25th September 2016

Much was expected of Price Bloodstock’s immature House Of Fun last season but the big, strong son of Starcraft looks more likely to deliver this campaign after breaking the ice at Sha Tin on Sunday.

John Size-trained House Of Fun started favourite twice in his first four runs after being very impressive in his barrier trials and was not disgraced at any time but greenness and immaturity cost him dearly.

This time, he had the honour of giving Size his first win for the new season as he opened his preparation by just scrambling home in Class Four, as favourite once again, but his jockey Joao Moreira was full of praise despite that unimpressive look.

“There is no doubt that he was empty when he got to the line – if the race was any further he wouldn’t have won,” he said. “But I think he was not yet fully fit and he still has a few mental things to work out. Last season, he was quite strong in his races and today was keen again and spent a lot of his energy during the race trying to go faster than I wanted him to go. With more experience and racing, and in John Size’s hands, I’m sure he is going to work that out better and understand what he is supposed to be doing. So I wouldn’t be too concerned about the small margin today, there is a lot of improvement still to come and, when he relaxes, House Of Fun will be winning off much higher ratings than he did this time.”

Chris So-trained Team Fortune made it a double for Price Bloodstock when he went to the all-weather track for the first time half an hour after House Of Fun’s win and there was a familiar ring to the post-race assessment of champion jockey Douglas Whyte.

“You often see these horses that work well in the mornings and maybe don’t quite produce the same thing on race day go to the dirt and they fly,” he said. “I can tell you Team Fortune absolutely loved the surface and was always going to be hard to beat the minute he hit the ground today. He was very fit after racing a week ago and we had a tricky barrier but I thought we wouldn’t try to be pretty but get him out and running and that was the right move.”

The one and a half length win sets Team Fortune up now for more dirt racing, So said.

“He has been beaten a couple of times over 1,200m on the turf when he didn’t seem so strong at it but he ran it right out on the dirt,” So said. “Really, he’s still lightly-raced and with three wins from 12 starts he is doing a good job.”