John Size’s rising star Full Of Beauty is poised to join the ranks of Hong Kong’s elite sprinters after an impressive return to racing in the Group Three National Day Cup (1,000m) on Tuesday.

After compiling an impressive five wins and two placings from eight starts in his first campaign, punters expected the five-year-old to take another step forward this season and they weren’t disappointed.

But that doesn’t mean it was all straightforward for the $2.40 hope – Full Of Beauty was a little wayward upon jumping and jockey Joao Moreira couldn’t find any cover from barrier one, but the gelding showed his class to hold off the late challenges of Jolly Banner and Wishful Thinker.

The victory had even more merit given it was his first race down the 1,000m Sha Tin straight.

“It was nice, he had that good record so at $2.4 it wasn’t unexpected that he was going to come back in his second preparation and improve,” Size said.

“He’s never seen the straight before and it looked like he’d never seen it after he jumped – he didn’t look like he quite knew where he was or what he was doing. He had enough advantages to win.”

Full Of Beauty shaped as a horse who could go to the next level after climbing from a rating of 52 to 103 in the space of just eight runs, even if he did taper off a little after winning his first five starts.

“By the end of the season he’d probably had enough, he got beaten three times but twice he ran second and the last time he was only beaten two lengths, so it wasn’t that bad,” Size said.

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“To return like that is pleasing, obviously [the punters] expected it, but it was also pleasing for it to happen.

“He goes to a higher rating now, he runs in another handicap and we’ll see if he can improve on that.

“I’m not sure where he’s going to be placed with the better horses but he’s certainly going in the right direction, he’s certainly making the necessary steps.”

Full Of Beauty now heads to the Group Two Premier Bowl (1,200m) before potentially following a path to the Longines Hong Kong Sprint.

Joao Moreira and John Size discuss the win.

“There are no other options. He goes into a handicap on the 20th of October and if he runs well in that one, we’ll just keep going,” Size said.

The trainer expects Full Of Beauty to do his best work over 1,200m and while he might test him beyond that later in the season, it’s not a priority at this stage.

“Once you get to 1,400m you get a different style of horse,” Size said. “I wouldn’t think he would run that far but there’s a Group race next year [the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup] and he might head towards that. We’ll try, but I wouldn’t think that’s his strong suit.”

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With Full Of Beauty’s rating now likely to rise to about 110, it means Size has another top-class sprinter in his stable to go alongside Beat The Clock, Hot King Prawn, D B Pin and Ivictory, but he wouldn’t be drawn into how the up-and-comer compares to those more established horses just yet.

“That’s what the races are for,” he said.