Deer will come solid with more experience
Trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen reaches the age of compulsory retirement at the end of this season, but is certainly going out with a bang.
He produced his 22nd winner on the weekend when Sunshine Boy saluted and the veteran trainer is likely to add to the totals following an eye-catching debut performance by the inexperienced Golden Deer in the griffin race.
Golden Deer trialled three times over 800m and 1,000m - final one a slick hit out last month and had his task harder from an always difficult inside gate up the Sha Tin straight.
The three-year-old lost ground when copping a sharp bump at the break by Fantasy Jewellery. But once he regrouped himself, the Irish-bred produced a good turn of foot to overhaul Smart Beauty in the final few metres for third - 41/2 lengths behind exciting winner Kynam.
Golden Deer still has some filling to come on his 1,080-pound frame and, like his family genes, should prove effective over further. He should successfully handle either course and as a descendant of Waajib on top and Warning on the bottom will relish softer conditions.
He is a son of Royal Applause and Diktat mare Diksie Dancer.
Royal Applause was a winner of nine races over 1,000m and 1,200m from 15 starts in Britain. He failed to make a serious impact as a stallion, but still has fathered nine winners from 18 performers in Hong Kong including Pacific Alliance (eight wins from 1,600m to 2,000m), Joyful World (four wins over 1,400m) and Imperial Applause (four wins over 1,400m).
Diksie Dancer is a daughter of the speed-oriented Diktat and earned a treble of placings from 11 races up to a mile - once an all-weather second at Wolverhampton - and is a half-sister to five winners.