Maturity the key to So’s Unicorn

Chris So believes maturity was the key to Classic Unicorn’s (NZ) (Per Incanto) first-up success and he is hopeful that his talented speedster can repeat the dose in Wednesday’s Hong Kong feature, the Class 2 Chai Wan Kok Handicap (1000m) at Happy Valley.

“The horse is more mature now as a five-year-old: across the summer break it seems like he has improved a lot, some horses in Hong Kong they just need time to develop, the body, everything – even now, he’s a big horse,” So said.

So’s talented chestnut registered a smart first-up success after travelling three-wide early on. The gelding managed to put his rivals to the sword by a length and three quarters under the hands of Derek Leung, who will be in the plate again from gate one.

“The key is that he was more relaxed: at the start of his last race I was chasing him to push him forward for the lead but I didn’t want it because he has had breathing problems,” Leung said. “I just let him roll and gave him more time to go forward but he was more relaxed so he could finish, if I rush him he can’t finish off.”

The New Zealand-bred has four wins from eight starts and sits on the cusp of a triple figure rating with a current figure of 91, eight higher than his last start.

“Last season, even after each race he didn’t eat much, he was a bit skinny and he needed so much time to recover but this time, since the summer time, he’s been impressing us,” So said.

Meanwhile King Dragon (NZ) (Savabeel) will contest the second section of the Class 4 Tsing Lung Tau Handicap (1650m).

“He’s been racing ok, his form is a little bit up and down but he’s shown in his past couple of runs that he is more than capable,” jockey Neil Callan said.

The Savabeel gelding is looking for his first win but has six top-three efforts to his name from 13 Hong Kong runs.

“He’s got a little bit of a tricky draw but from riding him in trackwork he feels like a horse that likes to just be chilled in his run rather than dug up, because he’s a little bit tense and he’s not a horse that you want to fire up,” Callan said.

“He’ll sit where he’s comfy and as long as they run along and he gets a nice spot, wherever that may be, then he should be able to hit the line.”

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