Douglas Whyte says his promising youngster Carroll Street is primed to bounce back following a trip to Conghua which has allowed him to get some “clean air”.

The three-year-old was an impressive debut winner in December before being a beaten favourite when stepping up into Class Three for the first time.

He was then scratched from his next start with vets finding respiratory issues, but Whyte says they are a thing of the past.

“He went away for a little break and he has come back really well,” he said.

Douglas Whyte works Carroll Street at Sha Tin.

“The reason he got pulled out before his last start was because he had mucus and they took a sample and it wasn’t that great.

“It was a case of getting him out of here and getting some clean air so we decided to put him up there [in Conghua] and it’s worked well.”

After copping what was effectively a 17-point ratings hit – taking into account Jerry Chau Chun-lok’s seven-pound claim – following his debut win, Whyte believes the enforced time off could be a blessing in disguise.

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“It probably wasn’t a bad thing anyway,” he said. “He came in very immature and did everything in a way that was unexpected so a break like that has done him the world of good, he has come back both physically and mentally in great condition.

“The pressure in jumping class like he did obviously took its toll internally, that can happen. A break seems to have sorted him out, he is healthy and happy.”

Douglas Whyte in the winner’s circle after Carroll Street’s win in December.

Carroll Street returns against just nine rivals in the Class Three Cornwall Handicap (1,000m) at Sha Tin on Saturday and while it is easy to dwell on the fact his youngster was forced to race up in Class Three last start, Whyte says it is better to look ahead instead.

“He won well but I just thought being what he is, he could have been afforded the benefit of the doubt and stayed in the grade,” he said.

“He still handled himself well up in grade. We can stand here all day and argue about a lot of horses. He got what he got so there’s no point looking backwards now, only forwards.”

Whyte finds himself in the middle of a frustrating run of form, having netted just 19 winners so far this season in comparison to the 44 he landed in his debut season.

But it is likely types such as Carroll Street that give the champion jockey-turned-trainer hope that he is on the verge of turning the corner.

“He looks progressive and you can see it in him that he has some scope,” he said. “I can’t wait until he goes over six furlongs, I just thought being fresh we would run him over the 1,000m, he should run a good race.”

Meanwhile, Whyte is hoping to be rewarded for his patience with his promising import Russian Emperor.

The second-season handler ignored serious temptation to run his expensive colt in next week’s Group One QE II Cup (2,000m), instead opting for the Group Three Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2,400m) a week later under handicap conditions.

Russian Emperor (outside) is narrowly beaten by Sky Darci in the Hong Kong Derby.

The four-year-old finished second in the Hong Kong Derby last month and Whyte said he opted to err on the side of caution rather than throw him in the deep end at Group One level after racing in restricted company.

“At this stage he will head towards the Queen Mother Memorial [Cup] and then see where we go from there,” he said. “I sat on him on Tuesday and galloped him over six furlongs and he felt great.”

The contest is set to feature fellow Derby beaten brigade Panfield, Packing Waltham and Tourbillon Diamond.