13th May 2017

Well, what a week for Price Bloodstock – it doesn’t get much better than the past seven days in Hong Kong, with eight winners including Contentment’s Group One Champions Mile.
In the space of three meetings at Sha Tin and Happy Valley, Price Bloodstock horses won eight of the 28 races decided and what’s just as pleasing is that when Hot King Prawn, Winner’s Way and Ivictory joined the honours list on Saturday at Sha Tin, they were all being tagged as horses with big futures ahead of them.

Winner’s Way has emerged this season through the four-year-old series as one of the Milers to watch in Hong Kong next season and trainer Tony Cruz now has him aimed at the Group Three Premier Cup over 1,400m in June.

After a hollow Class Two win at Happy Valley, he did much the same to a Class One field on Saturday under Zac Purton and took his stake money from his first racing seasonin Hong Kong past $6 million, including Saturday’s $250,000 “Top Up Bonus” from the Jockey Club on top of the race prize money.

“I always expected him to be up there this season,” Cruz said. “He didn’t get the distance in the Classic Cup, 1,800m was too far, but don’t forget that before that, in the Classic Mile, he beat Pakistan Star home. I think next season he will be one of the really good milers in Hong Kong.”

Purton said the best is still to come from Winner’s Way, who can tidy up some of the fine points of his act.

“What I learned on him at Happy Valley is that when he gets to a spot you just have to let him flow,” Purton said. “He still does a little bit wrong, he cocks his head to one side, and he got a little bit off balance in the straight, so there is something there to work with and improve.”

The other two wins on Saturday came with first starters, the two-year-old Hot King Prawn, who was never out of first gear and always going to win and the three-year-old Ivictory, who was never going to win until he did.

“Education in a young horse is very important and Hot King Prawn had obviously had some prior education before he arrived. And he’s such an intelligent horse that he adapted quickly to his new surroundings,” trainer John Size said.

The grey led throughout, also for Purton, who likes the youngster a lot.

“This looked a barrier trial for him on paper and ended up that way too,” said Purton. “He’s a lovely actioned horse, he just floats across the ground.”

Many punters had sold out on Ivictory halfway through the straight 1,000m race when he was a long way back and appeared to be outpaced but trainer Size wasn’t one of them.

“I did think he would be closer than he was but I wasn’t panicking either,” Size said. “Although he was well back, he was comfortable and he hadn’t done much work in the first half of the race so I was always confident he would run on. It was a matter of whether he would run on fast enough. I’d say 1,000m is probably not going to be his distance but he got away with it.”