The Class Three cup race on Sunday was supposed to be all about just three horses but Solar Patch upset the apple cart by winning first-up and even third-placed Intrepic tagged himself as worth following.
The John Moore-trained Solar Patch looked to have his share of ability in Australia but didn’t face any easy task to take on some smart horses who were already up and running here and beat them.
But beat them he did and that opens up the possibility the son of Stratum is heading for quite a handy career here – he certainly looks Class Two capable just on what we saw on the weekend.
He is only a three-year-old and the limited racing he had in Australia was impressive over further than Sunday’s 1,200m dash.
Although he had trialled only once in Hong Kong, Solar Power did hold his own in that trial with stablemate Not Listenin’tome until the final 100m and that looked good form for a Class Three, even if the winner is no longer as competitive as he was in the top classes.
Moore is one of the few trainers who seems able to get these raced horses ready to run well in their Hong Kong debut or even win off just a single trial – Magic Legend last season is one that springs to mind – and they usually have more in the tank after their debut as a result so Solar Patch will certainly have upside.
Intrepic is a different case, as a five-year-old with enough racing behind him for us to know that his promise is limited, but his run to take the minor placing was a nice pointer to some improvement in his form.
He was poor earlier in the term in a few runs before an internal bleeding problem at his previous run in January.
Trainer David Hall freshened him up again and returned the gelding to the track on Sunday with a better result.
He won’t want to bump into anything too talented but Intrepic is capable of getting away with an average Class Three under a light weight if he can keep his act together at this level.