7th February 2019

Price Bloodstock opened the Year Of The Pig in auspicious style with a blazing four-timer at Sha Tin and the promise of more to come.

The four wins by Management Star, Full Of Beauty, Key Witness and Picken took the total wins in Hong Kong to 599 for Price Bloodstock horses and, amongst the busy opening to a new lunar year, Full Of Beauty stood out from the whole meeting as a horse really going places.

His wide barrier was always going to offer some challenges for jockey Joao Moreira and the Magic Man wasn’t fully able to overcome those challenges – it didn’t matter. Full Of Beauty was forced to sit most of the race off the track and with little or no cover, yet he was able to round up his rivals and go clear to win with something in hand to keep his unbeaten record after three starts.

“He’s still learning but he’s learning very well,” Moreira said. “He’s doing it tough and he’s coping. He’s a talented horse and it feels like he’s going to reach a very high rating.”

Trainer John Size was equally impressed.

“He showed real class today, apart from actually covering the ground – which is not a good thing on the C+3 course – he seems easy to manage through a race, he simply obeys the instructions of the jockey which is a huge asset. As the races get stronger and quicker he might get more comfortable and find a horse to follow,” Size said.

Size also contributed Picken to the Price Bloodstock quadrella, with the gelding looking the most comfortable he has in a race as he gave nothing else a chance.

“He was up to Class 3 today but I think he appreciated not having the big weight to carry that he had in Class 4 last time when he was beaten and he got a truly run race too,” Size said. “As a result of both of those things, he travelled well through the race and put them away quite well. It’s hard to knock what he has done – 3 wins from 8 starts is a good record and he seems to be getting better.”

While the young up and comers were doing their job, so was an old favourite, with Tony Cruz-trained Key Witness dead-heating to record his seventh win and the eight-year-old took his prizemoney earnings to almost $10.5 million.

“His last win had been in Class 3 and since he got back down to this grade, he’s been racing very well and promising to win again,” said Cruz. “He’s getting on in years but he’s sound and still wants to do it and he gets on well with this apprentice, Dylan Mo.”

Management Star’s maiden win didn’t come without a few hiccups after he missed the jump but he found a good position after that and was too strong at the end of the 1600m to win in Class 5, but trained Francis Lui feels the gelding will be able to win in Class 4 as well.

“His runs were quite good in Class 4 and he wasn’t beaten far,” Lui said. “He dropped down to Class 5 here and showed he is a little better than that class, he just needs things to go right for him in Class 4 and he should be able to win.”