Racing

Conte remains unbeaten

Trainer John Size says five-in-a-row hero will now take a break

The unbeaten Conte continued his rise through the grades with a professional win in the Class 2 Kwong Wah Handicap over 1,600m at Sha Tin on Saturday.

But trainer John Size indicated the four-year-old may now take a break before he attempts to make it six in a row.

Conte, who had found himself in a pace-setting role in most of his wins to date, instead was among the chasing bunch on Saturday, settling third under jockey Joao Moreira behind fellow four-year-olds Lockheed and Dragon Lips.

At the top of the straight, Moreira chased Conte through a gap that appeared near the inside, but second favourite Easy Go Easy Win attempted to steal a break centre track.

In what developed into a tough battle over the final 200m, the two market-elects raced clear. At the line, Conte had a half-length to spare over Easy Go Easy Win, with Lockheed holding down third, two-and-a-quarter lengths away.

"Conte can't do much more than win, so from that point of view, I'm pleased," said Size.

"It was a slowly-run race and he was held up at times, but I thought it was a tough effort for him to beat the other horse so it was still a very good effort.

"We thought he might lead but other riders wanted to lead, so it just made his job a little bit easier. It's more been by circumstance that he's ended up on the lead in the past. But I was never concerned about him settling behind runners.

"I'm not sure if he'll keep running. He's won five races, so he might be looking for a little break. I'll make that decision in a couple of weeks." - HKJC

HORSE RACING