Fresh off his first winner of the season at Sha Tin on Sunday, reigning champion trainer John Size unveils exciting ex-Godolphin galloper Beauty Rush at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Named Tin Hat when trained by James Cummings in Australia, Beauty Rush won four times from eight starts, with the highlight coming when he saluted in the Group Three Manfred Stakes (1,200m) at Caulfield in his last start before coming to Hong Kong.
But better than his four-from-eight record is the form he has found since being gelded, with the four-year-old winning three from three since going under the knife, although Size isn’t getting carried away ahead of the Class Two Cheung Hong Handicap (1,000m).
“He might find the 1,000m a bit sharp and at Happy Valley they might be a bit too quick for him,” Size said. “In Class Two it’s a little bit difficult to find the right race on the programme.
“It will be a good beginning for him, he certainly seems to have ability since he’s been gelded. We’ll just take him forward and see where he goes. It’s a good place for him to start – PPs [private purchases] usually need a race.”
Size says he can’t recall training an ex-Godolphin horse before and Beauty Rush is only his third galloper for the powerhouse Kwok family, after Beauty Applause and Full Of Beauty.
After partnering the horse to a nice trial win last week, Joao Moreira rides Beauty Rush on Wednesday and Size is looking forward to watching the horse go around and getting more of an idea of what he has to work with moving forward.
“Obviously there’s plenty I don’t know about him,” Size said of Beauty Rush, who won up to 1,300m in Australia.
“I’m hoping that he’s not just a sprinter, he’s got a rather extravagant action and a big stride so he might be able to race on the speed over a little bit further.
“With the blinkers off if you put him up there, maybe he can settle a bit. But one step at a time, PP’s are like that. He’ll tell us where to go as we start racing him.”
Beauty Rush is Size’s only runner on Wednesday and only his 11th of the season as he continues his customary slow start to proceedings.
The horse comes up against a number of runners who are proven over the 1,000m at the city track, including Michael Chang Chun-wai’s highest-rated horse Saul’s Special and Speedy King.
Saul’s Special started last season with a win at the course and distance and, after eight fruitless trips to the races, he then completed his campaign in identical fashion to bump his rating up to a career-high mark of 100.
Zac Purton was aboard for both of those victories and retains the ride for Wednesday night, with the pair to jump from barrier six.
Speedy King returned with a seventh over 1,200m on the all-weather track on September 8, but now steps back to the distance which has yielded his last three wins.
One of them came at Happy Valley and the Ricky Yiu Poon-fai-trained six-year-old will look to go back to the well from gate three under the guidance of Regan Bayliss.