Well-bred Peri Peri Saffron looks a treat
The Peter Ho Leung-trained Peri Peri Saffron produced an eye-catching effort in Sunday's opening event over 1,200m at Sha Tin.
Peri Peri Saffron was educated by Paul Jenkins in New Zealand and went nicely to win his only trial over 950m in April in which five of the runners have already gone on to win races.
The four-year-old - bought for a mere NZ$18,000 (HK$120,000) - has had a fruitful preparation since arriving and hit the line nicely in all four trials.
There were high expectations for the debutant and punters kept him safe in the market, but he was set a task after breaking poorly from gate two for Ben So Ting-hung - as showed in his trials.
He was reined along to tack on eight lengths off the crawling pace, along the rails. He was short of room behind Winner Smart and Longwah Kid while pulling out three deep upon straightening, went back to the rails at the 300m and ran on nicely underneath a tiring Honour List to finish fifth - beaten 11/2 lengths.
A good stamp of horse flesh at 1,150m pounds, the gelding is a New Zealand-bred son of Red Ransom stallion Handsome Ransom, mated to Defensive Play mare Nakke.
Handsome Ransom was a double sprint winner Down Under, including the Black Opal Stakes and this progeny has been thriving in local scene, particularly with a 100 per cent strike rate in middle-distances - Handsome Zulu, Finezza, Super Team and High-Loft.
His New Zealand performed dam, Nakke was a winner of three at 1,200m and 1,400m and among the two earlier foals she has produced, both fillies, one by Sandtrap, has raced and been unplaced in two sprints. While both his first two dams were short-course winners, Nakke is a half-sister to Farzac, who won up to 2,000m, and descendants of his unplaced third dam has produced a good variety of winners from 1,000m to 3,600m, including the 1980s local performer Solid Bull, a four-time winner from 1,235m up to 1,650m.
From his pedigree, Peri Peri Saffron should pan out to be a specialist over a mile or 1,800m.