Regiment's not a one-trick pony, insists Doleuze
Olivier Doleuze warned against pigeon-holing Eagle Regiment as a straight-course specialist after the exciting sprinter's tough win in the Chevalier Lifts and Escalators Handicap (1,000m).
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained four-year-old has built an impressive record of five wins from nine starts, but put in a career-worst effort at his only try around a turn last time out.
Eagle Regiment seemed to resent being crowded and did not stretch out in a sub-par 11th over 1,200m on October 10, the only time he has finished outside of the quinella.
Yesterday he was back to his best up the 1,000m course, bravely chasing down tearaway leader Blaze King and prevailing by a nose in a mature performance.
'I still think he can go further and I think we have to forget last time,' Doleuze said.
'There will be a time when he has to go around a bend again but I don't see any trouble with that. Last time he was a bit green and he lost a shoe. It was a tough race and every horse can have a bad day.'
Man was convinced Eagle Regiment was an 'expert' at the course, but he will have little choice than to run the horse beyond 1,000m, with his rating likely to shoot beyond 105 the choices for high-class sprinters limited.
'I feel that over 1,200m he will be able to sit,' Doleuze said. 'We push him in this races because we have to, we can't give away too much ground to these specialists. But over further, if we wait, he is going to have good acceleration.'
Eddie Lai Wai-ming copped his fourth suspension for the season for causing interference on Flying Together. He was given a two-meeting suspension and fined HK$10,000.