Perfect Match showed he’s a four-year-old going places with a smart victory in the Class 2 Lukfook Jewellery Cup Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin today (Sunday, 15 December).
The Not A Single Doubt gelding bagged a fifth career win from 10 starts to push his rating (83 for this test) into Four-Year-Old Classic Series territory. But, with the first leg of three – the Hong Kong Classic Mile – just six weeks away, trainer Danny Shum was quick to play down those prospects.
“The mile could be a problem,” he said of the 2.2 favourite. “If you look at him, he’s a 1400-metre horse, the pedigree says the mile even might be an issue and if we push him to the 1600 (metres) and he runs no good, it wouldn’t be ideal. But I’ll talk to the jockeys and the owner and then we’ll make a plan what to do.
“His last run was good, he’d been off for a few months and had no cover in the run but he still finished third so it was an amazing effort actually and he’s shown that today.
“There’s no talk of the Derby for this horse,” he added.
There was plenty of BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) talk about third-placed Decrypt leading into the race though, and his classic prospects were not diminished by defeat. The Hong Kong debutant emerged as a threat to Perfect Match with 300m to race but faded on his run as Joyful Trinity swept by to press the winner and take second spot.
“It was encouraging,” jockey Zac Purton said of Decrypt, this year’s G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas third now in the care of Frankie Lor.
“I thought he did a good job. He travelled a bit keenly through the early-mid stages but he came out to win and he just ran out of gas at the end.”
Lor intends to race the grey again on 5 January before stepping into the Hong Kong Classic Mile on 27 January.