The most reliable recipe for turning a rookie racehorse into an elite Hong Kong winner is simple:
Take one healthy measure of John Size; add promising recruits sourced in Australia or New Zealand; and finally, season with skill and simmer on low heat for several months before producing with perfect timing at the top table.
Size has turned all of Hong Kong’s five best sprinters from unknowns into Pattern winners – namely Mr Stunning, Ivictory, D B Pin, Hot King Prawn and Beat The Clock – and aims to repeat the feat on Sha Tin’s Lucky Start card on Tuesday (1 January) when Conte (117lb) makes his Group 3 debut in the Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m).
Beat The Clock came up just short when sent off at 1.8 on his Group-race bow in last year’s renewal but Size seems confident that Conte can excel again from stall 11 in a HK$3.25 million race featuring two stablemates and four rivals from the Tony Cruz barn.
“Conte seems to have come up well,” Size said. “It was a good strong win the other day and I expect him to be hard to beat again.”