Brett Prebble and David Hall combined to win three trials at yesterday's 10-event morning marathon at Sha Tin, indicating a lucrative early season haul for the Melbourne Cup winning handler.
Hall prepared seven-year-old Tchaikovsky to win the seventh and South China Elite (ninth), with neither sprinter offering much of a surprise with comfortable victories over the straight 1,000 metres on turf.
But Hall would have been surprised with the turn of foot shown by 64-rater Wonderful Blessing in the final heat, with the baldy-faced bay dashing home to score by two lengths, albeit in slow time.
Prebble made it four wins by guiding Paul O'Sullivan's comeback sprinter, Medic Power, to a three-quarter length victory in the sixth, with Sacred Kingdom's one-time nemesis staving off a late rally from his stablemate, Elegant Win, and the Caspar Fownes-trained Deferential.
Tchaikovsky, who owns a 94 rating, showed his abundant natural speed to sit at the quarters of leader Rare Treasure (Felix Coetzee). When the South African riding ace began shutting Rare Treasure down, Tchaikovsky went on with it and was not fully extended to score by 13/4 lengths from O'Sullivan's New Zealand private purchase Merry Way (Mark du Plessis).
South China Elite, a talented but enigmatic grey sprinter, showed his brilliant side with an emphatic victory in 59.1 seconds - the fastest time for the five heats at the distance.
The ability of this grey son of Minardi has never been any secret - the biggest price in six starts is HK$48. But he's also had his problems, and having chips removed from his knees was a definite career setback.