Pure Force will be the one to keep an eye on
Pure Force may have been struggling to get into his rhythm since arriving, but put the writing on the wall with a gutsy effort in the Class Four Hyderabad Handicap over (1,000m) on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.
The three-year-old raced under the same name in Australia for two thirds and a sixth, and since landing at Sha Tin at the stables of now-retired Alex Wong Yu-on last June, he showed no progress. It was a similar story after being transferred to Peter Ng Bik-kuen this campaign until his latest eye-catching effort.
Pure Force was gelded on December 6 following those poor performances and was allowed to find his feet with two barrier trials - once at the city venue.
Neil Callan was on board the 80-1 outsider carrying 130 pounds on Wednesday. He settled fourth from the rear after failing to muster speed, but kept responding to hard riding, before showing a good turn of foot to finish a creditable eighth - 21/2 lengths behind the three-horse win photo of Ride On The Fire, Secret Of Winning and Gold Edition.
He is a son of Beautiful Crown and Fraar mare Fraische. Beautiful Crown raced in America where he was a winner of six races at 1,200m to 1,300m, and has been responsible for five ordinary winners from his eight starters in Hong Kong, the best being the retired Beautiful Choice.
His dam, Fraische was a five-time winner from 1,000m to 1,280m and has produced two other starters from three foals, including a Press Card filly who has chalked up seven wins sprinting up to 1,250m.
Pure Force still needs a combination of maturity and experience to reach his full potential, but looks to be on the right track. And being from an American stallion and out of a female family loaded with black-type form on the dirt, he should revel on the all-weather track as well.