There was plenty of money about to say the John Size-trained What Else But You would run well on Sunday at Sha Tin and the gelding did more than enough to suggest he is soon to become part of the top trainer’s winning team.
What Else But You made a good impression in a light career last season, winning three times over the mile at Sha Tin from eight starts. In June, he was scratched at the barriers with a leg problem, had not been seen in a race since and his return looks to have had a couple of bumps in the road along the way.
With nine months between starts when he ran behind People’s Knight, What Else But You had plenty on his plate despite several trials, and the 1,400m was probably on the short side for him too.
From a wider draw, he got well back and that was no advantage all day at Sha Tin. Some felt the track was a disadvantage coming wider from the back but it had at least as much to do with nearly every race lacking tempo, an unusual phenomenon.
People's Knight, for Joao Moreira and John Moore, just holds off the late surge of Racing Supernova, with @neilcallan78 aboard, to win R6 at Sha Tin on #HKDerby day #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/9M4U56nj4u— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 18, 2018
What Else But You had to overcome a slow tempo in the Class Two, with the leaders dashing home down the straight in 22.34 seconds. Yet he was able to take ground off the front-runners, posting the fifth-fastest final 400m split of the day.
Considering the long break between races, that should knock the rough edges off him and it won’t be long before Size has him winning mile races again.
To some the good thing beaten of the day was Consort in the fourth but he has a long record of looking a better horse when unlucky than he does when he gets his chance, but the other certainty beaten on the day was Vital Spring and he is worth following.
He was very badly held up behind the leaders while the winner Sonic Fighter got past him, then switched back and around the slowcoaches to run the victor to a half-length.
Francis Lui Kin-wai has already won once with the former Size inmate and looks to have him going well enough for more.