Super Lifeline's path in the hands of owner: Millard
In the same moment that Super Lifeline took the Chinese New Year Cup, jumped the queue and qualified himself for the remaining four-year-old classics, trainer Tony Millard was quick to announce that wasn't the path he favours for the gelding.
Bounced into a spot by Karis Teetan, trailing fellow four-year-old Dundonnell to the turn, Super Lifeline produced a strong final sprint under his light weight to get past the leader in the final 100m.
The victory will take his rating into the 90s, where he would likely be assured of a run in the Classic Cup or the Derby, but the trainer said that will be up to the aspirations of owner, Dr Eddy Fong Ching.
"Eddy was one of my first owners when I arrived here and it's great to win a decent race for him. This is a horse who surprised us when he won his first start at 100-1 and he has kept on surprising us and beat some quality animals today," said Millard.
"If Eddy really wants to run in the Derby then I guess he could run, but I don't think that's the best way to go. I have another one for the Hong Kong Macau Trophy so I wasn't keen on that either with him.
"We'll see how he is then have a look."
Millard had his critics when he ran Super Lifeline in the Classic Mile against the main Derby horses last month, despite having only an 81 rating, and the horse was subsequently raised five points for punching above his rating and finishing fifth.
"What some people don't seem to realise is that by running there, and getting that five points, it qualified him to run in this race - he wouldn't have been here today otherwise. They did me a favour," said Millard.
"I think the thing to do now is to give him a break, there isn't a lot of him but he has a big heart and he has done a good job to win five of eight."
Super Lifeline is the only horse to have run in Hong Kong by the former good Australian juvenile, Churchill Downs - and that is rather unlikely to change.
"Eddy's always been a lucky owner. They say every stallion has one good horse - well, Eddy got the only one by Churchill Downs that was any good," said Millard.
"He was a failure in Australia at stud and the last I saw he was sent off to stand in Libya."
Dundonnell was another well beaten in the Classic Mile who managed to perform against Class One opposition, giving further merit to the four-year-old crop, but the improved run didn't seem to improve the options for trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai.
"It was better but, at the moment, he's just going too keenly in his races to try him over any further than 1,400m.
"Even a mile looks his absolute maximum, so that counts the Derby races out," he said.