There was a time when trainer John Size thought Sergeant Titanium was going to be pretty handy and then another when that seemed the furthest thing from reality, but the four-year-old overcame difficulties to land his third win on the trot yesterday with the promise of a fourth in the offing.
Sergeant Titanium was part of that half of the card belonging to Joao Moreira, as was Size's second success, Dehere's The Love, but "The Sarge" stands as an example of what can happen with horses and experience.
"When I first started training him, he looked a very nice horse. He was a beautiful mover, he's a lovely animal with great presence about him but when he went to the races he was completely clueless," Size explained. "He had no idea what it meant or what he was supposed to do. It took four runs to get him to switch on but since he learned to race, he hasn't looked back. I'd expect there's more to come."
Posted three wide cutting the breeze, Sergeant Titanium made light of that to skip away at the top of the straight and cruise home by more than two lengths, taking him up a class next time with some momentum.
"It didn't faze him sitting wide because he got a smooth race. That's his strong point but also his weakness - he wants to travel in a race," said Size. "In Hong Kong, he'll get into some races where they'll run fast sections at different stages of a race and he might struggle with that, but a mile or farther when he gets a smooth race, he's probably going to compete."
Dehere's The Love has been a specialist on the all-weather surface so winning there is no surprise but at just his second run back from seven months out and knee surgery, he did a nice job to win again.
"He ran well first-up but the danger is whether he can repeat that after such a long break but he showed no signs at home of going backwards and he brought that form back today," Size said. "They didn't go as quick as they might have and from the inside draw that allowed him to sit closer than he has some times in the past."