Advantage D B Pin under handicap conditions in National Day Cup
D B Pin enters the Group 3 National Day Cup Handicap as the “weight horse” – the galloper that is still on the rise who finds himself in the 1000m feature with a light impost and an abundance of potential. For jockey Karis Teetan and trainer John Size, that factor is crucial as the five-year-old prepares to tackle some of Hong Kong’s best sprinters in the straight dash at Sha Tin on Sunday.
D B Pins, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
“He’s shown a lot of ability, all throughout last season he ran well and showed that he had plenty of potential,” Teetan said at Sha Tin on Friday (29 September). “Of course, he’s going into this race against some nice horses but it is a handicap and he has a beautiful weight. I think he has the ability to win this, especially with the light weight.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Size, who sends out topweight Mr Stunning (133lb) and last year’s National Day Cup winner Amazing Kids (129lb) in addition to D B Pin (116lb).
“It’s a handicap, so it’s always a matter of weight,” a reserved Size said. “He’s a horse with a great track record, and while he’s on a rating of 111, he should have more in him. You would be expecting him to get some prize money in the race.”
D B Pin was named Most Improved Horse last season after taking his rating from 56 to 111, joining an honour roll that has included Group 1 winners Ambitious Dragon, Glorious Days, Aerovelocity and Contentment in recent years. The Darci Brahma gelding won five of his seven starts, including two over the Sha Tin 1000m, while he was a last-start second to Lucky Year in the G3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m) in May.
“He seems to have come back well, he trialled very nicely recently,” Teetan said. “He’s always a horse that brings his all to his work, so it wasn’t that surprising but it was still nice to see ahead of his first run. I’m looking forward to riding him. There looks to be plenty of speed with a few lightly weighted horses in here, but he has won from a number of different places in running so I will just have him where he is comfortable.”
Hong Kong’s joint top-rated galloper Mr Stunning is Size’s number one seed heading towards December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint, but the trainer acknowledges that the Exceed And Excel gelding faces a tough task under handicap conditions.
“It’s a very strong race, we get to see some of our better horses in a handicap situation which we don’t see very often,” he said. “It’s certainly an intriguing and interesting race because of that. Of course, the weight is something to be worried about, but that’s what makes handicap racing an exciting event.”
“Mr Stunning is healthy and well, his trial was good so I’d expect him to run somewhere near his best first time out, but yes, 133 pounds is an ask.”
Amazing Kids took both 1000m Group races in Hong Kong last season, adding the G3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap (1000m) in January to his National Day Cup win.
“He was probably a better horse at the beginning of last season, but I wouldn’t give up on him yet,” Size said. “He’s got the experience and he’s certainly got a proven record, while he’s good fresh. If he has a good campaign this year, he’s capable of winning another feature.”
Also among 10 declarations for the G3 feature are 2015 winner Not Listenin’tome (130lb), one of three runners for John Moore, as well as 2015 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint winner Peniaphobia (132lb) and Chris So-trained Fabulous One (113lb), D B Pin’s predecessor as Most Improved Horse.
The G3 National Day Cup Handicap (1000m) is the seventh of 10 races and is scheduled to jump at 4.05pm. It will be followed by the G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m) at 4.40pm.