If D B Pin is going to make the grade this season among the top guns of the sprinting ranks, Sunday’s HK$3 million National Day Cup (1,000m) at Sha Tin should present him with the ideal stepping stone into the big league.
That “if” is the key to how you assess the John Size-trained D B Pin (Karis Teetan) because he has reached a fork in the road, where he can go forward and become a big race contender or he can fail to measure up and life will suddenly become quite difficult off a rating of 111.
Under the conditions of Sunday’s race, with D B Pin getting big chunks of handicap weight off Mr Stunning (Joao Moreira) and the others above him on the racecard, this is the chance for the five-year-old to beat them because he will have a tougher job ahead when they switch to terms races.
This is a step into tougher grade than the races D B Pin has won previously but not for the first time. There is plenty of encouragement to be taken from the fact he beat most of these home when he first dipped his toe in the stakes race pool in May, in the Group Three Sha Tin Vase under very similar conditions over 1,200m.
Although D B Pin was beaten by Lucky Year, he did manage to relegate Mr Stunning, Not Listenin’tome, Amazing Kids and three of his other rivals to finishing spots behind him and gave every indication he would make the grade in Group Three company.
Size has given D B Pin a nice prep for the resumption from his summer break and he maps to take up a spot trailing the likely leaders Fabulous One and Peniaphobia.
His obvious danger is Mr Stunning and they probably will race in similar positions, but the 17-pound weight difference is the big question for the top-weight when the serious work begins.
The John Moore-trained Magic Legend (Eddy Lai Wai-ming) is an interesting lightweight in the race and he finished fourth in that race last May behind Lucky Year as the short-priced favourite.
He ran well first-up this season over 1,200m then was the victim of questionable tactics when he went to 1,400m last time and failed.
While he is back sharply in distance here, Magic Legend has won two of three down the straight and should be unbeaten, so he is not out of this.
Size’s other runner, Amazing Kids (Brett Prebble) has been at his best down the straight so he can’t be discounted despite the handicaps being some sort of issue for him as well.