Nothingilikemore’s path to the Classic Mile begins
The Four-Year-Old Classic Series may still be three months away, but it is already the focus for trainer John Size as his unbeaten galloper Nothingilikemore prepares for his seasonal debut in the Class 2 Parmigiani Excellent Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
“Of course it’s on our minds, definitely,” Size said at Sha Tin on Friday morning (20 October). “He will go for the Classic Mile, that will be his first feature race, and we will run him a couple of times before that. On that day, we will find out if he can run 1600m and go from there.”
The Hong Kong Classic Mile is the first leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series and will be run on 21 January, with the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) on 18 February and BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) on 18 March completing the series.
In the meantime, last season’s champion trainer Size is focusing on Sunday’s return for Nothingilikemore. The Husson gelding won four races from four starts last term, culminating in a mixed-band Class 2 win in April.
“He seems OK,” a typically understated Size said. “He hasn’t raced for six months but I can’t wait any longer with him, that’s the reason he’s got to go. He’s trained up well, he did have a nice break. His three trials have been good, but he seems to be trialling as if he needs a race so we’ll give him that and hopefully he will continue on his way.
“I don’t know if there’s been development but there have never been any issues anyway. He’s always had a good temperament and he’s always been physically strong enough to do what I’ve asked him to do. He’s ready for his return.”
Nothingilikemore (132lb), who gets Joao Moreira aboard for a fourth time, faces 13 rivals. These include Jolly Jolly (123lb) – who finished second to him in April – and Hong Kong debutant Circuit Glory (121lb), who won five from seven in New Zealand, including the G2 Championship Stakes (2100m), when named Tavidream.
The Class 2 Parmigiani Excellent Handicap (1400m) is the last race on the 10-event card at Sha Tin and will jump at 5.50pm, with the opener, the Class 4 Piaget Excellent Handicap (1000m), set for 1pm.
Nothingilikemore, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club