Amazing Kids (Falkirk) left no doubt that he belongs among the top echelon of Hong Kong sprinters after notching his first stakes victory with a gutsy win in the Group 3 National Day Cup at Sha Tin, Saturday, 1 October.
“Today might be the making of him, he’s come out on top in a real dogfight,” jockey Brett Prebble exclaimed after Amazing Kids (126lb) got the better of Amber Sky (113lb) to score an exciting short-head victory in the last stride, clocking in at 56.19 seconds.
“I thought I got the bob at first, but then I wasn’t sure! I did hope that he had won though, because at the furlong he was going to win cosily but he really had to fight hard against Amber Sky – I reckon the old boy has run a blinder today in front and it took a very strong horse in Amazing Kids to run him down.”
Amazing Kids found himself outpaced in the early stages as leader Amber Sky carved out a blistering 20.50s sectional from the 800m to the 400m, with favourites Peniaphobia (133lb) and Not Listenin’tome (130lb) stalking the speed in second and third respectively. This left Amazing Kids out of his comfort zone in fifth at halfway as he began his charge through the field.
“I just think he got a bit lost the first time down the straight, he’s not used to that 20-something sectional,” Prebble said. “He normally builds up at the 600 metres and comes into it, but he was off the bridle then, so it was all new ground for him. But in his favour is that he is a real kind horse, he doesn’t reef and tear, so while he was out of his depth a bit he didn’t overreact.”
Not Listenin’tome was the first to wilt, fading to fifth, while Peniaphobia loomed alongside Amber Sky but struggled to move past under top-weight of 133lb. This left it to Amazing Kids to surge late down the centre of the track, emerging victorious in a bob-of-heads photo.
Trainer John Size praised the effort of the son of Falkirk at his maiden attempt over the specialist straight 1000m track.
“It certainly was a good effort from a horse that has never run down the straight,” Size said. “I thought he did a decent job, he looked like he didn’t know what he was doing or where he was going but he stuck to his task and he managed to get there. He will take a lot of benefit from that.”
Prebble has been associated with some of Hong Kong’s best sprinters, including Lucky Nine, Sacred Kingdom and Cape Of Good Hope, and he believes Amazing Kids can make the step up to the big leagues with the five-year-old now pointing towards the Gr.1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in December.
“It’s hard to know where he fits into the picture, he’s a very unassuming horse and there’s a lot more under the bonnet than what you see, so while it is easy to write him off, he just keeps finding. He’s so lightly raced too, it’s one thing to beat your rivals easily on the way up, but fighting hard against the big boys is where it gets serious. And he passed that test today with flying colours.”
Amazing Kids has now won five of his 13 starts, capped by today’s Gr.3 test, and is likely to follow the tried and tested sprint path to the December internationals – first, to the Gr.2 Premier Bowl (1200m) on 23 October, before tackling the Gr.2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) on 20 November.