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Seasons Bloom Impresses On Opening Day

Seasons Bloom’s (Captain Sonador) impressive victory in the Class One HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin’s season opener yesterday reinforced jockey Joao Moreira’s belief that the talented gelding can make a splash in the top grade. “That tells you why I’ve been thinking about him for the internationals!” the three-time Hong Kong champion beamed as he walked back to scale. Moreira enjoyed another red letter day, winning the afternoon’s first five races. Seasons Bloom’s display came in the third race. The $3.90 second-favourite blitzed the home stretch, quickening from the tail through a swift closing 400 metre split of 21.52 seconds for a complete winning time of 01:08.32. Such was the power of the Australian-bred five-year-old’s charge that Moreira was able to relax through the final 50 metres.
“He’s a lovely horse and he’s done that in a very good way,” Moreira added. “He’s proven there that he’s a talented horse still rising up.” Trainer Danny Shum will now point the gelding towards the Celebration Cup Handicap (Gr 3, 1400m) on 1 October, as he plots a course towards the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) in December. “He’s a miler and that’s where we’re aiming, the international mile in December,” Shum confirmed. “He’ll run next on 1 October, in the race over 1400 (metres).” Seasons Bloom was one of Hong Kong’s star four-year-olds last term thanks to placed efforts behind the late Rapper Dragon (Street Boss) in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (Listed, 1600m) and the Hong Kong Classic Cup (Listed, 1800m). The Australian import, who won one of his two starts for Caulfield-based Brendan McCarthy, rounded out his first campaign in Hong Kong with an impressive two-length win at a mile in Class Two in June. “He’s a really nice horse; he showed his quality when he won at the end of last season, and, coming here from that win, he’s kept his good form.” Shum said. “The pace was fine for him, even at the 1200 metres today: those sprinters have speed but he showed that he’s the better horse.” Blizzard (Starcraft), Japan-bound for next month’s Sprinters Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), ran a fine second under top-weight of 133lb, a concession of 16lb to the winner. Fabulous One (Elusive City) (110lb), the seven-runner contest’s hare, faded late to an admirable third, just a neck behind the runnerup.

By David Morgan