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Boilover in the last! 80-1 stablemate Red Warrior ends Champion’s Way’s unbeaten streak at five – @HKJC_Racing
Even though Champion’s Way’s winning streak ended on Saturday, there was certainly no shame in the defeat.
Carrying 132 pounds in Class Two as a three-year-old stepping up to a mile for the first time is no easy task so finishing second to stablemate Red Warrior is no knock.
Size was right to be positive after the race and he is still one of the most exciting youngsters in Hong Kong – placing him in unique company.
So who are the five horses you would like to own going forward? The criteria is they have to be three or younger and had a start in Hong Kong (ruling out Hong Kong Derby hopes like Thinkin’ Big etc).
Here are our suggestions (in no particular order):
Looks a Group One horse in the making. Has continued to progress this season, learning to race after flashing his raw ability on debut in January. Is now rated 102 after Saturday’s race and would be the early favourite for next year’s Classic Mile. Is in the hands of 10-time champion John Size and will get the chance to fulfil his potential.
Ricky Yiu Poon-fai’s three-year-old couldn’t have been more exciting in his two starts down the Sha Tin straight. The trainer admitted the comparisons to his former star Sacred Kingdom were valid after his brilliant effort last start when he stopped the clock just 0.19 of a second outside the track record despite Karis Teetan never pulling the persuader and easing him down late. It seems inevitable he will be one of the premier sprinters in this jurisdiction.
Speaking of sprinters, John Moore’s imposing gelding has already competed at the highest level, finishing sixth in January’s Group One Centenary Sprint Cup (1,200m). He will be better for that experience next season and looks certain to be a mainstay in the sprint features for years to come. The biggest concern is that his best trip looks to be 1,000m at this stage and there aren’t many options at that distance for a horse with his rating (98) – but maybe that changes as he matures.
Styling City’s stablemate put in a jaw-dropping debut last month. It was only Griffin company (he is just a two-year-old) – but the way he did it suggests he is a serious animal. Moore even said he has “all the resemblance of Able Friend” – a huge compliment. He has all the natural ability in the world and might end up being a miler when all is said and done, following in the footsteps of the 2014-15 Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
Danny Shum Chap-shing’s gelding hasn’t been seen since January but his first three wins at Sha Tin have definitely not been forgotten. He won two of his three starts in New Zealand (with a Group Two second the other) so he arrived in Hong Kong with promise and did something most other previously raced horses don’t – win on debut. He’s had some issues with his left hind leg, but if he gets back to full health he will be winning more races.
Honourable mentions: Country Star (brilliant season but may have reached his mark) Thanks Forever (dominant debut in June but has been sidelined since with injuries), Tornado Twist (super consistent), Dan Control (showing a lot of promise), Big Party (loads of talent but soundness issues).