Hong Kong

Excellent Derby Proposal for Size-trained tyro at Sha Tin

By Declan Schuster

 

Rising star Excellent Proposal made a big statement with an impressive win in the Class 2 Chek Lap Kok Handicap (1800m) at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 4 October).

The exciting John Size-trained gelding beat a classy field of experienced gallopers to cement his status as a leading contender for this season’s three-race Four-Year-Old Classic Series which begins with the HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Mile (24 January, 2021)

“He didn’t sort of blow them away today but he certainly did the job,” Size said, “he’s got himself to a rating that’s comfortable to be an aspirant of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series – so I’m happy with that.

“His temperament is good – he’s sound, he does well and now that he’s got that rating he can have a break.”

Excellent Proposal took his impressive record to three wins from four starts with today’s half-length score, and he’s now ticked off both the Classic Mile (1600m) and Classic Cup (1800m) trips. While the Derby distance of 2000 metres remains an unknown, it is of no concern to winning jockey Joao Moreira: “I don’t see any problem with that,” he said.

 

“He’s been coping with everything that we have put to him. Fortunately today we didn’t get caught four-deep like last time but he prevailed showing that he’s the best horse in the field and the way that he won he proved that,” Moreira said.

The Australian-bred four-year-old finished second on debut last term and this season is unbeaten in three starts, firstly over 1400m, then 1600m and 1800m today.

“He’s a very kind and relaxed horse, I couldn’t be more delighted than what I am with this guy – he’s got a bright future,” Moreira said.

Excellent Proposal, carrying 123lb, defeated last start winner Tianchi Monster (111lb) by a half-length and had quality gallopers including Ho Ho Khan (133lb), a G3 winner, Butterfield (129lb), Savvy Nine (129lb), Reliable Team (127lb) and Enrichment (119lb) well in his wake.

“He knows what racing is about and for me as a jockey I just have to try and not complicate it, to try and avoid him getting a bump or check, to get him a smooth race which once again was the case. This type of horse always makes a jockey’s life easier,” Moreira said.

Actions speak louder than words: how Joao Moreira regained his groove