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  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:45pm
SportRacing
RACING

The Sky's the limit - but not just yet

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 3:38am

We hope it doesn't come down to blows between trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai and martial arts star owner Sammo Hung Kam-po over three-year-old Amber Sky's immediate path because that would all be one-way traffic.

Post-race on Sunday, Hung suggested to the Chinese press that a start in the Hong Kong Sprint was the goal, while Yiu elsewhere insisted Amber Sky needed to be coddled and allowed to strengthen and learn.

The reality is that Amber Sky had a light weight on Sunday, no obvious competitors for the lead - unless Nordic One had been overused as he was first-up in the same scenario - and he simply isn't ready to take on good horses.

His times and sectionals have not made a strong case that he should be thrown in against quality horses over the straight 1,000m, let alone around a turn, where he has yet to prove his worth even in a trial.

Remember Eagle Regiment rising from Class Three to Group One quickly last season in straight races, but he has been ineffective around a bend.

For the sake of Amber Sky's future, Yiu will get his way as the programme available should ensure he doesn't race again this year.

Off a rating of 97 now, Amber Sky is eligible for only three more races in 2012 at 1,200m or less - the Jockey Club Sprint, the Hong Kong Sprint and the Happy Valley Trophy.

Like all the smart three-year-olds here, Amber Sky is forced to race older horses under handicap conditions instead of setting up in soft Group events against his own age, as he would in Australasia or Europe.

Thus, the trick is to manage and place him and keep his appearances spaced and to a minimum while he grows and matures, or risk him bumping into some old battle-hardened speedster who burns him up before he is ready for it.

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