Seasons Bloom winning at Sha Tin on Sunday
©Hong Kong Jockey Club
Seasons Bloom’s impressive victory in the Class 1 HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin’s season opener on Sunday reinforced jockey Joao Moreira’s belief that the talented gelding can make a splash in the top grade.
“That tells you why I’ve been thinking about him for the internationals!” the three-time Hong Kong champion beamed as he walked back to scale. Moreira enjoyed another red letter day, winning the afternoon’s first five races.
Seasons Bloom’s display came in the third. The 3.9 second-favourite blitzed the home stretch, quickening from the tail through a swift closing 400m split of 21.52s for a complete winning time of 1m 08.32s. Such was the power of the five-year-old’s charge that Moreira was able to relax through the final 50 metres.
“He’s a lovely horse and he’s done that in a very good way,” Moreira added. “He’s proven there that he’s a talented horse still rising up.”
Trainer Danny Shum will now point his exciting ward at the G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m) on 1 October, as he plots a course towards the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
“He’s a miler and that’s where we’re aiming, the international Mile in December,” Shum confirmed. “He’ll run next on 1 October, in the race over 1400 (metres).”
Seasons Bloom was one of Hong Kong’s star four-year-olds last term thanks to placed efforts behind Rapper Dragon in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (second) and the 1800m Hong Kong Classic Cup (third). The Australian import rounded out his first campaign here with an impressive two-length win at a mile in Class 2. That was in June.
“He’s a really nice horse; he showed his quality when he won at the end of last season, and, coming here from that win, he’s kept his good form.” Shum said. “The pace was fine for him, even at the 1200 metres today: those sprinters have speed but he showed that he’s the better horse.”
Blizzard, Japan-bound for next month’s G1 Sprinters Stakes, ran a fine second under top-weight of 133lb, a concession of 16lb to the winner. Fabulous One (110lb), the seven-runner contest’s hare, faded late to an admirable third, just a neck behind the runner-up.