Winning black bookers were easy to find at Sha Tin on Saturday after impressive debut efforts by Hot King Prawn and Ivictory, another two horses who will put their weight behind John Size’s assault on the trainers’ win tally record this season.
Hot King Prawn did everything expected of him by bouncing to the lead and giving even triple heart bypass patients no cause for worry at the short odds.
Well educated, he looked like he had been around before, which may not have been the difference as he also appeared to possess more natural ability than his rivals, but it certainly didn’t hurt when his main rivals had been to the races already.
The same could not be said of Ivictory, who left things late before overwhelming Super Junior but will gain a benefit at the rehandicaps by only scraping home. The big gap between the runner-up and third suggests this will be strong form.
Both debutants should prove equally tough to beat with the benefit of that race experience next time and beyond, so they join the black bookers but, as suggested, they belong in the obvious department.
Elsewhere on the card, the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Namjong Invincible took on a switch of surface in the Class Four on the dirt and the breakthrough in his so far winless career might be in sight.
He had a lovely run through the race until just before the home straight, when he got a minor buffeting although he didn’t lose his place following the ultimate winner Forever Posh.
The winner skipped away soon after then Namjong Invincible knuckled down and ran him to less than a length, putting almost four lengths between himself and the remainder of the field.
Namjong Invincible holds no pretensions to a big future, but his maiden status is down to physical issues and his fair share of bad luck in races rather than a lack of ability.
With this good first attempt on the all-weather, at his first race appearance for four months, Namjong Invincible has an extra string to his bow as he seeks opportunities, should be fitter for this and wouldn’t surprise if he puts two together when he does break through for a win.