Eastern Promise knocking on door
Trainer David Hall failed to find the winner's circle from his six starters at Happy Valley on Sunday, but Eastern Promise is shaping up as a promising player for the stable.
Eastern Promise made his debut last month over 1,200m at Sha Tin behind the likes of The Peak, Fionn's Treasure and Sterling City following some eye-catching trials - once over this course. He travelled keenly and finished ninth in his debut, beaten 33/4 lengths.
He has been making steady progress since his first-up run and was plunged to start favourite this time.
The three-year-old jumped well and settled one off the fence and about four lengths off leader Ride On The Fire, rounded the final bend six wide and was surging late to end up a dead-heat third with Pocket Rockets, 11/2 lengths off winner Merry Anniversary in the Jinbao Street Handicap (1,000m).
Eastern Promise had one start in Victoria, Australia, as The Other Sun for trainer Patrick Payne and quickened well to win by a half-a-length on a yielding track over 1,100m, with runner-up Adamantium going on to finish third in the Group One Futurity Stakes behind King Mufhasa.
The gelding will come on further for this outing and will be hoping to break through for his sire Al Samer, a son of Redoute's Choice who has yet to produce a winner in Hong Kong, with his best being the once-placed Keen Tactics and twice-placed Hero's Win. Al Samer was a double winner as a juvenile at 1,200m and 1,300m.
Eastern Promise is a first foal of Danewin mare Shaan, a winner at 1,250m and Listed-placed third in the AJC James H B Carr Stakes and a half-sister to five winners at a mile and under. His third dam was smart Pass The Peace and has produced eight winners from 10 starters.
From his pedigree and overseas success, he should grow an extra leg on a rain-cushioned track.