1st Jan 2021
Price Bloodstock success story, Champion’s Way pushed his stake money to within sight of $14 million at Sha Tin on New Year’s Day, breaking back into the winner’s circle in the feature Group 3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup.
Champion’s Way was the champion griffin of his three-year-old season in 2018-19 but at four, on a Derby path, he found himself constantly coming off second best to Hong Kong’s current super star, Golden Sixty, and he was unable to win.
“He has been very consistent, he has banked some nice cheques in defeat and his record is quite impressive on paper but the reality is that he was finding the big Group races just out of his reach,” said trainer John Size. “They are a bit too strong for him in the Group Ones, he’s just wasting his energy. So we could have run him in the internationals in December, but decided to keep him a bit fresh and brought him back to this race at a level where he can win and he’s done exactly what we hoped he would. And the circumstances suited him today – he got a nice pace, a firm track and was able to do his best.”
Size was specific with his instructions to jockey Karis Teetan, asking him to hold the gelding up for the final say as he registered his seventh win from 18 starts.
“John just said to ‘Don’t do any work, come out of the gate and leave him alone, the pace should be on, sit on the rail and wait’,” Teetan said. “I must say John had the horse in really good form and he had a lot to offer in the straight. It was a good win and it’s nice to see him back in the winner’s box.”
Despite his misgivings about tackling the top classes, Size might not have any other options again now after the win off a rating of 109 will push Champion’s Way back to mixing it up with the best again.