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Ka Ying Star can still rise higher

Ka Ying Star finished 10th in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) last start but Vincent Ho believes the gelding will return to form in Wednesday’s (17 April) Class 2 King’s Park Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley.

Ka Ying Star can still rise higher

Ka Ying Star finished 10th in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) last start but Vincent Ho believes the gelding will return to form in Wednesday’s (17 April) Class 2 King’s Park Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley.

Ka Ying Star
Ka Ying Star Picture:HKJC

Ho has ridden the gelding in all four of his Hong Kong appearances including a debut win at Sha Tin (1600m). The rider is confident that the Tony Cruz-trained galloper has not yet reached his potential.


“No definitely not, he needs time to mature, he’s still very green and physically he isn’t strong enough yet, so he has a lot of improvement to come. He can take a bit to get going, he is still green,” the jockey said.

Ka Ying Star scored on debut in Hong Kong at Class 2 level over 1600m. He then placed third in the first two legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) and the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m).

“He just needs time to mature up, both physically and mentally, he is definitely a good horse,” Ho observed.

The Cityscape gelding has shown some of his sire’s qualities - the stallion was a pace-setting miler who capped his career with a make-all four and a quarter-length romp in the 2012 Dubai Duty Free (1800m). Ka Ying Star has led in three of his four outings in Hong Kong - just once he was forced take a sit behind Mission Tycoon who crossed him to lead.

Ho believes the bay will prove his merits over farther, given time.

“I think he can definitely handle 2000m, but back to one mile at Happy Valley suits and he trialled well the other day,” he said.

Ka Ying Star was a three-time winner in Britain pre-import and his upcoming mid-week assignment will be his first race at Happy Valley. But he did lead them home in a recent trial at the city track over 1700m with Ho in the saddle.

Ka Ying Star is one of two BMW Hong Kong Derby also-rans in the Class 2 contest: the well-beaten Mr So And So is also looking for redemption.

“He seems ok, he ran last in the race but the distance obviously tested him,” trainer John Size said.

Mr So And So placed in two consecutive G2 races at Caulfield in Australia pre-import and since moving to Hong Kong he has added a further two wins to his tally from nine races.

“The distance will certainly suit him better, he’s only won over 1400m in Hong Kong, and I think the 1400m at Sha Tin is the best course and distance for him.

“Class 2 is a bit strong at the moment, so we’re going to Happy Valley to see if we can get a nice run round the inside and get some prizemoney,” Size said.

O’Sullivan’s Conghua Elite

Paul O’Sullivan this morning praised Conghua Racecourse for the revival of Oriential Elite, who will be looking for back-to-back wins with Zac Purton in the saddle for the Class 4 Kowloon Tsai Handicap.

“He’s been sore all his life, and then we shipped him to Conghua and since then he has come right, the tracks up there just aren’t as hard,” O’Sullivan said.

Oriental Elite has struggled with soreness his whole career, prompting O’Sullivan to try a new approach.

“He’s really enjoying Conghua, I can’t keep him sound in Hong Kong,” the handler said.

Since training at Conghua Racecourse, Oriental Elite has had two runs, first up he was a luckless eighth and in his most recent he scored a convincing length and a half win at the Valley (1200m).

“He got the race run to suit last time, four of them were up front and he just sat back on his own and got the job done,” the trainer said.

Purton has partnered Oriental Elite in both of his runs this season.

“He isn’t the most robust horse but he’s going better now than he ever has, Conghua has been good for him, he’s had time to develop,” the champion jockey said.

Oriental Elite will carry 133lb on Wednesday, which is 5lb more than he has ever carried, but O’Sullivan is just happy to have drawn well in gate four.

“He has drawn two barriers in his life and won both times,” O’Sullivan said.

Teetan to blitz back on turf

Karis Teetan is the only jockey to have won on Blitzing and the Mauritian rider is expecting sharp improvement from the gelding as he switches back to the turf from dirt in Wednesday’s second section of the Class 3 Kowloon Bay Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley.

“I could feel that he wasn’t enjoying the track and the kickback, so going back to the Valley will suit him,” Teetan said.

Blitzing led and won two starts ago but his most recent start saw him beaten for speed early by Winner Supreme and after settling midfield he remained there.

“Last time the way the race ran it was not suitable for him, they went pretty fast I had to take a sit on him,” he added.

Teetan also pairs up with last-start winner Waldorf in the Class 3 Kowloon Bay Handicap (1200m) for Tony Cruz.

“He’s actually one of my favourite horses in Tony’s yard, he’s a beauty of a horse to ride, so easy,” Teetan said of the two-time Hong Kong winner.

The Highly Recommended gelding has finished outside of the placings only once in his last six runs.

“It seems like this season he’s hitting the line very well, he’s in good form the horse,” Teetan said. “After his win he had a trial at Conghua and he trialled really good.”

Wednesday’s eight-race card at Happy Valley commences at 7.15pm with the Class 5 Tsim Sha Tsui Handicap (1650m).


HKJC




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