Slick Bullet ready to fire on all cylinders
While Caspar Fownes' Thumbs Up ran a cracker in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup and Dance For Gold continued to flash untapped potential with a second win from as many starts, their stablemate Slick Bullet showed it's his turn to win with another improved performance on Sunday at Sha Tin.
The four-year-old had mixed results in six earlier outings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley after arriving off a mark of 69 from the US after two wins (1,700m) from five starts, but showed marked improvement two starts back behind promising Fionn's Treasure over 1,200m following an eye-catching trial on the dirt.
He was in the market at 8-1 this time for Mark du Plessis in the Class Three handicap over 1,400m with a move to a crossed nose band for the first time.
Slick Bullet broke awkwardly from gate 10 before settling third from the rear, straightened near the inside about five off the leaders, continued to shift ground to eventually hit clear running at the 150m before running on powerfully to go down by only a neck in third to favourite Supreme Knight and Happy Ha Ha, clocking the fastest final quarter in 22.83 seconds on the good-to-yielding ground.
He is an American-bred son of Group One Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, a successful local sire of 21 winners from 33 starters, including double group winner Floral Pegasus. His mother Oonagh is 1,400m winner in America and is a full-sister to Vicar, a Florida Derby winner over 1,800m.
The compact gelding looks ready to work his way upwards off a mark of 62 for owner Anthony Chok Kin-ping, who has enjoyed multiple wins with Mega Bullet, Winning Bullet and Golden Bullet.