Paganini's Soul ready to show his true class
Paganini's Soul confirmed he is heading in the direction again after a positive showing in the Class One Kennedy Handicap (1,000m) on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.
A performed import, Paganini's Soul established solid credentials with three wins and a second from four starts in Australia and he was quick off the mark while showing good potential in seven local runs last season. After opening with a nail-biting 1,200m second behind Affluence Of Rain, he got on the board at his next start with an on-the-speed success over Military Move over 1,400m. The five-year-old then placed in two of his final five runs behind the likes of smart Leading City, Captain Sweet and Pure Champion and then ended the campaign in May with a flat seventh behind Fortune Red Pepper in his all-weather track debut at a mile.
The gelding had a setback when bleeding from his right nostril after finishing a barrier trial over the straight 1,000m on October 4. He didn't make his return until last month, stepping out with a tongue tie on for the first time when a one-paced eighth to Pizzazz after crowding at the 600m in his Happy Valley debut over 1,200m on January 11 under Mark du Plessis.
He reappeared 18 days later over the same trip, this time back at Sha Tin, as a stand-by declared starter for the lame Express Horse. After making a brief move at the top of the straight, he came up flat over the final 200m behind Windicator Power in a rich Class Two.
Despite the return of leading rider Douglas Whyte this time, Paganini's Soul was still unwanted in the betting at 29-1. Whyte had Paganini's Soul switched off at the rear, about seven lengths off genuine pace being instigated by Romantic City and Oriental Prosper, still only had two behind him while cornering in a jam with Touch Go and Groovy on either side and El Zonda in front, shouldered his way into the clear passing the 200m and was picking them up late to get within a 21/2-length fifth of upset winner Flying Colours.
The Australian-bred son of Show Of Heart was certainly found wanting more ground in the latter stages in his maiden journey over 1,000m on this occasion but, with this run under his belt and further fine tuning from the training grounds, he will be hard to beat when next stepping out over 1,200m at either track or his preferred 1,400m distance.