Hong Kong’s four-year-old crop continues to polish up a bright future, with Derby fifth Helene Paragon hacking up in Class Two despite a sharp drop in distance and showing how wide the John Moore net casts in the search for new stars.
“Can you believe it, he came from Spain?” said Moore, who said the Derby had inevitably been the aim for Helene Paragaon (Joao Moreira) but not his anticipated forte. “I think with a low draw and cold ride, maybe he could have run third in the Derby but he was never a stayer. I think he’s a high class miler and you’ll see him in December in the Hong Kong Mile. Still, dropping back 600m to 1,400m today isn’t easy and he’s made a mess of them.”
Moore prospected new fields a few years back, in response to rising prices in Britain and Ireland, when he trawled Italy to find some new stars, but to find something good in the smaller racing scene in Spain was unexpected.
“I didn’t even know there was racing in Spain. I’ve been told something comes out of there maybe once every five years,” Moore said. “We only picked Helene Paragon up on our radar when he went to France and won a couple of minor races but graduated to running a good race without much luck in the French Guineas. My son George said I should have a look at the video and we liked what we saw.”
Moreira completed a four-timer with the victory but, with so much going on at Sha Tin, it barely rated a mention.
“Joao’s got a decision to make now as this horse and Rapper Dragon will both go to the new race, the Lion Rock Trophy, at the end of the month and he can’t ride them both,” said Moore, who landed a pair with Royale Elegance (Tommy Berrry) scoring earlier.
Unusually for the yard, Helene Paragon is still a stallion but Moore said he had no plans to geld the four-year-old as he is perfect to handle, even as an entire:
“He does everything right, he’s a pleasure to train so why geld him? My father always said never cut them later in life if they don’t need it because you’ll kill their spirit.”