By David Morgan – HKJC
Full Of Beauty made it five wins on the bounce to give trainer John Size and his stable jockey Joao Moreira a win which may offer a pinch of mild consolation for a near-miss in the BMW Hong Kong Derby this afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse (Sunday, 17 March).
“He’s a fantastic horse. He has progressed since the last time I was on board because he’s been coping with every situation he’s been put into,” Moreira said after partnering the four-year-old to a three-quarter-length success in the Class 2 Ambitious Dragon Handicap (1200m).
The Darci Brahma four-year-old overcame an outer draw (10) and an 11-point ratings rise to hold off Water Diviner. The manner of the win was pleasing, rather than flash, and again suggested a bright future in the higher grades.
“It’s very hard to predict where he’ll end up but we can see him picking up and he’s likely to be – in a few months’ time – matching the big guys,” the Brazilian said.
Full Of Beauty’s five wins have been accrued in only 11 weeks since his career debut on 1 January.
“He’s been winning every time he’s been going out so I don’t know that he needs a break,” Moreira said, “but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if John Size decides to put him away for a couple of months and brings him back fully for next season. Whatever Size thinks is best, I’m siding with him; he’s a master at judging when a horse is begging for some time off.”
Size and Moreira had to make do with second place in the BMW Hong Kong Derby with race favourite Waikuku a closing second. The Lor-trained Furore landed the afternoon’s feature under Hugh Bowman.
Dan all over again?
Dan Control looks like he has plenty of maturation to come but that didn’t stop the Slade Power three-year-old posting an impressive Hong Kong debut in the Class 3 Designs On Rome Handicap (1200m).
John Moore’s charge was having his first race since placing second in the G3 Round Tower Stakes for former trainer Michael O’Callaghan at the Curragh, behind subsequent G1 Middle Park Stakes victor Ten Sovereigns.
“He lived up to that Ten Sovereigns form,” Moore said after the David Boehm-owned import scored by two lengths under Zac Purton. “We bought him before Ten Sovereigns went on to win a Group 1, so I think we got him at very good value.
“O’Callaghan’s got a pretty good eye, so he’s definitely got a future. But he’s a late foal and he definitely needs time so you won’t see him for another month or five weeks because he’s a little bit ‘foaly-looking’ but he’s talented to be able to do that.
“I think we’ve got a nice horse on our hands here and David Boehm might be back in the money with another Dan,” he added, making reference to the owner’s retired G1 stalwart, Dan Excel.
Another three-year-old, Mr Croissant, provided the first leg of a Ryan Moore double when landing the Class 4 Fay Fay Handicap (1200m) for trainer Chris So.
“He’s a very good horse with a good temperament – very easy to train. He showed his ability last time so I was just worried about the tricky draw and Frankie Lor’s horse, Flying Victory, he trialled really good,” So said.
“He had a little bit of rating in hand so I hope he can still win in Class 3.”
Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 20 March.