22nd November 2020

Sunday’s Jockey Club day at Sha Tin proved a red letter day for Price Bloodstock with winning treble involving an old favourite Hot King Prawn putting down his Hong Kong Sprint credentials, an aspiring Classic Mile horse moving closer to a start in that race and a smart newcomer making a big impression on debut.

John Size-trained Hot King Prawn has been a fixture amongst the top Hong Kong sprinters for the past 2 seasons and added Sunday’s G2 Jockey Sprint to the one he won in 2018, after being runner-up in the race in 2019.

He followed last year’s run with a second in the Hong Kong Sprint but Size says the grey has had a better preparation for this year’s international showpiece.

“He only had one start before the international race last year because he had 10 months break after a colic operation, so he was a little bit disadvantaged and he still raced very well,” Size recalled. “This time he’s probably had a more comfortable preparation with two lead up runs. He’s covered a little bit of ground today and he finished the race off quite nicely, he couldn’t have done much more. He’s on the right track, I think he’s still improving and I think he’ll be a bit better on international day.”

In his early days, Hot King Prawn was a speed machine who led his races but that has changed as he has got older and his toughness on Sunday was a stand out quality as he took his earnings past $27 million.

“He has proven once again he has got so much class and he won the race with quite a bit of authority,” said jockey Joao Moreira. “He has bumped into very good horses in the past, he just has finished a short margin behind those good horses. As those big guys are not around any longer, I do believe he might be the one now. He’s got a little bit more mature and he hasn’t been showing as much speed as he showed in earlier campaigns but I can’t see that as a bad thing because all we want is to have a strong horse at the finish of the race. He has proven to be that kind of a horse today.”

Later in the day, another Size-trained galloper Heza Beauty landed his third win and his second this season, pushing his stakes tally to $3.5 million, with more to come as the improving four-year-old eyes the Classic Mile in January.

“He’s learning more every time. He got a good tempo today and was able to finish over the top of them late,” said jockey Neil Callan, who made it two wins from as many rides on the gelding. “I know his owners are quite keen to get his rating up to qualify for the four-year-old series and he’s going the right way to get there.”

But the easiest of the three wins was Harmony N Blessed, who had been scratched from his proposed debut at Happy Valley recently after a minor accident in the starting gates, but he gave nobody any cause for concern this time, leading throughout impressively for Blake Shinn to renew the decades-old connection between Price Bloodstock and trainer David Hayes.

“I was one of David Price’s very first clients in Hong Kong when I trained here the first time and we had a lot of success,” Hayes said. “And I think we’re going to have plenty more, starting with this guy. I think he’ll go through his classes impressively judging by that. He’s very fast, very professional and was never in doubt. The incident at Happy Valley meant we had to go to 1200m for his first run instead of 1000m but handled that easily and looks a great prospect.”