26th September 2018

Trainer John Size was off the mark for the new season with impressive Price Bloodstock product Country Star on Wednesday night at Happy Valley and, as time goes forward, the three-year-old might make that piece of naming highly appropriate.

Although Country Star had put the writing on the wall for an early win when an unlucky fourth at the Valley on September 5 over 1000m and a good draw and the lift to 1200m enabled him to show how much he had progressed from the experience.

This time there were no traffic problems as champion jockey Zac Purton parked Country Star in the box seat, third on the fence, and the three-year-old ran away to win by a wide margin as favourite.

“He didn’t do anything you wouldn’t expect,” said Size of the easy win. “A horse with a future who gets an inside gate on the C+3 track and follows the leader? He really should win like that. But he has done what was expected at his second start and that is encouraging.”

Size often takes green young horses to Happy Valley early in their careers so that the bumping, turning rough and tumble of the quirky track educates them to what racing is about before the trainer moves them to the bigger track at Sha Tin and brings them through the trades.

For a horse by Starcraft out of a mare by Encosta De Lago, who should get to a mile at some stage Country Star has some impressive speed for early sprinting races and he continued a long history between Price Bloodstock and the horse’s owners, the HK Country Club Racing Syndicate, which has also had success with the likes of Country Music, Country Melody, Country Magic and others over many years after sourcing them from David Price.

“I’m not sure how talented he is, it’s impossible to know with where he is currently – in the middle of Class 4 as an early three-year-old – but you couldn’t be pessimistic about his future at the moment,” said Size.