If there’s a better-named horse in Hong Kong than the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup winner, Contentment, then trainer John Size said he doesn’t know what it might be after the five-year-old cruised his way to a maiden Group One win.
Seven runs into the campaign, after some torrid contests against the best around since he won first-up on October 1, Contentment (Brett Prebble) is still eating, sleeping and drinking racing and going off to battle like clockwork. And loving it.
“Contentment loves his training, he likes being in work – he really thrives on it,” said Size after the gelding put up nearly two lengths at the finish on his nearest rival, Beauty Flame (Zac Purton). “Most good horses are like that, they do things correctly and take their racing well. Contentment’s got a lovely temperament, he’s enthusiastic to come and do his best all the time. He has looked like he would win a Group One, he has deserved it and now he’s done it.”
Size originally had Thewizardofoz in the race as well and Joao Moreira had the choice of mounts and picked Thewizardofoz, who was scratched with a minor health issue on Saturday.
“I guess John found me to ride this one by a process of elimination,” said a thrilled Prebble, who won a Champions Mile for Size some years ago on Sight Winner.
“As soon as he called, I just said yes. I’ve been seeing the back end of Contentment for a year or two so it was nice to throw my leg over him for the first time. After I trialled him the other day, I thought he’d win even with John’s other one running, so I came very confident when he was out.”
Prebble allowed himself just a sniff of emotion at the win in a major he had also taken out on his great favourite, Lucky Nine, who retired earlier this week.
“I’ve got a little bit of a lump in the throat over it but, you know, nothing goes on forever," he said. "Lucky Nine was such a great horse to me but he’d earned his retirement and I have to find the next one. And this guy could be it. He waited for them when he hit the front today, I felt he had more there if it was needed.”
Size said the path ahead now was clear, if relatively limited, for Contentment.
“There’s the Chairman’s Trophy for him in a month, going back to 1,600m, and then there’s the Champions Mile a month after that,” he said. “There’s not a lot left in the season for him but we’ll go down that road and see where it takes us.”
Tony Cruz’s “Beauties” – Beauty Flame and Beauty Only – filled the minor placings, cutting race favourite Gold-Fun (Christophe Soumillon) out of the placings, and they will follow a similar path to the winner, but Gold-Fun is looking at a holiday.
“Coming into this race I wasn’t that confident. The horse is best when he’s fresh, and after four tough runs this season I was worried that the freshness was off him. He’ll have a good break now,” said trainer Richard Gibson, although not specific on whether that means the gelding’s season is finished.