John Size won’t be drawn on a pecking order for his six BMW Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) entrants so far out from the prestigious race but he will know a lot more about one of his hopefuls after Sunday’s Class Two Daffodil Handicap (2,000m).
There are five runners in the race nominated for the March 17 Derby and Size hopes it will be Enrichment that benefits most from the step-up to the 2,000m trip after two fourths and a second over 1,600m.
“He looks a little bit one-paced so I think the mile might prove to be a little bit short for him, hopefully he will go better at 2,000m” Size said.
“At the mile you are not seeing him at his best probably so hopefully at 2,000m we will even learn a bit more.
“There are some other Derby aspirants in the race so we will be able to get a better guide. At the moment every horse is open to improvement so he might come on a little bit more.”
Enrichment was beaten a length by the John Moore-trained Good Standing when sent out a $1.8 favourite last Saturday but Size is confident the eight-day turnaround won’t be an issue for his charge.
“He’s been in work for a while and he’s had a few trials and a couple of races now so I think he’ll cope with that all right,” Size said.
Enrichment currently boasts a rating of 85 and, along with Derby entrants Tigre Du Terre (87), Charity Go (86), Heavenly Thought (86) and Packing Warrior (86), will be looking to this race for a significant boost from the handicapper to increase his chances of earning a run on March 17.
The Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained Heavenly Thought looks another poised to benefit from the extra ground after struggling at his first three Hong Kong starts.
The gelding won at Group Three level over 2,200m in Australia before finishing second behind the red-hot Dark Dream in the Group One Queensland Derby over the same trip.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Size also has a strong chance in the meeting’s other Class Two, with Raging Blitzkrieg looking to end a run of three seconds in the Heung Yee Kuk Cup (1,200m).
The five-year-old has run into some tough competition of late, finding only the smart Regency Legend too good last time out and running second to Elusive State before that.
Size was as succinct as ever when describing his gelding’s chances of notching a second career win and first on the turf.
“He did run well on the turf last start. It was quite a good, determined run from him, he began smartly, put himself in the race immediately and he kicked on quite well,” he said.
“He’s just got a short sprint on the turf, but one day he’s going to be in front on the line and I hope it comes up soon.”
It is not the first time Size has had to be patient with Raging Blitzkrieg after he waited until start 16 for the gelding to notch a win despite eight prior top-four finishes.
“He’s always been healthy and well, it’s just the competition. That’s Hong Kong,” Size said. “It’s very tough competition here, particularly in the top of Class Three and the bottom of Class Two, they can all gallop and it’s hard for him to win one. Eventually it happened but we had to be patient.”