Glorious trial puts rivals on notice
Glorious Days confirmed his Group One quality with a tough second to Lucky Nine in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup three weeks ago, and shot out an ominous warning to his next rivals by showing off his devastating turn of foot in a Sha Tin trial on Friday.
The John Size-trained star was four from four going into his set-weights clash with Lucky Nine over 1,400m and lost no admirers when he was beaten by a head in a slugfest.
He now steps up to a mile for the first time in the Group Two Chairman's Trophy, with the son of Hussonet likely to start shot-odds under the favourable set-weight conditions.
Glorious Days had his rating jump 10 points to a lofty 124 after his last game effort, so there's no more easy options in the foreseeable future, and next Sunday he will carry equal weight with experienced milers Able One and Thumbs Up.
Powering through a 1,200m all-weather track hit out under Douglas Whyte, Glorious Days was allowed to travel under his own steam in midfield, before he was let slip the tiniest amount of rein in the straight and displayed the breathtaking acceleration that will make him so hard to beat.
The four-year-old was still fifth at the 400m, but was within striking range of the leader at the 200m pole and zoomed to the line under a decent hold, in the fastest time of the morning (1.10.3).
Runner-up Real Supreme trialled well; he was over-looked for the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby, the 89-rated colt losing his spot to three lower-ranked horses after unconvincing lead-up form over 1,400m.
He ended up reserve for the Derby, and as you would expect, Peter Ng Bik-kuen has him looking fit and well.
Brett Prebble has ridden the solid chestnut in his last two wins, and was back aboard to give him a solid work-out.
After Cheetah Boy set the pace, Prebble got Real Supreme to do some chasing, took up the running from the 400m, and showed some competitiveness when Glorious Days moved to his outside.
Third was another interesting triallist, top-class sprinter Little Bridge, who has been given a freshen-up since his disappointing efforts in the first two legs of the Speed Series.
Shum gave his stable star more than three weeks off the track after his sixth in the Chairman's Sprint Prize, swimming the five-year-old to maintain some fitness.
He didn't show much on Friday - but he rarely does in trials - but he did jump well and idled along in third for Zac Purton.
D-day is approaching for former star Beauty Flash. The six-year-old's best seems behind him and he produced another underwhelming trial performance. Next Sunday's clash with Glorious Days could decide his future.
Whyte was on board another of Size's future winners in the second heat, Earl Of Leitrim, who showed wayward tendencies when beaten as favourite last start, but seems rehabilitated.
Stewards ordered the import to trial again after he hung badly in the closing stages at Sha Tin, and true to his perfectionist style, Size has gone back to trial twice.
He took the turn well, Whyte letting him stalk Stallion Supreme until straightening, and then let down with a nice finishing burst. His time of 1.10.37 was only fractionally slower than his stablemate's in the first heat.
Tuesday's turf trials were a star-studded affair, but one of the lesser lights of note was Willie Cazals , who finally passed a barrier trial at his seventh attempt, despite a slight sidestep after jumping. It's too late for the planned-Derby for the expensive import, but at least the 93-rated colt can now race and showed he might yet live up to his European form with a decent 1,000m display once out and galloping.