28th January 2018

It was third time a charm for Price Bloodstock youngster Eighty Eighty as he broke through for his maiden win at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The four-year-old has had a big reputation since he started to trial and was second as an odds-on favourite in his first two race starts, and was again the favourite but this time he put himself back in the favour of punters.

After drawing wide over 1,200m, Eighty Eighty worked to get across the field and lead and had a private war in front with one of his rivals most of the way.

Things didn’t look good after talking so much pressure but the son of Husson dug in strongly to stave off a whole wave of challengers as the post came up.

“Even though he didn’t win by far, that was a tough win today,” said trainer Chris So, who said that he felt the betting public might have got ahead of themselves with their early opinion of Eighty Eighty. “There’s no doubt, he is a nice horse with a good future – but he needs time. I think everybody was a bit excited by the trials and that’s why he was so short at his first two starts, although I have to say he ran very well both times, he just didn’t win. He was stuck wide in the first run and only just beaten in a close finish the second time, so I personally don’t think he has been disappointing.”

To date, So has only tested Eighty Eighty over 1,200m, where the races are usually quite busy, but he feels that a slightly softer tempo over further might suit the gelding even better as he matures.

“He is a horse that is just learning and developing and he needs even more time to get better, but he will climb up the ratings,” he said. “When he is ready, we’ll try him over 1,400m and I think that he will have no trouble with that distance in the slower pacing.”