Churchill Colt Captures Group 3 Feature At Sha Tin
The progressive Encountered (4g Churchill - Enrol, by Pivotal) took another step forward on Sunday to record his first Stakes success in the Group 3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse at Sha Tin.
Manfred Man’s charge completed a hat-trick of wins during the summer when landing the valuable Hong Kong Owners’ Association Trophy and was last seen finishing a gallant second to California Spangle (Starspangledbanner) in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy. Stepping up to nine furlongs on Sunday, the bay was settled in midfield by Derek Leung and improved to chase the leaders from halfway. Ridden from two furlongs out, he ran on strongly to lead inside the final furlong and kept on to beat Champion Dragon (Starspangledbanner) by a length and a quarter.
“Encountered has been very honest for me,” the winning rider later said. “I know Money Catcher never stops, so he was a good horse to follow. I just wanted my horse to keep his momentum and keep going. He’s still improving.”
Manfred Man later mentioned another step up in trip may be on the cards for Encountered in the Group 2 Jockey Club Trophy, adding, “The horse makes me feel excited. He’s an easy horse to train. I think he will still improve.”
Owned by Vincent Wong Yin Shun, Encountered began his career in the UK, where he won his second start impressively for Marco Botti. Bred by Rabbah Bloodstock, the son of Churchill is a brother to Group 2 winner and Group 1 performer Royal Scotsman (Gleneagles).