Beauty Generation and Beat The Clock grabbed the headlines with Group One triumphs at Sha Tin on Sunday but a fascinating undercard saw Ho Ho Khan, who raced in New Zealand as Mulanchi, lead the four-year-old advance along the road to the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).
Ho Ho Khan took a sizeable stride towards the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) on 17 March, thanks to a smart win in the Class 2 New Street Handicap (1800m).
David Hall’s import completed a hat-trick of wins under Vincent Ho and is likely to join the Four-Year-Old Classic Series at the second leg, the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) on 17 February.
“He certainly delivered today,” Hall said. “I don’t think they (the owners) have to hope anymore, he’ll run in the Classic Cup and then the Derby now, for sure. He’ll have the rating after today. He had to win to get his rating up and I think he qualifies now.”
Ho Ho Khan held fellow Derby candidate Helene Leadingstar by three-quarters of a length, with the temperamental Savvy Six, ninth in last year’s Derby, a further length and a quarter behind in third.
Prior to this afternoon’s success, Ho Ho Khan had raised his rating to 82 from a start-of-season 71.
“It was nice to see him do what he did today to give you confidence that you’re not going there (the Derby) to make the numbers up,” Hall continued. “I think he took a little bit more of a step today, he went quite softly without being punished and the extra 200 metres, well he’ll be all over that.
“It does look a strong year, it looks like there are a lot of nice horses and the form probably hasn’t really come out yet, so the Classic Mile will tell us a lot next week (27 January).” -HKJC