There was smoke and more than a hint of fire when Godspeed joined the list of black bookers with his fast finish into fourth behind Young Empire on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.
A lightly raced son of Savabeel, Godspeed had displayed a little ability at his trials prior to racing but, on debut, the David Hall-trained gelding was slowly away in a Happy Valley 1,200m and never a factor.
Switched to Sha Tin second-up, Godspeed was again outrun over 1,200m and giving all the signs that whatever ability he had might not be on display until next season.
But he turned the corner with a better run behind Resplendent Glory, running home nicely at the end of 1,200m then continued that progress on Wednesday.
This time there was good money at long odds to say that Godspeed would be running some sort of race and he justified that, finishing off from a long way back in the field to be closing quickly on the placegetters in the final 100m.
His final 400m was the fastest of the night and this race-by-race progress gives the gelding a nice platform to improve again when Hall steps him up in distance.
The best of the Savabeels we have seen here in Hong Kong have been stayers and Godspeed is out of a mare by O’Reilly, also not a breed of short course runners.
He had a full sister in New Zealand who won four races at 1,400m and 1,600m, and was fifth in a Group One mile there, so he has some pedigree to suggest he is above average and seeing him running well over insufficient sprint distances augurs well for his future.
Hall is one of the more patient trainers in town, which is why he hasn’t taken the gelding to a longer trip quickly, even knowing that this is where we will see his best.
But punters will do well to take note when that change up happens and get on board and horse ready to win one or two before the end of the season.