Although last Saturday’s Sha Tin meeting was an annual event dedicated to honouring past chairmen, it is paradoxically a very plain day’s racing each year and we have to look towards the unexplored to find our black book entries.
And Happy Meteor fell under that description despite his all-weather win in race eight being start number 21 in Hong Kong, since this was his first time on the surface.
There’s no getting away from the worth of this win – comprehensive, good times, good margins – and everything about it said this was not just the best that Happy Meteor has performed here but the precursor to more wins on the dirt surface.
He is by Northern Meteor, who is a successful enough sire of turf horses but his stock do seem to take to the dirt and although Happy Meteor’s record had been tradesmanlike rather than impressive prior to this, it might look a little better after a few more runs on the surface.
After the reassessment of his rating on Monday morning, Happy Meteor was lifted seven points to 76 and should be able to win again in Class Three off that mark and there are still three of those left in the season’s programme. He also appears fully capable of winning in the bottom half of Class Two as well, although that is be a harder assignment since there were just three 1,200m dirt races for that grade this season, and they are all over.
Marvel Tribe ran them along hard in the Li Cup on the turf over 1,200m and he was able to keep going where others couldn’t and punters should completely overlook Arizona Blizzard’s poor finish after getting overwrought in the pre-race and then having a very tough run.
But two of the other newcomers were worthwhile efforts, albeit flattered by the tempo – Mr Potential and The Full Bloom.
Andreas Schutz-trained Mr Potential looked the better prospect going into the race after his trials had been on point and he probably isn’t too far off a win.
The Full Bloom, however, a northern hemisphere three-year-old who had just one fairly soft 800m trial as his preparation for the race, might be the one with the most scope, certainly for next season if not now.