Trainer Tony Millard failed to click with some short-priced favourites on Sunday, but must be feeling good about the future prospects of Tayside following a sterling runner-up performance in the Class Four Mastermind Handicap (1,200m).
He had been striding out well, including an eye-catching trial outing, following a minor setback after his debut run on November 4. Tayside was restless in the stalls and got his right hind leg on the platform before being passed fit to race by the vets. Despite the incident, Tayside came out of the race - where he finished 13th up the Sha Tin straight - with only minor abrasions to his right hock.
Drawing gate 12 with a step up to 1,200m this time, Tayside drifted in the betting - 21-1 to 41-1. The three-year-old was allowed to find his feet after jumping worse than midfield, pushed widest out rounding the home bend and responded powerfully over the final 100m to finish second to the short-priced favourite Berlinski while clocking a good final 400m in a swift 22.38 seconds.
Tayside is a good-looking brown colt by the rising American stallion Bernardini and Snippets mare Broderie. Bernardini raced only as a three-year-old in the US for six wins - three at Group One level including the Preakness Stakes. While the son of champion racehorse and sire A.P. Indy has yet to make an impact from two other Hong Kong starters - Gold Fortune (three runs) and All My Benefit (one run) - Bernardini is already making a name for himself elsewhere with the likes of Stay Thirsty, To Honor And Serve, Biondetti and A.Z. Warrior.
Broderie was a six-time winner in Australia to 1,400m and is a half-sister to multiple winners up to a mile. Broderie has also produced the sprint winner Your Excellency by Exceed And Excel.
Tayside is still learning the ropes, but gives you the feel of a nice performer and should be a good money spinner for the yard over varying courses.