Outsiders upwardly mobile as HK Classic Mile looms
The highest-rated 4yos were all at home in their boxes in the past week as the HK Classic Mile, the first of the classics, looms on Sunday but that doesn't mean there were no developments.
Sunday's surprise winner at 75-1, New Future posted a good figure of 90 in his victory to make his way into the top thirty 4yos list. He couldn't really be part of the classic discussions though as even that impressive win left him still in C4 and he doesn't appeal as a horse for the Derby type of distance anyway.
A more meaningful 4yo edging his way towards the top is Tony Cruz-trained Delightful Laos. Once raced as Now The King in Ireland with Michael O'Callaghan, Delightful Laos won his debut in Hong Kong, not an easy thing to do, in spectacular fashion last season. His style of poor starts and running on from the rear has been a handicap in a career restricted almost entirely to Happy Valley, though, so his progress has been slow. His storming finish into second with top weight in C3 last Wednesday produced a new peak of 92, lifting him to the right rating zone to say he is worth a tilt at the classics, if he can bring that to Sha Tin.
That might raise some eyebrows, but his flashing second was a similar run, in exactly the same race, to Savvy Nine a year ago and he went on to run 4th in the Derby.