Jade Christy can dazzle with his luxury weight
Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai took a little time to hit his straps this season, but the yard is in full flight now and Jade Christy should continue that roll by winning the Chinese General Chamber Of Commerce Cup (1,000m) at Sha Tin today.
Yiu has saddled up 12 winners from his last 71 runners and has a team fully capable of more than one victory on the programme, but the four-year-old Jade Christy (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) stands out among them.
The gelding put the writing on the wall before he raced with some well-above average trial performances, then ran out an impressive winner up the straight course in Class Four.
Winning on debut is always a good achievement, but Jade Christy looked like he knew all about the racing game, camping right on the speed then clearing away to do it comfortably.
It was a performance that augurs well for the son of Danehill Dancer's future as, in addition to all that speed he is showing now, he also has some stamina in his pedigree, with his grand-dam Eastern Joy a Group-class New Zealand performer over longer distances who even managed sixth in a Group One Wellington Cup over 3,200m.
Any step out over further lies ahead for Jade Christy, but if he repeats the speed he showed first-up, that should be enough to get the job done this afternoon.
Rising in grade to what is a fairly thin Class Three, Jade Christy drops to a light weight, necessitating the jockey change from Zac Purton, and he has drawn the preferred outside barrier.
His danger looks an obvious one in the John Size-trained Supreme Jewellery (Douglas Whyte), despite that four-year-old having looked somewhat disappointing since his own impressive debut down the straight.
Anything that can be said of Jade Christy now was also being said of Supreme Jewellery after he strolled home in May in Class Four over this course, but he has finished out of a place three times since, twice at odds on.
He never looked comfortable first-up down the straight this season behind Arrived Ahead, then was on top of a good speed and didn't really find the line at 1,200m last time out in blinkers for the first time, although he was beaten only half-a-length behind Taverner.
Back to the straight 1,000m course, fit and in his blinkers, Supreme Jewellery looks a threat but he has racked up a couple of convictions, while Jade Christy's copybook is spotless at this stage.
The other runner that punters will look to is the Tony Cruz-trained Space Race (Gerald Mosse), unplaced only once in six runs down the straight and only twice in his 11 race starts.
He has been runner-up his past two outings at Happy Valley and here and is very quick and honest, but he doesn't look to have the scope of the other two and he must concede them both a significant amount of poundage in the handicaps.
It was a performance that augurs well for the son of Danehill Dancer's future as, in addition to all that speed he is showing now, he also has some stamina in his pedigree
The strike rate for Ricky Yiu, who is in fine form with 15 winners