21st January 2018

What a day for Price Bloodstock at Sha Tin on Sunday, going within a “short nose” of claiming half the 10-race program, including the impressive Classic Mile win by exciting Hong Kong Derby aspirant Nothingilikemore.

Nothingilikemore is one of the most exciting horses in Hong Kong – most of which are Price Bloodstock stars including Hot King Prawn – and another of them John Size-trained Conte followed up 30 minutes after the Classic Mile by taking his record to four wins from four starts.

They were the cream on the cake after Lucky Volatility won his debut run down the straight to open the day, Volitation produced his fifth win in the third and Key Witness was beaten by the tiniest of margins in the seventh race.

It was almost a perfect day but who wouldn’t settle for the result that did arrive?

Nothingilikemore is the nominal Hong Kong Derby favourite after strolling home in the Classic Mile and even his trainer Size seems very bullish about the gelding despite him being unproven at the 2,000m of the ultimate goal.

“He’s going to run well at 1,800m in the Classic Cup – the tempo’s going to be a little different but he seems able to adapt to that, once he settles and follows horses,” Size told the press. “”I don’t think that 1,800m will worry him and I envision he’ll go the Derby as well.”

The win was his 6th from 7 starts and his stakemoney is already close to $11 million, with his whole career still ahead of him.

Jockey Joao Moreira said he was further back in the race than he expected, after some interference early, but he had the horse to deal with it.

“I thought we would be closer but there were horses around me trying to get in and I didn’t want to be getting pushed to the fence,” he said. “I was a bit concerned on the bend because he was off the bridle but then he started to make a run him, I didn’t have to press the button. I feel confident he will handle the 1,800m.”

Conte is another excitement machine with the sky looking his limit too and, as a four-year-old, some racing journalists have been asking Size if the son of Starcraft might be a Derby possibility himself but for now he has been restricted to 1,400m.

“They made us work to the first turn today to get the front and they didn’t give up until the 800m, so Conte did have to do some work early,” Moreira said. “That’s why he came back to them a little bit late in the race. But he is such a lovely horse, he does whatever you want and I could ride him with a piece of cotton instead of reins.”

Size isn’t talking beyond the gelding’s nearest assignments yet.

“He does nothing wrong, he keeps winning – we’re off to Class 2 next time so we’ll learn more there,” Size said.

Size used to be the trainer of Volitation too but the gelding is now with another exciting newcomer, first year trainer and former Size assistant, Frankie Lor. His win was his fifth over the Sha Tin 1,400m course and followed two unlucky runs earlier in the season.

“He was wide the first time then didn’t enjoy the dirt track when he got behind horses last time so he was better today on the turf and he has come down quite a bit in ratings in the last six months,” Lor said. “He’s very honest and Karis Teetan gave him a great ride.”

And first but not least was Lucky Volatility, winning on debut and continuing a great connection over the years between the ownership team and Price Bloodstock.

Implied Volatility won 5 races in similar ownership and Smart Volatility was a 6-time winner and Group performer and, on Sundau, Lucky Volatility showed great speed and overcame the disadvantage of barrier one on the straight course to win at 20-1 and is only going to get better with racing.