13 June 2021

A Price Bloodstock double added a new name to its ever-growing list of promising young horses on Sunday at Sha Tin but it was Master Eight’s second victory from as many appearances that really had tongues wagging.

John Size scored a rare dirt debut winner with Dashing Fit before impressive three-year-old Master Eight ended his season with his unbeaten record intact.

Champion jockey Joao Moreira is an unabashed fan of Master Eight and really looking forward to what the Frankie Lor-trained gelding has to offer in the future.

“I was committed to just maybe taking a sit with him today and having something to follow but he was just too good, he just took me to the front,” Moreira said after Master Eight was a comfortable winner as a long odds-on favourite. “At the top of the straight, he started to receive pressure from a horse on the outside and, once he felt that, he just took off by himself. It showed he has got pride in him – he’s a fighter. At the finish, when another horse started to come, I started to push him and he responded again. He was the winner from the start to the finish. He’s a good horse. He’s done what I expected he would do and, once again, he’s given the feeling that he’s very exciting.”

Lor said he will resist the temptation to run Master Eight again in the final weeks of the current Hong Kong season as he feels there is plenty of development to come during the summer break.

“I think we’ll put him away now and get him ready for next season, “he explained. “Master Eight’s still a young horse and he should be much better next season.”

Dashing Fit is a year older but also has his career all ahead of him after doing something not too many horses do – win his debut run on the dirt. In the last 17 years only four horses had achieved the feat and it was a rare first for trainer Size, who had not had a debut winner in the surface before.

Jockey Blake Shinn brought the horse from a midfield position into a challenging spot as the field entered the home straight then kept at him to wear down the leaders in a tough win that showed no signs of inexperience from a horse who had been to the trials for Size on 11 occasions.

“That was a terrific win. First start on the dirt when the track is wet and slow, it’s not easy to do,” said Shinn. “He’s trained by the champion trainer John Size, so he’s had a great schooling coming into today and that made my job easier. All John really said to me was to keep the horse focused in the run and the horse’s ability carried him through. He should be able to improve on that with more experience so it’s all ahead of him.”

Size said Dashing Fit went into his debut very fit and healthy and may be back to the races again before the season finishes.