump.
The four-year-old American-bred son of War Chant and a Zafonic mare showed promise for trainer John Moore, but Surrounded has been able to fill out during the break - putting on 35 pounds and looks a winner waiting to happen.