It was hard to miss the debut of the Chris So Wai-yin-trained Paddington on Wednesday night at Happy Valley and the gelding shouldn’t be long in making the transition to a victory.
The son of Wanted had shown enough ability at the trials to think he could be competitive on debut given some luck, but any optimism in the So camp on that front was probably dashed when the gelding came up with barrier 12 for his first appearance.
Jockey Alexis Badel rode a smart race, though, steadying back and biding his time to save Paddington for one run and he was strong over the 1,000m, hitting the line well to be a length away in third behind Mr Right.
He was flattered a little by a good speed up front that helped horses running on from the back, but it was pretty good for a first attempt all the same.
When Paddington goes to 1,200m and gets a draw, he won’t need to be coming from so far back and should be able to put a win on the board.
The John Size-trained Premiere was a black booker after his first race start and some nice trials and he stays under notice now he is showing exactly what was expected.
Premiere looked a Class Two horse in his trials in New Zealand and fell a fair bit short of that in his first few at Sha Tin but, typical of the Size training regime, he has found his legs with experience and a switch to Happy Valley.
He sat behind to break through for his Class Four maiden win on International Jockeys’ Championship night for Hugh Bowman but Joao Moreira shot him straight across to lead on Wednesday night when he cleaned up a Class Three.
Premiere is every inch a horse heading to Class Two and parallels can be drawn between him and Sea Jade, who won in that higher grade a few races later on Wednesday, albeit at 1,200m.
The way Premiere ran through the line on Wednesday at the end of 1,000m, and after doing a little bit early to overcome that wide gate, he should handle 1,200m himself when Size decides to try him at it.