David Hall admits Captain Win’s potential eight-day backup into the BMW Hong Kong Derby is far more a matter of circumstance rather than a “mastermind John Size training performance” ahead of the gelding’s run in the Class Two Pat Sin Leng Handicap (1,400m) at Sha Tin on Saturday.

The Size-trained Ping Hai Star won the 2018 Derby jumping from 1,400m to 2,000m but he had 15 days between runs – should he run, Captain Win will enter the Derby on March 20 off the shortest turnaround since John Moore’s Albiceleste ran 12th in 2013 off a seven-day backup.

“The horse has got to put himself right up there on the weekend to give it some thought, obviously,” Hall said. “Potentially I think he can, he’s shown a little bit more than his actual record says at this point.

“He’s got to go and fulfil his potential on the weekend, whether that’s winning or whether it’s charging home strongly and looking the goods, it might give the owner something to think about as far as backing him up into the Derby.”

Size goes in mob-handed as he attempts to dominate at Sha Tin

Captain Win has his first run in Class Two company and retains the blinkers after wearing them for the first time in Hong Kong when finishing fifth last start over a mile, where he encountered a wet track.

“I’m not saying this has been a mastermind John Size training performance. This has just been the route that I’ve taken – the wet track didn’t pan out the way we wanted it to and if he’d happened to win that race I probably would’ve gone straight into the Derby,” Hall said.

“I just thought the other day once again things didn’t work out with the wet track, the big weight and he didn’t finish off so I just wanted to put him back in a 1,400m race where he’d won before.

“With the blinkers on, he might just relax a little bit more and hit the line. He’s just travelled a bit strongly lately and he’s got the blinkers on, which he won with in Australia.

“He clearly looked like he would run the distance in Australia but he hasn’t been hitting through the line as good so we’ve gone back in distance and we’ll let that tell the story on the weekend.”

Captain Win won three times up to a mile when racing as Captain Spud pre-import and after kicking off his Hong Kong career with a ninth at 1,200m, he produced a 1,400m victory as a $15 chance before two seconds, a fourth and a fifth at a mile.

The four-year-old’s rating of 80 puts him comfortably in the Derby but first he must hold his own in a Class Two contest featuring impressive galloper The Golden Scenery as well as the likes of Beauty Fit, Master Montaro and Circuit Three.

After carrying top weight last start, Captain Win has just 116 pounds on his back and Matthew Poon Ming-fai takes the ride from gate four, from where he should be able to position his mount just off the leaders in a race that looks likely to be run at a decent clip.