Fionn's Treasure has the 'ability to go a lot higher'
The Danny Shum Chap-shing has established an early season foothold near the top of the trainers' premiership with predominantly Class Four and Five gallopers, but he may have unearthed one ready to climb much higher in Griffin Trophy winner Fionn's Treasure.
Shum has 17 wins, already approaching his tally of 19 for the whole of the 2010-11 season.
While the trainer gains his bread-and-butter results in the lower tiers, Fionn's Treasure seems likely to climb into the higher grades on the strength of the restricted-race win, where he upset quality sprinter Bear Hero at 1,400m.
Jockey Gerald Mosse certainly thinks the three-year-old has what it takes to be at least a Class One galloper, given time.
'He has nice potential and is a lovely horse,' Mosse said. 'He could be a top one. If everything is OK, he will keep improving and he can go high.'
With just one start worth of experience, a soft Class Four win, Mosse was forced to push the raw colt through a barely-there gap late.
'He will improve a lot after that,' Mosse said. 'Today he was intimidated to come inside through the gap, he didn't want to go there and baulked, but he still came through and won easy. If I'd got wide, we would have won by two.
'He can get a bit longer, but he needs to gain maturity. Physically he is OK, but he is a big soft, a bit tender.'
Shum chose the horse off a couple of strong New Zealand trials, but knew he had something special on his hands when he first climbed aboard at trackwork.
'He just gave me a very good feel,' he said. 'He is a big strong horse and is very good mentally. Even though he is a colt, he is very sensible. He has a big heart, good potential and a lot of ability.'
Perhaps the horse's best attribute is his ability to take up a position early and then relax in the run.
Yesterday Mosse speared straight to the fence from barrier six, after which the colt spat the bit out and kept touch effortlessly throughout a deceptively hard-run affair.
'He can do whatever you want,' Shum said. 'You can put him in front, you can put him behind. But at this stage, he needs to race handy just to educate him.'