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Warrior blazing Classic Series trail: ‘he has already bought his ticket’

Blaze Warrior resumed his blistering march up the ratings at Sha Tin on Sunday, stamping his Classic Series credentials with a commanding victory in the Class Two Chevalier Property Investment Handicap (1,400m).

After three wins on the trot last season to start his career, the John Size-trained Blaze Warrior finished second behind fellow four-year-old series hopeful Ima Single Man first-up this campaign before handling his first Class Two test with aplomb under star jockey Joao Moreira.

“He’s always given me the feeling that he always finishes a race with something left in him, he’s not fully polished yet. This is a good sign in my opinion because he’s winning races,” Moreira said.

“What he has done so far is impressive and he has already bought his ticket [for January’s Classic Mile]. He’s a nice horse with a bright future.”

Moreira had Blaze Warrior, who was sent out a $2.80 second elect, smothered up behind midfield from barrier eight before picking his way through traffic after straightening for home and putting the race to bed in the final 200m.

The Jimmy Ting Koon-ho-trained My Sugar jumped the $2.50 favourite but he finished a length away in second to ensure his winning streak ended at three, while Blaze Warrior’s stablemate Tempest Express finished third at $70 and Ima Single Man ran on into fourth.

It was a roller-coaster afternoon for Moreira, with the Magic Man going under on four favourites (Whizz Kid, King’s Trooper, Five Elements and Excellent Proposal) while also ringing up a treble.

“You always want to have days like these,” Moreira said of his treble, adding that his experience helped him deal with his up-and-down day. “I’ve been through this many times already so I can cope with it.”

Moreira kicked off his three-peat with victory aboard another Size-trained galloper in Sight Spirit in the Class Four Chevalier Healthcare Investment Handicap (1,400m) before securing the middle peg thanks to Ricky Yiu Poon-fai’s Soulmate in the Class Three Chevalier Lifts & Escalators Handicap (1,600m).

Sight Spirit broke through for his first win at start three and Moreira expects the four-year-old son of Toronado to go on with the job.

“He’s a young horse who we thought by now would have won his races and he had been giving us some disappointment, but today wasn’t that day,” he said.

“What we expected him to do in his first few runs in Hong Kong, he’s done it today. His trials had been outstanding but he hadn’t been able to produce it until today. The way how he won makes me comfortable there are more wins to come.”

Moreira cut Zac Purton’s lead in the jockeys’ championship to nine after the Australian snared a double, while Size was the only trainer to land a treble after also taking out the feature with Silver Express to go with the victories of Blaze Warrior and Sight Spirit.

The haul marked Size’s first treble since May and sees the 11-time champion trainer move to 15 victories for the season, putting him nine wins behind premiership leader Frankie Lor Fu-chuen.

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