Raw Glorious Days is 'the real deal'
Douglas Whyte is calling him the real deal, even his conservative trainer John Size has stamped him a good horse and the toughest problem with Glorious Days right now is trying to make a call on where his limits might lie.
Glorious Days (Whyte) had another stroll in the park to win the Midland Holdings Cup (1,400m) and all eyes now turn to where the four-year-old will start to dip his hoof into Group racing.
The son of Hussonet rounded out a treble for Whyte, who had earlier scored with Mentor for Size and Go Baby Go for Dennis Yip Chor-hong, and the Durban Demon has only high praise for Glorious Days.
'He's the real deal. There's a lot of rawness about him but what he is doing, he doing effortlessly and with real enthusiasm for his job,' he said.
'He is a really exciting horse and I love riding these sorts of horses for John. Every time they come back to the race, they lift a little more and they just keep doing it.'
For the third time in as many starts, and after being hoisted sharply in the ratings for both of his first two wins, Glorious Days ambled around the Sha Tin 1,400m course in cruise control, dropped any pretenders at the 200m and moseyed on down to the post like he was headed to the water hole.
As yet, nothing has been good enough to beat him or even get him, his trainer or his rider anxious. 'It doesn't look like we've seen the bottom of him yet, there looks more there,' said Size.
'He has always done everything right from the moment he walked in the place but that's no surprise - he's foolproof but that's what good horses are like. So, I'll respect him and treat him like a good horse and see where he can take himself.'
As a four-year-old Glorious Days looks headed down the natural Group racing path in the direction of the Derby, though how far he stays is still to be tested as his only run in New Zealand was 1,200m and he has only been 1,400m here.
'I have no doubt he will stay a mile with ease, and the feel you get is that he will handle further,' Whyte said.
'The way he just shuts down in a race, and his temperament is so relaxed. When he comes down the straight, he has a good look at the big screen and at the winning post,' Whyte said.
The programme for Glorious Days may include the Group Three Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1,400m) on New Year's Day, on the way to the Group One Mercedes-Benz Classic Mile on January 25.
'He's a four-year-old so I'm sure the owners will expect me to step him up to at least the mile. I'm not too interested in projecting whether he will get the mile or any further - he travels well through a race, though he isn't built like a stayer, but the best way to find out what he can do is to put him in a race and see,' Size said.
'It's a fair break between now and the Classic Mile so he might need to run somewhere in between and there aren't any options once they get to where he is in the ratings now.'
Mentor also kept himself unbeaten in the opening race, but didn't have a lot of depth opposed to him as he made the step up to 1,200m.
'He needed every inch of the 1,000m to win first time out so he appreciated the extra distance today, and was very professional again,' Whyte said. 'He won it with some authority but it did look a shallow race.'