Hong Kong’s season opener on Sunday (1 September) marks the dawn of a new campaign and with it the prospect of bright young stars rising to challenge the circuit’s established stars.
Champion’s Way and Aethero set a high standard for last season’s young guns and time will tell just how much improvement they have made from that term to this. Meanwhile, Sunday’s 10-race card has plenty in the way of emerging talents.
Winning Method was no match for Aethero on debut in April but sauntered to two wins thereafter down the 1000m straight. Joao Moreira was aboard for each of those wins and is back on board for the three-year-old’s first assignment outside of Griffin company, the Class 3 Lantau Peak Handicap (1000m).
“I’m very happy with him, he’s been very straightforward in his two races that I have ridden him. I think we are far away from his peak,” Moreira said after track work at Sha Tin this morning, Friday, 30 August.
Trainer Danny Shum said after the bay’s last run that surgery might be needed to help his charge reach his potential in Hong Kong. He was true to his word.
“He’s been gelded in the off-season and I think that’s going to be a plus for him,” Moreira noted. “He seems a bit more mature and I’m convinced that he’s more than good enough to be winning a Class 3. I think he’s going to go quite high in the ratings but it’s very hard to predict where he’s going to end up at – it feels like there are plenty of more rating points in him.”