Rise in distance on the cards for classy Divine Ten
Divine Ten was never out of second gear to pick up a first black type race for himself and his trainer in taking his record to five wins from six starts in the Group Three Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (1,000m) but Me Tsui Yu-sak admitted a whole new world is imminent.
Divine Ten (Douglas Whyte) was opposed in the betting only by Golden Harvest, a distant third after being heavily-supported late, and gave some guide to his quality by accounting comfortably for Straight Gold, runner-up to Amber Sky in a Group One in January.
To date the son of Holy Roman Emperor has raced exclusively down the straight 1,000m course, but that option has finished for the current season and Tsui conceded that a move to something different beckoned if Divine Ten's season was to continue.
"We don't need to think much about it - animals are honest, they tell you what they need and this horse will tell us what to do with him next," said Tsui. "But the truth is that he has run out of 1,000m races now and the only programming option is to take him to 1,200m."
The Group Two Sprint Cup in three weeks would be available to him, but Tsui said he was in no hurry and the Group Three Sha Tin Vase (1,200m) on May 25 looks a better option. Whyte, who was having his first race ride on the four-year-old, standing in for the suspended Joao Moreira, said he did not see a problem with going further.
"He was thrown in the deep end today and came out swimming and it's nice to see we have another up and coming sprinter. Divine Ten is a lovely, uncomplicated ride," said Whyte after winning by almost two lengths. "He actually gave me a much better feel today than when I sat on him in trackwork and he feels very progressive, and such a professional. He jumps, he's got gate speed, a nice cruising speed through a race and then he finds when you ask him for more.
"The key to him going to 1,200m is the fact that he is so straightforward and tractable. And he isn't your pure short-course speed horse; he has an off switch, so I can't see any reason why he wouldn't get 1,200m."
"He's done nothing wrong in these short races, but in time he might be even better going a little further."
Tsui is in the ninth year of his training career and Divine Ten's win was his first at Group level.
Straight Gold and Golden Harvest looked to have their chance to beat the favourite, while Tye Angland said defending 2013 Bauhinia Sprint winner Go Baby Go (fourth) found the task of conceding big weights to all the placegetters beyond him, especially in the slippery ground.
"He gave the winner 18 pounds, the second 12 and the third horse 17 pounds, and he isn't going as well as he was earlier in the season, so his effort was ok," Angland said.