Treasure to be given a break after Shum finds something amiss
Danny Shum Chap-shing capped a double with Fionn's Treasure, but suspects all is not well with the talented three-year-old, the trainer set to spell the youngster and wait for next season.
After a forgiving track helped Iron Hawk break his local maiden early in the day, Fionn's Treasure showed tenacity to edge out the fast-finishing Rumba King by a nose.
There was plenty to like about the colt's third win at his fifth start, but Shum and jockey Zac Purton felt there was something amiss with a horse they believe is bound for Class One or beyond. 'Maybe he isn't right there just yet, for me, knowing his ability, he should have won by a length,' Shum said. 'His body language is telling me not to push him and that something is not 100 per cent, I can't say what it is.'
The trainer claimed there were either internal issues, ordering a post-race scope to investigate, or that the horse was struggling physically, after already spending time sidelined with soreness in his right fore shoulder.
'Maybe there is mucus or blood inside, or he just isn't solid enough yet,' Shum said. 'Either way, we will wait until next season. He is a Class One horse, definitely, and he will get up to 1,400m or 1,650m.'
Purton surged forward on the horse from barrier three, the winner overracing a touch, as Matthew Chadwick led but failed to cross on Po Ching King.
Fionn's Treasure was solid over the closing stages as pronounced favourite Sea Diamond wilted to third after never travelling kindly.
Purton didn't lose any respect for his mount, but backed Shum's plan to send him for a spell.
'He did his job, but he is in a bit of a flat spot and he is not really improving, I think Danny is going to tip him out and bring him back next season, which is the right thing to do,' he said.
'He is a better horse than what he showed today. He got the job done, so you can't be too critical, he only just got beat last start. I can't knock him.'
Iron Hawk (Weichong Marwing) had been consistent, with four placings from nine starts leading into yesterday, but was flat in most of his recent efforts. The move from side winkers back to blinkers seemed to find the missing spark as the four-year-old ran down leader Ferrabosco, The win was Marwing's 300th in Hong kong.
'I rode him in trackwork and he has a short-shuffling action, it was a case of horses for courses, that sort of track suited him ... on a firm track he may not have won,' Marwing said.