Joao Moreira believes Danny Shum Chap-shing has a potential Group One talent on his hands after Travel Emperor hacked in as short-priced on debut – but said the trainer now has to nurture the temperamental speed machine.
“He could be a really top horse, and I don’t mean just getting to Class One, I’m talking about him winning Group races, big sprints,” Moreira said after the HK$7.2 million Hong Kong International Sales purchase raced greenly but still had enough in hand to win under a hold.
“I knew he was going to win, if there was a horse this season that I thought was going to win for sure first-up, it was him and he didn’t let me down. He was only racing at 70 per cent of his ability. He is a serious horse.”
Shum now has the task of moulding a raw three-year-old who isn’t without his quirks, but Moreira has already shown a willingness to help and put in extra work on the son of Duporth.
The jockey revealed that after galloping Travel Emperor on Thursday he spent 40 minutes walking the 1,241-pound sprinter around the track in an effort to calm the prospect down.
“Danny has a great talent on his hands, but he has to look after him and get the horse to relax more,” Moreira said.
“I just hope Danny is patient with him because if he is this horse will get to the top level. I took him on the grass and was easy on him. He is a very intelligent horse, and as I tried to relax him, eventually the sweat on his neck started to dry up and that was a good sign, it shows that if you work with him you can calm him down.”
Travel Emperor, who had raced rather ungenerously in early trials, had drawn barrier 14 next to the rail, which Moreira said was a big help.
“He was hanging in his trials and lost at times, so I didn’t mind being covered up – it was good for him to have something to look at,” Moreira said.
Punters who took the 1.4 didn’t have much cause for concern in the run although Moreira did hand up the lead after Winfull Patrol tore across from barrier four.
Shum, who has a remarkable seven of the 29 lots from this year’s Hong Kong International Sale, said that Travel Emperor – the first ISG from the 2017 to win – would now be put away until next season.
The trainer also added that the HK$10.5 million top lot, named Household King, would not race this term.
“He is still doing a few things wrong as well and we will give him some time,” he said.