City Delight has genes to handle all surfaces
City Delight lived up to his pedigree with a luckless second on debut in the Class Four Jonquil Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather track last Saturday at Sha Tin and will be hard to beat when next stepping out.
Like most Elusive Quality progeny, the Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained three-year-old was certain to excel on this surface.
He arrived as a well-educated youngster from Australia - a winner of one of two trials for Clarry Conners. He then had two solid trials at Sha Tin - staying on well in a move on the dirt when a close sixth to Forest Star on January 31.
Punters didn't forget to back him - $128 to $74 - and he gave them a shocker when badly hampered and losing nearly four lengths after getting squeezed out at the start by Ming Hoi Glory and Delish.
The gelding picked up ground well to settle about eight off the rapid pace set by short-priced favourite Happy Index at the 800m, eased two off the fence entering the straight, shifted into the clear with one wider out and was finishing up furiously to get within a 11/4-length second to Happy Index.
Beside City Delight, the race winner Happy Index and fourth-placed Fiery Raider are also descendants of the Elusive Quality sire line. They are following in the footsteps of star dirt performers Lucky Quality and Dynamic Blitz.
Adding in a fine bottom half of pedigree, City Delight has the scope to head higher. His dam, the Flying Spur mare Arrogantly, was a sprint winner three times at 1,100m and is a half-sister to the Group Two VRC Maribyrnong Plate winner Catnipped and the Listed-placed pair of Wyndam Tycoon and Finishing School. She is also a half to the unraced Bumps, who is famous in these parts as the dam of the Rory Jester progeny Wyndam Easy, who was conditioned by David Hayes to six local successes from 1,000m to 1,400m and a Group Three third to Able Choice in the Juvenile Sprint Trophy.
While he has some stamina-influential blood flowing from his third dam, the Northfields mare Life At Last, a winner up to 2,000m, and the dam of the VRC St Leger winner Full At Last, City Delight looks more in the mould of an early maturing type at a mile or under and shouldn't be limited to just star status as a dirt performer.