Whyte’s Farhh Above on track for 4YO Series
Champion jockey-turned-trainer Douglas Whyte's success with his young stock continued with wins at Sha Tin over the weekend for his smart prospects, Farhh Above and Inner Flame.
Farhh Above returned from a layoff for his belated seasonal debut and charged emphatically from the tail to snare the Class 3 sprint over 1,200m under jockey Vincent Ho.
"He's a lovely horse. He's got a very good turn of foot. To let down the way he did, that was a very good effort," said Whyte.
The four-year-old - trained by Francis Lui previously - was a decent second to the Group 1-placed sprint star Aethero on debut last term. He followed that with a win, suggesting he could turn out to be a viable Four-Year-Old Classic Series prospect.
With the first leg of that series, the Hong Kong Classic Mile, set for Jan 27, Whyte was reluctant to commit to such a route but did not dismiss altogether the colt's participation at some stage of the three-race test.
"It's always at the back of your mind on what he did," he said. "But then everything slows down and goes out the window when he's had that much time off and you've got to nurse him back and put him in cotton wool.
"He's been out of cotton wool for a while now and he's answered everything I've asked of him in order to be competitive first-up. He had to be competitive first-up if he's to compete in any of the Series.
"The problem is he's just run out of time. Time is against him. He's probably a month behind and I refuse to look at a race and say we're going for that - it's all about him.
"It's taken that long to get him to the races, I'm certainly not going to ruin him by finding a race and putting him in because it's part of a series, or a big race. I've got too much respect for the horse and I think he's too good a horse to be doing that with."
Farhh Above was diagnosed with bone stress in his limbs at the end of September and Whyte had taken a patient approach on his charge.
"Fingers crossed, he can improve on that run," said the first-season trainer. - HKJC