Classy Moonwalk can keep Size juggernaut rolling

There has been no stopping the John Size juggernaut at Sha Tin lately and Moonwalk can carry on the good work by winning the Peninsula Golden Jubilee Challenge Cup (1,800m).

With five trebles at Sha Tin since the end of November, the Australian trainer has worked his way to within striking distance on the trainers' table and Moonwalk (Willie Pike) heads another solid team this afternoon.

After a first and second in two Australian starts, the four-year-old won his first two outings at Sha Tin progressively in Class Three, before meeting defeat last time as a short-priced favourite behind Beauty Legend but he was anything but disgraced.

From a wide draw, jockey Douglas Whyte was never able to get the gelding to a comfortable spot with cover at any stage and had to cover extra ground all the way around the 1,600m circuit.

Even then, Moonwalk kept finding something down the straight and the smart winner only got the better of him in the final 50m.

The toughness of that run at the mile left little doubt that Moonwalk will handle 1,800m and, with a number of Hong Kong Derby aspirants to show off their wares in the feature, Moonwalk can not only upstage them but present a Derby case of his own. The qualities he has displayed have been the valuable tactical talent to race close but not overrace, an ability to quicken and the toughness he showed both last start and in his previous outing when he held on to win under a big weight.


All of which points to Moonwalk having more to give after just a handful of race starts and he gets the right opportunity to take another step.

The pace of the feature looks sound with the likes of Billion, Fat Dragon, Best Military and Johnson engaged and, from gate seven, Pike should get the chance to give Moonwalk a more relaxed run behind the speed.

Down in the weights, tough and underrated Johnson (Darren Beadman) represents one of the dangers to Moonwalk, meeting him some seven pounds better for a close third last time out, while the Sean Woods-trained King Dancer (Gerald Mosse) is certainly one who has been tagged for the Derby.

He was desperately unlucky to lose behind Gallant Champion last start over 2,000m when strung up in traffic in the straight.


John Size has been in impressive form and is second to Tony Cruz in the trainers' table with this many winners: 24