All Round coming to hand nicely
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained All Round looks to be heading in the right direction after an encouraging performance in the Class Three Hong Kong Outstanding Athletes Cup (1,650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
All Round arrived off a mark of 87 after two wins over 1,400m at Fontainebleau and 1,600m at Longchamp and a three-quarter length second to Desert Blanc in the Listed Prix De Tourgeville at Deauville. He had six starts as a three-year-old in France as Woodstock City for trainer Richard Chotard.
All Round stepped out three times last campaign and was well beaten, but following a nine-point shuffle in the ratings and improved trackwork, the gelding was sent out again at big odds with Olivier Doleuze in the saddle.
The Frenchman saved ground in midfield after jumping nicely from gate one, roused him up approaching the final bend, shifted outside of favourite Mega Champion at the 300m and responded well to finish a clear third - 11/4 lengths behind the winner.
The four-year-old is the first local runner of Highest Honor stallion Sagacity, who was victorious in the Group One Criterium De Saint Cloud (1,800m) anda 2,000m event. He is out of the Orphen mare Yippee, who won five times at 1,400m and 1,600m and is a half-sister to Contemporary - winner of the Prix Miesque (1,400m).
All Round is also related to Shanghai Friend, who was a double winner at a mile and 1,800m at both courses and placed five times from 21 starts.
With the run under his belt, expect the gelding to continue to show progress and will be clicking over 1,400m to 1,800m for owner Ma Ching-fat, who tasted plenty of success with Best Eleven (six wins) last season.