John Size’s decision to bypass Hong Kong’s lucrative LONGINES Hong Kong International Races was vindicated handsomely when Champion’s Way ended an 18-month drought by snaring the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin this afternoon (Friday, 1 January).
Beaten by Hong Kong banner horse Golden Sixty at his three previous starts, Champion’s Way benefited from Size’s decision-making on Sunday when he was given a superb ride by Karis Teetan to down the luckless Sky Darci and Mighty Giant.
Size attributed the gelding’s first victory since June 2019 to a drop in class, conceding the five-year-old struggles at elite level.
“I think they’re too strong for him and he’s just wasting his energy,” the Australian trainer said of Champion’s Way’s inability to add to the six victories (from seven starts) he posted in the 2018/19 season.
“At least he’s won another race, which we were hoping to do.
“He’s found Class 1 racing and group racing a little bit difficult for him and today circumstances suited him – the run of the race and track condition – so he was able to do his best.”
Teetan followed Size’s instructions to the letter, clinging to the rail and avoiding the buffeting endured by Sky Darci from the home turn.