Hot King Prawn’s grey coat is another shade closer to white, one more year is on his withers, but trainer John Size is not yet letting go his belief that yesteryear’s precocious star-in-waiting might yet snare that Group 1 win that has so far eluded.
The Denman six-year-old is now into his fifth season and on Sunday (22 November) he will attempt to win the G2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) for a second time before striding on to the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on 13 December, when he will attempt to break his top-flight maiden at the sixth attempt.
“It might be a bit optimistic to think he can come back as a six-year-old and go one better but he might be able to: all his training and his signs at home for us at the stable are quite good,” Size said this morning (Friday, 20 November).
Hot King Prawn rolled into the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint two years ago as the 2.1 favourite with a record of nine wins from 10 starts, and off a no-messing front-running success in the Jockey Club Sprint which suggested the dappled galloper was the future of the Hong Kong sprint division.
But on the big day, he faded to ninth. Two months later, in February 2019, Hot King Prawn underwent surgery for colic and wasn’t back in action until last season’s Jockey Club Sprint in which he again showed his quality with an admirable first-up second behind the dashing ‘rising star’ of the moment, Aethero. Size’s charge followed that with a tantalising neck second to stablemate Beat The Clock in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint itself.
“Last season he had a colic operation to come back from and I think he did a very good job to sort of run so well in the International race second-up after a long lay-off. This season I’m hoping he’s a little bit better,” Size said