Racing

Size to avoid overcooking Hot King Prawn

Trainer to give his emerging talent a few months to develop a bit more

Trainer John Size will resist temptation with emerging talent Hot King Prawn after the grey remained unbeaten with his fourth effortless win in a row at Sha Tin on Sunday.

As a three-year-old, Hot King Prawn is eligible for the Griffin Trophy over 1,400m on Dec 23, where he would be treated favourably at the weights against horses rated far below him.

This was the same race in which Pakistan Star scored his last win late last year.

But Size said that Hot King Prawn, who is yet to race beyond 1,000m, is now unlikely to be seen again until the last few months of the season after his win as 1.4 favourite in the Class 3 Middle Handicap over 1,000m on Sunday.

"I think he'd probably win the Griffin Trophy, but I'm not going to go against my usual training patterns just to win one race," said Size.

"I'm a bit too conservative for that. There's no point extending him out in distance just because the race is there.

"He's facing Class 2 now, so I'd say the likelihood is I give him a break before I attack Class 2. I would like to give him a few months to develop a bit more.

"I'd say the only way he races again in the next couple of months is if I can find an easy Class 2, and as we just saw, there's not many of them."

For jockey Zac Purton, Hot King Prawn's two-and-a-quarter-length victory carrying 130lb (59kg) in a season-quickest time of 56.03sec was his most impressive effort to date, especially given he was pressured early by Chad Schofield aboard second-favourite Encore Boy (116lb).

"He was actually better today going flat out the whole way than he is if you sit up on him," said Purton.

"I was surprised that Encore Boy served it up to me as much as he did, but all it did was that it showed my fellow has more left in the tank.

"He had to keep rolling early to maintain his position and he was getting crowded for room, but once Encore Boy dropped off, he just picked the bit up and surged and clicked himself into another gear."

While Purton reckoned Hot King Prawn is comfortable over 1,000m, he felt that the son of Denman won't have any problems stretching out to 1,200m.

"He's such a relaxed horse that I don't think the 1,200m is going to be a problem," said the Australian rider. - HKJC

HORSE RACING