John Size seems the only trainer at this stage of the season still consistently producing new horses with upside and there were more of them on Sunday at Sha Tin.
Size is not only wheeling out new horses but new horses which look like they can win before the season is done.
It would be easy enough to land on debut winner Zero Hedge as a horse to follow, and he may well be, but let’s hold off on a judgement about him yet until we’ve seen more of him.
There are questions over the worth of the race he won on Sunday – the final 400m was particularly slow and only four 1,000m races in the last 13 seasons have come home slower.
But Size also produced two newcomers in the colours of former Jockey Club chairman Ronald Arculli, and Sir Redalot and Bank On Red both look capable of landing an early race.
Sir Redalot was fairly straight forward. He bounced to the lead, got away at the 200m and looked like he might win before Dukedom arrived. Dukedom is the second Levin Classic winner to score this season – Simply Invincible is the other – so he was a Group One-winning three-year-old in Class Three and therefore well handicapped if he deigned to do his best.
So there was no shame in being overrun by Dukedom and Sir Redalot will be better for a run which was important from another angle – his Irish form had a lot of soft ground in it and he dispelled the notion he will need that.
In the ninth, Bank On Red was similarly reassuring as he came with Tapeta and soft track form and was unlucky to not run second to Penang Hall.
He got further back than anticipated early but the crucial time was between the 700m and 400m, as he was shuffled right back to near last rounding the circle, with far too much to do when he did get clear. His finish into fourth was solid and we can assume the son of Hong Kong Mile winner Hat Trick will come on for that and will cope with further than Sunday’s 1,400m.