John Size saddles up Sergeant Titanium on Sunday after what has been a significant week for the Australian trainer.
Size will be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame at a function in Sydney on Friday night, becoming the third Hong Kong champion trainer – and the first active Hong Kong horseman – to attain the honour.
George Moore, who won 11 championships between 1973/74 and 1984/85, was an inaugural member in 2001 and is one of eight inductees who have been afforded “Legend” status, although this was primarily for his feats in the saddle. Two-time champion David Hayes was also inducted in 2008.
“It’s a great honour and I’m very grateful to have such an award bestowed on me,” Size said. “It’s been a long road that we’ve travelled and to eventually get recognition like this, it gives me satisfaction.
“It came as quite a surprise – I’ve known for a few months now, but when Mr (Bob) Charley, who is the Chairman of the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame, called me, I was a little bit taken aback. As time has gone on, though, I’ve got used to the idea and now I’m very happy about it.”
Size’s next target is his 10th trainers’ championship. He sits 24 wins ahead of Lor and seemingly has the title in his keeping, but he says he is not confident that Sergeant Titanium (129lb) will help him add to his tally in the next two months.
“He’s won nine races in Hong Kong, which is no easy feat,” Size said. “He’s been here for some time though and he is probably coming towards the end of his career. I also think he runs his best races in the winter – it’s been a very hot week, so I’m not sure he will like that. I’m a bit guarded about his prospects from here on, I think he’s probably done his best for the season.
“If can win on the weekend or in his next race, which will be over 1800m next month, I would be surprised but I would be very happy about it. He’s healthy, he’s fit, he’s well and he’s sound, but the heat might prove too difficult for him.”
Also among the 11 runners in the Class 2 are the John Moore-trained three-year-old Easy Go Easy Win (132lb), trainer Tony Cruz’s Doctor Geoff (126lb) and last-start winner Coby Boy (125lb) for Benno Yung.
The Tourmaline Handicap is the last of 10 races and is scheduled for 5.45pm, with the opener, the Class 4 Alexandrite Handicap (2200m), to begin the card at 1pm.
John Size, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club