Rich Unicorn gets deserved call-up
Leading trainer John Size has had his stocks boosted for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint on Sunday week with the elevation of Rich Unicorn to the field.
With the withdrawal of American sprinter Regally Ready, the surprise Group Two Premier Bowl winner has been raised from his position as first reserve.
Size already had Entrapment among the original list of invitees, but said yesterday he had been disappointed when Rich Unicorn failed to make the first cut last week.
'I'm pleased he's got a run now. I thought he deserved it as he had beaten most of the local horses in the Premier Bowl under handicap conditions, but he also performed very well the other day at set weights in the Jockey Club Sprint when he wasn't as well placed at the weights,' Size said.
'I thought that showed he belonged in the race. Mark du Plessis seems to get on very well with him and he'll ride him on international day.'
The inclusion of Rich Unicorn might spare the Jockey Club any blushes later, as the Premier Bowl form has been consistently strong going to the Hong Kong Sprint, despite the different conditions of the two races.
The scenario has echoes of 2006 when Absolute Champion won the Premier Bowl under a light weight and was not originally included in the main event until a withdrawal gave him an opportunity.
The David Hall-trained gelding came out to win the international by a big margin to establish himself as the highest-rated sprinter in the world.
Other Bowl winners under light handicaps have also run well in the Hong Kong Sprint, with Royal Delight finishing third in 2007 and Green Birdie second a year later.
Racing fans who want to catch up on the big set of barrier trials conducted last week on the main track at Sha Tin will be able to see the latest edition of Trials From The Grass at the following times tonight.
The programme will air on ATV World after midnight at 12.35am, and on Cable channel 64 and Cable HD at 8.50pm.