Cultural City finally putting things right
John Moore sent five starters to the track and was unfortunate not to have walked away with a race-to-race double when Cultural City was held up at a crucial stage in the Class Three Kwong Tin Handicap (1,800m) on the all-weather track at Sha Tin and it will only be a matter of time before he racks up win number one.
He arrived in the yard of Richard Gibson, but changed stables after misfiring in September following a promising debut effort on the final day of last season over 1,400m.
Stepping out for the first time for Moore on November 18 over the same turf trip following a gelding operation, he disappointed with an equipment change to a hood and side winkers.
With smart dirt bloodlines, Cultural City - sporting a pacifier with one cowl - made his move to that surface and was gallant in defeat behind Cheetah Boy in December.
He then had excuses in his next four starts and shook off a missed February run with mucous in his trachea for a fast-finishing nose second behind Eagle Power earlier this month, with a step up to the dirt mile after a three-wide trip from gate 12 in a slowly run race.
Firming late to start an overwhelming odds-on favourite on Wednesday over 1,800m, Cultural City sat 10 lengths off the leader Cheers Joy after losing ground at the start following an awkward break from gate seven. He had to hit the brakes between Horse Aplenty and Leo's Pride at the 200m, but once clear at the 150m, he made up a good deal of ground to finish third - half a length behind Xilai Xianzi and Champagne Days.
He was a good thing beaten and, with clear running, will be hard to deny next time out on this surface.
The four-year-old is a well-bred son of Elusive City and from the smart family of Housebuster mare Midnight Break. Elusive City was a Group One sprint winner in France who has dished out a host of winners on turf and dirt over 1,000m to a mile at both courses, while his dam was a winner at 1,400m and 1,600m and has produced three other winners over a range of 1,300m to 2,100m.
Midnight Break is also a half-sister to eight-time winner Perlin.