Talented Starcraft gelding Blizzard has always promised to win a stakes race in Hong Kong and did so on New Year’s Day when powering away to win the Group 3 Chinese Challenge Cup.
Sent out favourite for the 1400 metre contest, the Ricky Yiu trained five year-old won by nearly two lengths for Joao Moreira in a dominant display.
A Group 1 assignment is now on the cards for Blizzard, a horse that showed plenty of promise when placing third last season in both the Group I Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) and Group I Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), two of Hong Kong’s three elite four-year-old contests.
Ricky Yiu is in a quandary about which route to take next as regards distance.
“We’ll definitely be looking at Group 1 races but I don’t know which distance – I haven’t really decided where he’ll go next, I need to sit down and talk to the syndicate,” Yiu said, with the Group I Stewards’ Cup (1600m) later this month and February’s Group I Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) likely to be under consideration.
“He showed last season that he’s pretty versatile, he ran all the way up to 2000 metres in the Derby and he’s shown his ability at 1400, a mile, 1800 – at this moment, I can’t say for sure where I’ll put him next time. We need to sit down and think about it.”
A $75,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Bellerive Stud draft for his trainer, Blizzard has won eight of 21 starts and is the 16th stakes-winner for Starcraft, who stood formerly at Arrowfield and now at Rosemont Stud.
He is the best of two winners from Stormy Choice, a Redoute’s Choice three-quarter sister to Group I winner Danestorm.
News from Breednet.