Hong Kong Derby 2015
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Selkirk Star and Eton Blitz fight out the finish last week. Photo: Kenneth Chan

Selkirk the Star as he heads to the classics

It was only a humble Class Three on a standard day's racing but the race fought out by Selkirk Star and Eton Blitz last Sunday might have more meaning as time goes on.

Selkirk Star looks a natural blackbook entry - five moderate starts in his first local preparation when not yet acclimatised and it showed, then he produced a much improved performance when he stepped out for the first time this season.

Behind a solid pace, Selkirk Star was finding the line well on National Day when seventh over 1,400m, He had had another month's work and step up in distance and presented better before landing the win on Sunday but there is plenty of upside scope left there as his form solidifies.

He won three of three in the UK as a juvenile, including a Group Two Superlative Stakes, with the form behind him worthwhile rather than outstanding but he looked to have at least as much scope for improvement as the horses he raced then.

Moore has been patiently waiting for the gelding to find his feet and Selkirk Star should pick up another race or two and make his way into the four-year-old classics.

Eton Blitz, a six-year-old, won't get the same sort of attention as a horse with upside but his tale isn't so different to Selkirk Star's back story, it's just that his has played out in slower motion.

A five-start veteran in his homeland as Eton Square, he registered two wins and two seconds at three before being tossed in at the deep end and living up to the challenge when fourth, beaten only a length, in South Africa's biggest race, the 2012 Durban July.

He arrived here well into the 2012-13 season, his progress has been hampered by a tendon injury and a bout of navicular disease at the end of 2013 but he remains lightly-raced and his two starts this season have indicated he is ready to win.

The time he has lost probably means he won't reach the heights he may have done but there is still time for Eton Blitz to win races and that looks likely sooner rather than later.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Selkirk the Star as he heads to the classics