Dual Happy hits his straps
Manfred Man's impressive Valley winner just warming up over longer distances
Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained Dual Happy showed the benefits of a summer break and a drop in class when he won at Happy Valley last Tuesday night but it won't be the gelding's last win even as he rises in class.
Dual Happy was a strong winner over 1,600 metres in his only run in New Zealand, usually a sign that a horse will get a staying trip, so the sprint courses he had in front of him last season in three outings were obviously unsuitable assignments.
Realistically, Man never had the gelding right to tackle longer distances due to a mid-season campaign interruption with a stress fracture to his front left cannon bone.
But with a summer break and a drop in class, Man was able to line up Dual Happy for a 1,650m event last week and he travelled like the winner throughout, sprinting strongly to put Real General away quickly and registering strong times.
That takes him back into Class Three but, over more suitable trips, he should be able to win at least one in that grade. And the gelding races like 1,800m will hold no fears for him either.
Also worth following from last Tuesday is King Derby. A maiden from seven starts now, King Derby put the writing on the wall in his final run last season and confirmed again that he is ready to change his status.
He is following a familiar track for a son of Holy Roman Emperor in that his good efforts here have been at Happy Valley, but he won three times over sprint courses on the Wolverhampton polytrack in England so he should be worth sticking with on the all-weather as well.