Horses to Follow in Hong Kong

Arrowfield graduates notched up a valuable treble, including both Hong Kong Group 3 features, at Sha Tin on Thursday evening, but there’s plenty of Arrowfield-sired talent in Hong Kong too. Australian racing journalist Michael Cox, based since 2011 at the South China Morning Post where he writes a popular blog, Happy Lucky Dragon Win, selects six Arrowfield-sired runners to follow in Hong Kong this season: 

4YO THEWIZARDOFOZ (Redoute’s Choice-Princess Coup by Encosta de Lago)
Bred by Evergreen Rich Pty Ltd, raced by Martin Siu Kim Sun & trained by John Size

From the moment this horse stepped off the plane and into the stables of John Size he hasn’t put a hoof wrong. Bombproof is perhaps the best way to describe him, and his best is almost certainly yet to come. Nominal favourite for the Hong Kong Derby next March off the back of a perfect three-from-three record in his three-year-old season. Ticks all the boxes: excellent gate speed, relaxes beautifully in the run, has a lovely flowing action and an electric turn of foot – all attributes that will stand him in good stead when he is forced to step up in trip through the four-year-old series. Silent Witness reached demigod status in Hong Kong, and Thewizardofoz’s progression through the grades is as close as any horse of recent times has got to matching the great sprinter numbers-wise. Silent Witness rose 43 ratings points to 95 in his first three victories; Thewizardofoz has jumped 37 to sit on 89, all against open age competition.

4YO TIANHUANG (All American-Miss Victoria by Viscount)
Bought by George Moore Bloodstock, $290,000, from Arrowfield Stud, 2013 Inglis Easter Sale; trained by John Moore for Paul Kan Man Lok.

Tianhuang is the name of a valuable stone, used for sculptures, and found in the mountains of Fujian Province. Tianhuang, the horse, is a lovely looking type and he has been as solid as a rock so far: it took just two starts for him to break through with a convincing victory on the dirt. John Moore is adamant his sprinter isn’t a one-track wonder, though that is where he is likely to race when he next returns.

3YO GREEN CARD (All American-Cristallo by Testa Rossa)
Sold privately after two juvenile wins in Victoria for owner-breeders Bruce & Jill Mathieson & trainers Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison; trained by John Moore for
Brian Leung Hung Tak & Sophie Leung Lau Yau Fun.
Still in quarantine at Sha Tin, but John Moore is looking forward to getting hold of this three-year-old that notched two dominant four-length victories before buyers swooped. The last of those came at Caulfield, with the filly that finished third behind him, Jalan Jalan, franking Green Card’s form with a subsequent dominant win of her own and placing behind Petits Filous in the MRC Quezette S. LR. Green Card wasn’t stretched beyond 1100 metres, but former co-trainer Craig Widdison believed the gelding would handle further and that the mild-mannered sprinter has the right temperament to thrive in Hong Kong. He may still be subject to a name change – his brand number is V126, which is searchable on the HKJC website.

4YO SUN JEWELLERY (Snitzel-Tan Tat Star by Umatilla)
Bred & raced by Tung Moon Fai and trained by John Size; raced as Tan Tat Star in Victoria where he won twice as an early 3YO from the Peter Moody stable.

Last season’s John Size-trained Griffin of the Year Thewizardofoz might be hogging the headlines, but his stablemate Sun Jewellery will resume off a higher rating and will offer plenty of competition in the four-year-old category. The former Peter Moody-trained galloper won three-from-three after arriving in Class Three and has already hit triple figures. Like his barn mate, looks like he will have no trouble getting over a mile or further and is in the right hands with his ultra-patient trainer.

5YO HARBOUR PUNK (Not A Single Doubt-Marblue by Marscay)
Bred by Swell Investments; bought by Regal Farm, $50,000 from Arrowfield, 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale; trained by Derek Cruz for the Fragrant Harbour Racing Syndicate.

Doesn’t have much room to move from a ratings perspective after two wins took him into Class Two last season and a handicapper’s assessment of 91 – but he absolutely flies around Happy Valley, where his opportunities now become more scarce. Lightly raced with just 12 lifetime starts, he  should return slightly stronger at five and could transfer his best form to the bigger track. He looks to have attracted the services of superstar jockey Joao Moreira, who rode him in a recent trial for trainer Derek Cruz.

3YO FORTUNE GALORE (Not A Single Doubt-Evening Pleasures by Dehere)
Bred & sold by Kooringal Stud; bought by John Foote, $30,000, 2014 Inglis Classic Sale; trained by Caspar Fownes for Lillian Lee Lai Man

Unraced three-year-old, previously named Wan Chai Warrior in tribute to Hong Kong’s colourful red light district. Purchased by renowned bloodstock agent David Price, he trialled twice impressively at Cranbourne and has been setting the track alight in the mornings for new trainer Caspar Fownes. He is sure to be competitive when he first lines up and certain to see plenty of Happy Valley, where the speed of Not A Single Doubt’s progeny is invaluable.


All American's first winner in Hong Kong

John Moore’s seventh Hong Kong trainer’s premiership looks much more certain after four winners at Sha Tin on Sunday took him to 67 winners for the season. That’s six ahead of John Size, with two meetings to go, on Wednesday and next Sunday 12 July.

Those three winners on Sha Tin’s all weather track included Tianhuang, the first Hong Kong winner by second season sire All American.

Watch Tianhuang’s win here.

The 3YO gelding put up an eye-catching performance to win the Tai Mong Tsai Handicap over 1200 metres at his second start for the Moore stable. Despite a slightly slow start, jockey Doublas Whyte settled him midfield on the fence, then swung to the outside on the turn.

Tianhuang steadily picked up ground and stretched out really well over the final 200 metres to score by 2.5 lengths in 1:08.54 from King of Household, with Geronimo Meadow third and the Size-trained favourite Modern Fortune fourth.

Although Tianhuang was obviously comfortable on the dirt surface, John Moore isn’t prepared to limit him to it just yet, saying, “We won’t pigeon hole him after just a couple of starts.”

Like Moore’s other two winners on the card, People’s Knight & Chevalier Star, Tianhuang is an Inglis sale graduate, bought by George Moore Bloodstock for $290,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. He is All American’s top-priced colt to date.

Tianhuang was bred by the Arrowfield, Planette & Belford partnership from the Viscount mare Miss Victoria,  a half-sister to Group 2 winner Domesday, from the family of champion 2YO Xaar – all descended from “blue hen” mare Best In Show, the fourth dam of Redoute’s Choice.

Tianhuang is the second winner for his dam who also has a rising 2YO filly by All American, purchased by Marc Conners at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and a weanling brother to Tianhuang. Miss Victoria is in foal to Snitzel.

This Hong Kong success and three Australian winners over the weekend seal a very good month for All American, whose nine winners since 6 June also include Sydney winner Eisenhower, Caulfield 2YO winner Green Card and US stakeswinner America Mon Amie.