8th March 2020

One of Price Bloodstock’s star performers of the last few Hong Kong seasons, Hot King Prawn was back on top on Sunday at Sha Tin, when the grey flash completed his return from career-threatening illness in a star-studded feature.

John Size-trained Hot King Prawn won 9 of his first 10 race starts as a two, three and four-year-old but he was at the crossroads, healthwise, in January last year when colic struck and he required surgery.

After 10 months on the sidelines for most of 2019, Hot King Prawn made a brilliant return with 4 starts for 4 placings in the elite grade, including seconds to Aethero and superstar stablemate Beat the Clock, but he had not been able to bounce back into the winner’s stall until Sunday.

Size even tried Hot King Prawn at 1400m for the first time in a Group 1 in February in an effort to get him back to winning ways and the trainer felt that his third placing in that race was a key to Sunday’s success under 133 pounds over 1200m.

“He wouldn’t have won this race if I didn’t run him in that because he needed to be tough for it, carrying that weight,” Size said. “So there’s a bit of a balancing act there – the horses have got to be tough but they need to get over the race. “Today, he was back to handicap conditions and the track is not so fast, so I think he enjoyed all that. Normally, a horse struggles to regain form after colic surgery but I don’t think he’s lost anything. He’s gone on with the potential he’d shown before this season and even when he has been beaten, a couple of time he did run into Beat The Clock, who is very tough to beat on his day.”

With earnings approaching $22 million, Hot King Prawn is now all systems go towards two rich Group targets for the rest of this season, including the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

“There are two more set-weights races, which looks a little simpler. He just needs to hold his form for the rest of the season,” Size said.

It was a Price Bloodstock double on the day when Lakeshore Eagle broke through at his second attempt at 1600m to win his fourth race from 10 starts under trainer Chris So, who had also won with Price Bloodstock’s Master Albert in midweek.

“I have wanted for a long time to get Lakeshore Eagle out to a mile but I had to be patient because he has been a horse who needs time to recover after his races,” So explained. “As a five-year-old now he is stronger and I thought he did a very good job at his first mile run when he finished third and he had an easier run today and was able to win. He has a good record already and I think there’s more to come with him.”