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Prophet’s post-mortem: Tuchel stakes Classic Series claim

Classic Mile aspirant Tuchel resumed with a tough win, while a pair of Caspar Fownes-trained runners are worth following out of the January 15 Sha Tin meeting.

Sha Tin, Sunday January 15

Track condition

10 turf races, ‘A’ rail position (true), course width 26.6m.

Summary

The highlight of the day was the last chance for the four-year-olds to stake a claim for the Classic Series, which begins with the Classic Mile on January 29. Tuchel did not disappoint.

Blackbook

R3 No.5 DARING PURSUIT (4YO; Caspar Fownes)

1st of 14 (won by 0.5L); Class 4 – 1200M – (60-40); Win Odds $3.4

Casper Fownes presented this horse back in October over a similar distance and the market suggested a strong run was likely. Unfortunately, he was severely hampered at the 900m.

With time to recover and two more trials under his belt, the Shooting to Win gelding was ready to go on Sunday and chased down the short priced favourite Brave Dreams to claim victory. With nearly four lengths to third and the four-year-old still showing some signs of immaturity, he is capable of progressing with that experience under his belt.

R6 No.8 SMILING COLLECTOR (4YO; Jimmy Ting)

2nd of 14 (beaten 1L); Class 4 – 1400M – (60-40); Win Odds: $17 

The field slowed mid-race, putting Smiling Collector at a disadvantage, but he worked home very well and was strong through the line. With an even tempo next time he should get the opportunity to run over the leaders.

R10. No.5 GALAXY WITNESS (4YO; Caspar Fownes)

2nd of 14 (beaten 0.5L); Class 2 – 1400 – (95-75); Win Odds $3.7 

Since the addition of blinkers for his last two runs, Galaxy Witness has really found the line well and this race, taken out by Tuchel, can prove a significant formline going forward. The wide draw saw him eased to the rear early, but he really motored home late, leaving punters wondering what might have been with a better gate. 

Treat with caution

R4 No.8 FUN TOGETHER (Benno Yung)

It’s not hard to find holes in a $143 winner but more than that, the race rated quite poorly and there was nothing between the first four on the line. To top it off, both Togepi (fifth) and Timestorm (sixth) were held up late in running and should have finished in the mix as well. 

R5 No.9 D STAR (Tony Cruz)

D Star was the beneficiary of a muddling run race. He just held off the fast-finishing Joyful Genius who had met more than its fair share of trouble in the run.

Ride of the day

ALEXIS BADEL R1 No.2 Fighting Star

The strategy of running along in front and betting that the Class 5 brigade won’t chase was tested again when Badel slid away from the pack at the 800m.

He opened up a five-length break on the bend and had just enough left in the tank on the line. Well-rated for a horse who had raced in stronger company for his previous 19 starts in Hong Kong.

Best training performance

JOHN SIZE R10 No.12 Tuchel

Size once again showed his ability to time a horse’s preparation to perfection. Tuchel, who had been off the scene for three months after lameness in his right hind leg, not only had the break to deal with, but also the outside draw (14).

He was superbly presented by the master trainer to not only win but also ensure himself a shot at the Classic Mile in a fortnight from now. 

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