The application of blinkers seems to have John Moore’s Pablosky ready to take advantage of a rare opportunity on the dirt after a sparkling trial on the surface at Sha Tin on Tuesday.
With a rating of 99, the grey sprinter won’t get many chances on the all-weather track but a mixed ratings band Class One (110-90) sprint at next Wednesday’s Sha Tin meeting seems a race tailor made for the six-year-old.
Pablosky has won four races on the dirt, including a Class One late last season where he ran good time and a similar display next week would appear good enough to contend in a race unlikely to have a full field, but blinkers could provide an extra spark.
A last start 11th was a total forgive for Pablosky, who was stuck four-wide with no cover throughout the race and Tuesday’s barrier trial showed the sometimes temperamental gelding is in good shape ahead of this next test.
Pablosky led a Sha Tin dirt trial throughout this morning; Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only, G1 winner Blazing Speed among those in behind pic.twitter.com/TPXXMiWng9— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) January 10, 2017
There was a time when a tendency to get warm before races – Pablosky is by Mastercraftsman out of a Tale Of The Cat mare – meant he wasn’t an ideal candidate for blinkers but the time might be right judging by Tuesday’s terrific trial.
With Douglas Whyte aboard, Pablosky jumped fast and cleared out from some top class sprinters and ran decent time too (1:09.8), especially considering he was mostly being restrained, not pushed.
Behind him were some runners preparing for the Group Ones set down for the Lunar New Year meeting on January 30 and it is probably best to not read too much into a couple of lackadaisical efforts.
Strathmore (Chad Schofield) can be lazy in his trials and the Tony Millard-trained five-year-old took some convincing to get after Pablosky in the straight and will be better for the hit-out.
The Tony Millard-trained five-year-old will head to the Group One Centenary Cup Sprint next, where he will need to improve off what was a disappointing ninth in the Group One Hong Kong Sprint.
Blazing Speed (Neil Callan) certainly hasn’t missed a feed since a fifth in the Group One Hong Kong Cup just over four weeks ago and was shunted along to finish midfield in the trial as he gears up for the Group One Stewards’ Cup.
The now eight-year-old won the 2014 Stewards’ Cup but has since found the mile races too sharp and favoured staying events, winning the 2014 and 2016 Group One Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup.
Blazing Speed’s stablemate and Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only (Zac Purton) was even further back, but that is no concern for a horse that always saves his best for racedays and hates the AWT.