Pingwu Spark’s Longines Hong Kong Mile preparation is back on track after a strong hit-out at Sha Tin on Friday morning.
Benno Yung Tin-pang’s giant grey had a slight setback last month when he stumbled and lost a plate during a barrier trial, but things looks to be back to normal after he finished a close third behind Regency Bo Bo and Time Warp in a 1,200m heat on the all-weather track.
Jockey Derek Leung Ka-chun was happy with the performance as Pingwu Spark, who has five wins and four placings from 11 starts, builds up to his first run since April.
“He felt a bit better, he has had half a year off so he still has plenty of room to improve,” Leung said.
“At least we can see he’s still got good heart – he tried to fight on. He’s still a bit fat but we still have time to get ready for the international races, so we don’t need to rush.”
Leung said connections were yet to lock in which race he heads to on Sunday week, the Group Two Premier Bowl (1,200m) or the Group Two Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (1,600m).
“We’ll run him next week if he’s healthy, but we still have to decide if he runs over 1,200m or a mile because he’s not 100 per cent fit yet,” he said.
“Last season, even over 1,200m, he could be in a handy position without any pressure, but now he is older, he is quite laid back.”
Dual Group One winner Time Warp looked to have a spring in his step again and he will head to the Sha Tin Trophy, as will stablemate Pakistan Star (fourth), Nothingilikemore (eighth) and Werther (ninth), who all took part in the trial.
The other star-studded heat of the morning saw top sprinters Ivictory and Hot King Prawn go toe-to-toe over 1,050m, with the former holding a half-length advantage at the finish.
“They seem normal, their trials were good,” trainer John Size said. “Obviously they raced well the other day and they should improve marginally with that.”
Tony Millard’s talented Nassa continued his comeback from injury by finishing fifth, while dual Group One winner Helene Paragon looked to struggle and finished at the tail.
In other news, Size confirmed stablemates D B Pin and Beat The Clock are on track to resume in the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Sprint on November 18.
D B Pin suffered a tendon injury a couple of months after winning the Group One Centenary Sprint Cup and is working back to condition.
“D B Pin is probably going to join him at the same stage, he’s had a very long break but at the moment he’s sound, he’s working well, he’s doing everything correctly,” Size said.
“Beat The Clock just had a temperature a few weeks ago so he had to stop but it seems like he’s back on track.”