Trainer John Size once again showed the depth of the top-line sprinters in his stable as he prepared the first three horses home in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m). This time, however, it was emerging star D B Pin in the spotlight, with the five-year-old claiming his maiden Group 1 win at Sha Tin on Sunday (28 January) under Olivier Doleuze.
D B Pin had finished a neck second to fellow Size trainee Mr Stunning at his first attempt at the big time in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) last month. On this occasion, though, D B Pin had a neck to spare at the line over stablemates Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock, who dead-heated for second. The final time was 1m 09.64s.
“He’s so consistent,” Size said. “He’s honest and he’s diligent, he likes to do his job. He’s made incremental improvement every time he’s gone to the races, but particularly this season. He’s a naturally fast horse, but this season he’s learnt to settle – under Olivier’s guidance, he’s certainly come on and puts most of his energy into the last 400m, which is winning races for him.”
For Doleuze, it was a welcome victory. It was the 45-year-old’s first international Group 1 since Rich Tapestry’s win in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (1200m) in October, 2014 and his first local top-line feature since Eagle Regiment won the Centenary Sprint Cup when it was run over the straight 1000m in 2013.
“It means a lot to me, if you had told me I would win a Group 1 this year when it is so hard to stay on a horse in a Class 5, I wouldn’t have believed you!” said Doleuze. “Hong Kong is very competitive, I’ve been here a long time and people here like new faces. That’s just the game, there are no hard feelings. I’ve had my time, but I still enjoy it, and when you get the chance to sit on a horse like this it makes it all worthwhile.
“Since I’ve been on D B Pin’s back, John has improved him a lot. His run in the Sprint in December was very good and today, I was hoping for confirmation. It seems that the horse is still heading the right way.”
D B Pin jumped evenly from the outside stall in the field of eight and Doleuze pulled him back to settle beyond midfield three-deep without cover off a moderate pace set by Peniaphobia.