Owner dreams of another Good Ba Ba
Racing in the colours made famous by former Horse of the Year Good Ba Ba, the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained debutant Good Hong Kong caught the eye when flashing home for a close second in the Class Four Inverness Handicap on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.
The bay gelding had the look of a quality type, but appeared from trackwork and a barrier trial third to Island Spring earlier this month over the straight 1,000m, to be a bit underdone in his training. Shum's go-to man Darren Beadman had been on board in a number of his gallops and in the trial.
From gate 11, Good Hong Kong was allowed to find his feet early and was travelling nicely, swung the final bend five wide, and swooped late under a hands-and-heels ride to come up a head second behind Gamekeepers - making up six lengths over the final 400m in a swift 22.23 seconds, the fastest of any on the eight-race card.
Owner John Yuen Se-kit has been a big supporter of the Hong Kong International Sales, going there for three previous racehorses, but none better than the HK$1.7 million bid shelled out in 2004 for the eventual star miler Good Ba Ba, who went on to win in excess of HK$59 million.
Yuen splashed out a cool HK$6 million in the March sale for Good Hong Kong. He appears to have spent his money wisely and will be dreaming about the possibility of another Good Ba Ba.
The three-year-old Australian-bred is a son of the popular Anabaa, a former top sprinter in Europe and the sire of 29 winners from 40 starters in Hong Kong, the best of whom has clearly been the 2002 Hong Kong Cup winner Precision.
He's the first foal of the Magic Albert mare Ellista, a 1,200m winner and half-sister to Sushisan, who was a four-time winner from 1,200m to 2,000m and fifth behind Viva Pataca in the 2007 Audemars Piguet QE II Cup.
His third dam Kurdasea was responsible for producing the champion Seascape, who was a runner-up in the 1996 Hong Kong Cup behind First Island at 1,800m.
Caspar Fownes' new recruit Gracytom is another who made a nice impression in the opening event over the Valley minimum trip.
The Irish-bred four-year-old - formerly with Andy Leung Ting-wah - was well prepared for his first-up outing. He was last turning for home, but was finishing up full of steam and will be winning his fair of races when tackling longer trips - where he was a winner over the mile in Cork, Ireland.
The amount John Yuen splashed out for Good Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Sales