David Hayes says Super Axiom has the class to offset his inexperience as he steps up in grade in just his second start at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The three-year-old bolted up on debut, winning as he liked over 1,000m at Sha Tin last month, but now comes up against more highly rated horses in the Class Three Venus Handicap (1,200m).
His debut performance was not missed by many, the handicappers whacking him with a 12-point penalty for the two-length win.
Despite the ratings hike, Hayes is confident Super Axiom has what it takes to succeed, even though he is still a bit wet behind the ears.
“That’s what we have to remember – he is only three,” Hayes said when asked what the future holds. “For a progressive three-year-old around Christmas, you have to be pretty good to win a few in a row because you’re running in open company.
“At home [in Australia] you’d be running in three-year-old races, probably in a benchmark 64, and he’d be winning by five lengths.
“My three-year-olds will just start stepping out now. It is hard for them, it’s not easy for any new horse, let alone a three-year-old. He might be the exception.”
The Australian is looking for Super Axiom to follow in the footsteps of stablemate Harmony N Blessed, who won at Sha Tin on debut before making the move to Happy Valley for his second-up victory.
After trialling at both Sha Tin and Happy Valley, Hayes is convinced the tight city track will present no problems to the talented speedster.
Jockey Chad Schofield will return from suspension to ride again from barrier four.
“He trialled so well there, I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” Hayes said. “He has made nice, natural improvement from his impressive win. He is a horse that looks pretty classy to me.
“I just think at the Valley you get a breather then kick on the bend, it’s probably better. Him and Harmony N Blessed trialled so well at the Valley, I have no hesitation to go there.”
After a slow start to the season, Hayes has been forced to fight the temptation to race his young horses early in the piece but is confident the tide is beginning to turn.
“This horse with his ability, I could have run him two months ago but I thought because he is a three-year-old I would wait,” he said.
“I would say him and Harmony N Blessed are clearly the standouts, to do what Harmony N Blessed did was pretty impressive and I am hoping [Super Axiom] can do the same.”
Hayes will also unveil Aion, who sports the same colours as boom sprinter Aethero.
The three-year-old, who will be ridden by Blake Shinn, steps out in the Class Four Saturn Handicap (1,200m) against the likes of Ambitious Heart and Management Supreme.