Trainer Richard Gibson hopes that Australian import Harmony Hero can take a step forward at his second Hong Kong start when he reappears in the Class 3 Primula Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin’s Easter Monday (3 April) fixture.
Harmony Hero arrived in Hong Kong as an unbeaten three-year-old, the son of Elvstroem having won two from two in Victoria, Australia when named Lina’s Hero.
The second of those wins, in a moderate 1300m handicap at Sandown in Melbourne, was particularly impressive. Sitting wide throughout, Harmony Hero gathered in his rivals with ease, sprinting clear for a three and a quarter length win. The runner-up that day, Mighty Boss, was a Group 1 winner less than two months later, taking the Caulfield Guineas last October.
This ensured that Harmony Hero, who had also caught the eye in three trials, was sent out a 2.5 favourite at his Hong Kong debut over the Sha Tin 1200m on 11 March. Unfortunately for his backers, it was a difficult watch from start to finish, with the gelding trapped deep throughout from gate 10 under Tommy Berry.
“That first race was a bit messy, wasn’t it?” Gibson said. “I’m never one to talk up my horses until they do it on the track, so he still has something to prove. I think he has to improve from the first run significantly to be a chance here, but he did have a nice, easy trial under Nash (Rawiller) the other day so hopefully he’s come on for that.”
The Yue Yun Hing-owned Harmony Hero, to be ridden by Rawiller on Monday, carries top-weight of 128lb in the field of 14 and jumps from gate 11. The Primula Handicap also includes last-start winner Sun Touch (126lb) and three-time course and distance winner Hard Ball Get (115lb).
Earlier in the card, Gibson sends out Kingsfield, owned by Yue’s son Edmond, in the Class 2 Hyacinth Handicap (1400m), with Douglas Whyte in the saddle.