PRINCE HARMONY, FORMULA GALORE & WINNER’S WAY
12th April 2017
A night to remember for Price Bloodstock at Happy Valley on Wednesday, with three winners from the eight races and only bad luck stopped that being half the programme.
Price Bloodstock product Rugby Diamond was a firm favourite for the opening race and expected to lead the Class Five and be terribly hard to run down but he was flat-footed when the gates opened, losing six or seven lengths then chased the field, tacked on and finished his race well to be beaten less than two lengths as one of the unlucky losers of the season.
That was the negative news of the night but the next two races went to Price Bloodstock horses Prince Harmony and Formula Galore and Winner’s Way continued his brilliant first Hong Kong season by streaking away with the final event in Class Two.
Prince Harmony had been unplaced in his four starts since arriving in Hong Kong with Chris So, but a better draw and a smart ride from Douglas Whyte saw him edge home narrowly for his first win.
“There has not been anything wrong with how he has been racing,” said So. “He has been very unlucky with wide barriers. Even last time when I put him down the straight course, he was unlucky – it was the first time he drew a low number for the barrier and that’s exactly what you don’t want in the straight races! But tonight, gate two made a big difference and Douglas could see there was no speed in it and took him to the front and controlled the race. After only five races, I’m sure there is more improvement to come for Prince Harmony.”
Formula Galore has had 17 starts now for 2 wins but his trainer, Caspar Fownes, thinks the gelding might only now be coming solid in his career with a change up in distance.
“We’ve always had him in short sprints and he has got back out of it and run on. But last start was his first time at the 1,650m and I loved how comfortably he travelled in that race, sitting in the box seat. Even though he ran third, I thought it was clear the longer distance and softer tempo suits him,” Fownes said. “Even though he went to a wider gate today, I just said to the jockey Vincent Ho to try to do something similar, and he got over outside the leader, travelled well and kicked and won quite easily in the end.”
For Winner’s Way, who has been mixing it with credit against the best of his age this season, he put the writing on the wall last time when slowly away and runner-up at Sha Tin but Zac Purton made no mistakes at the start this time and the four-year-old took his third win, almost $1 million for first prize and a High Achievement Bonus of $750,000 on top of that from the Jockey Club for winning in Class Two in his first campaign.
“He looked unlucky last time when he missed the jump but he showed tonight what a great asset it is that he normally can race on speed,” Purton said. “I was able to take control early and give them something to chase and he was never going to lose. Winner’s Way might be behind the best four-year-olds but he isn’t that far behind and the owners are going to have a lot of fun with him. There’s a good win in him.”