Bullish Champion will inject decent tempo into the Derby
It was hidden away in the fine print to some extent but Bullish Champion's victory on the weekend might have given us hope of a relatively rare event - a decent tempo for the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby next month.
Helene Mascot's Derby was a feast of tempo when Lu Yue and Luckyme held their own private race for last out in front of the field for most of the way, but the Derby has been more often a sit and sprint affair.
Collection's win was more a triumph in 2009 for Darren Beadman's tactical ride, likewise for Super Satin and Douglas Whyte two years ago and Ambitious Dragon simply had too much turn of foot last year after a very soft mid-race speed. The recent jiggy-jog Classic Mile promised more of the same going into the Classic Cup this weekend and on to the Derby, but maybe Bullish Champion will inject some speed into the Derby.
By Exceed And Excel out of a maiden Brief Truce mare whose only placings in Ireland came over 1,000m, it isn't exactly the pedigree of a 2,000m horse, but Bullish Champion has been very tough at the finish of 1,400m after running along at good speeds in his last two outings and has a dash of class.
It took Glorious Days - in our view one of the top couple of horses in town - all day to get Bullish Champion down and on Sunday some pretty handy ones found they couldn't do it all, before trainer Tony Cruz revealed the colt would take his place on Derby day at the wish of owner Yeung Yuk-ying.
Win, lose or draw, Bullish Champion might be a shot in the arm for the Derby just by turning up.