Things could have gone one way or the other with Adventurer after he had looked a speedy squib in his early races but it seems the three-year-old is on the correct path for trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak and his win on Saturday looked the form race to follow from the meeting.
Adventurer had initially looked fast but little else and was beaten at halfway through his races but he has got stronger with racing and improved again from his first win to Saturday’s victory.
Apprentice Jack Wong Ho-nam rode a clever race on Adventurer, controlling a good speed instead of just letting his gelding run as fast as he liked and it proved the making of the win as well as the event.
The times in the Class Four down the straight compared very favourably with the interference-riddled Class Three later, won somewhat fortunately by Archippus, and that alone gives every confidence that Adventurer will more than hold his own going up a grade now.
Likewise, runner-up Love Shock should be winning very soon after easily defeating the remainder of the field. He is by Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, who is making a good impression from limited runners in Hong Kong, so it seems logical to assume that Love Shock will be seen at his best when he gets out to longer trips than the straight 1,000m.
Still, he has enough natural speed to be winning at a sprint trip soon and that augurs well for his prospects as he matures.
One horse to follow from the race which will have eluded most fans is David Hall-trained Soaring Wyvern.
The gelding was slow out of the gates, outpaced when the tempo picked up mid-race and beat home only two runners, including Wild Five, who bled, but his last 400m was the third-fastest all day and the fastest from this race, despite him running very greenly.
In fairness, Soaring Wyvern might be seen to better effect with a summer behind him and definitely over more ground for, although he’s by a sire of precocious horses in Exceed And Excel, he is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and might be throwing more to that side of his pedigree.