Refined Treasure shows ability
Tony Millard-trained gelding can be 'something really special'
Refined Treasure is proving to be something of a bargain.
In sluicing to a three-and a half-length victory in the Class 4 Amethyst Handicap at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon under Chad Schofield, the Tony Millard-trained gelding confirmed his status as an exciting young prospect.
"I think he can be something really special if we just play it properly. He ran a very fast time here today, although the track has been quite quick lately," said Millard, after the three-year-old had clocked 56.51sec for the straight 1,000m, under a 133lb (60.45kg) impost.
The Australian-bred cost only A$60,000 (S$60,000) out of the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in 2016 and has already won prize money of HK$1,003,200 (S$168,000).
"I bought this horse for the owners and we didn't expect him to be this good," said Millard. "We've been very careful with him and we've been placing him nicely. He's winning, so we'll keep to 1,000m for now."
Refined Treasure is by Lope De Vega out of the Volksraad mare Spyglass Hill, and that cross that attracted Millard.
"He's got a lot of things going for him, he's got a beautiful pedigree, he's the classic cross - the same as Able Friend (by Shamardal), being out of a Volksraad mare, and that's one of the reasons I bought him," he said.
In the afternoon's trophy race, Agree took the Class 3 18 Districts Cup over 1,600m at odds of 9.1.
Jockey Tommy Berry made the running on the John Moore-trained galloper and revealed afterwards that the five-year-old's scaredy-cat nature probably helped him out in the run to the wire.
"He's scared of other horses, scared of pretty much everything, so when he hears the other horses coming behind him, he really fights on," the rider said.
The Zebedee gelding did just that when Berry kicked on at the top of the home stretch, boxing to a length and three-quarter score from Green Energy, the mount of Nash Rawiller.
"We found that, if he's in front or outside of horses, he seems to race to his best. He's the sort of horse that if you get your own way in races like that he's very hard to run down," said Berry.
Agree now has three wins this term, all under Berry and all achieved since the turn of the year.
The stable's retained rider took his season's tally to 13 winners, seven of those achieved aboard Moore-trained horses. - HKJC