PRAWN BABA & VICTOR EMPEROR
5th March 2016
Price Bloodstock was a vital part of jockey Joao Moreira making history at Sha Tin on Sunday, providing two of his amazing eight winners on the day, a Hong Kong record.
And the victories of Victor Emperor and Prawn Baba moved Price Bloodstock closer to some history of its own, needing just three more wins in Hong Kong to hit the magical 500 mark.
Trainer John Size will now press towards a Hong Kong Derby start for Prawn Baba after a fast-run 1,800m showed off his greatest asset – staying ability that will take him a fair way in the classic but maybe even further afterwards if he gets a chance over even further than 2,000m.
Moreira already had his seven-win Hong Kong record in the bank before the last race but he pushed the mark up to eight after a clever ride, bringing some on-the-run thinking into play when the pace was on.
Moreira said the plan pre-race had been to have Prawn Baba close to the anticipated slow speed but that plan went out the window when the leaders ran along.
“Although I went out to ride the horse close, like he has been, they were going crazy so I sat back and I didn’t have the horse to go with them anyway,” he explained. “Then when the pace slowed around the turn, I just kept my horse running on the same rhythm he was already in and that brought him up into the race and, turning for home, even if it didn’t look like it to everybody else, I knew he would win because I knew he would keep going. He doesn’t accelerate so much but he gets to his top speed this horse and can run like that forever. They went so fast early, they had to get tired and slow down and I knew he wouldn’t. He was still behind at the 200m and at the 100m was going away from them to win easily. If I was the owner, I’d be definitely asking John to run him in the Derby. He can stay, he just might not be as sharp as some others.”
Size said that owner Kevin Lau had indicated he would like to run in the Derby if possible.
“After a win like that, I think the horse will have the rating to get him in now,” said Size.
No Derbies for Victor Emperor, but the Class Five win took him within sight of $2 million in stake money thanks to a brilliant ride.
“His draw didn’t look so good on paper, but he began better than usual and we were able to get into a good position just behind the lead,” the jockey said. “He had a nice run and only just held out the late finish of the second horse. He will be back up to Class Four now but both his other wins were in that class so he might win again,.”