Racing

Size may run Ping Hai Star in Hong Kong Derby

One horse who remains a query for the BMW Hong Kong Derby is Ping Hai Star, who scored his third straight win in the Class 2 Flycatcher Handicap over 1,400m by two-and-a- quarter lengths at Sha Tin on Saturday.

Until now, trainer John Size had been ambivalent about a Derby bid with his charge, despite the fact he is a son of Group 1 Australian Derby (2,400m) winner Nom Du Jeu.

Size felt that he lacked the race sense to step up to 2,000m. But he now admits that he may have no other option than to run him in the Derby.

"I don't really want to step him up but he might have a rating now where we have to consider it," said the nine-time champion trainer. "He travelled much more kindly today. I never make a decision on raceday but it is something we will think about."

Jockey Joao Moreira said he wouldn't discourage Size from running Ping Hai Star in the Derby, saying he relaxed perfectly behind an even tempo.

"He's got a very nice horse here," said Moreira. "I think there's a very high chance of him switching off if he did go to 2,000m.

"But there is a doubt there because he has pulled in the past. I think that is in the back of John's mind, but if he races the same as he did today, he's going to be sweet over longer. Honestly, if John decides to run him in the Derby, he's going to be a very strong chance. He's all quality." - HKJC