Darren Beadman has drawn comparisons between Hong Kong’s rising star Happy Zero and former champion Saintly following the gelding’s brilliant win in the Hong Kong Sprint Trial.
Happy Zero signalled he would be a force in next month’s International Hong Kong Sprint 2009 when he gained a late run to burst from the pack and overpower Sacred Kingdom – the world’s joint-highest ranked speedster – in Sunday’s feature at Sha Tin.
“I was held up and I saw Sacred Kingdom getting a run on me, but I knew once he got the split he would explode and that he did,” Beadman said.
“Once you have this horse wound up he goes through the gears pretty quick.
“I don’t (think I’ve) ever been on a horse with as long a stride and that includes Saintly who was a much bigger and longer horse.
“This guy covers an enormous amount of ground and he’s very exciting.”
Trainer John Moore was bullish about Happy Zero’s prospects in the International Sprint on December 13 when he is likely to clash with Australian stars the ilk of All Silent and Scenic Blast.
Scenic Blast was to have run on Sunday but was scratched due to a hoof problem, although trainer Danny Morton was confident his multiple Group One winner would be right for next month’s showpiece.
“I think he’s the new kid on the block and I don’t want to take anything away from Sacred Kingdom, a world champion, but sometimes you have to give way to the next generation and I believe this is the one,” Moore said of Happy Zero.
The Paul O’Sullivan-trained Fellowship also scored a solid win in the International Mile Trial with Zac Purton in the saddle.
Good Ba Ba, who has won the Hong Kong Mile for the past two years, finished third in a similar performance to 12 months ago.
The fields for the Hong Kong International Races will be announced on November 25.