17th Group I winner for Exceed and Excel

Tara Madgwick - Sunday January 24

Champion sire Exceed and Excel added a 17th Group I winner to his tally when exciting gelding Excellent Proposal rose to the top of Hong Kong’s four-year-old pecking order with an impressive win in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, a result that strengthened trainer John Size’s hand for the remaining two legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).

Excellent Proposal wins the G1 Classic Mile - image HKJC.

Size saddled two of Hong Kong’s brightest talents in the first leg of the three-race age-restricted series and they both sparkled, finishing first and second: Excellent Proposal bounced back to his budding best, while Toronado (IRE) gelding Lucky Express displayed his customary tenacity and vigor.

“I ran a few tests over him (Excellent Proposal) to see if there was anything amiss but I couldn’t find anything and I galloped on the Saturday and trialled him on the Tuesday there was nothing untoward going on with the horse at all – I was always of the opinion that he needed a race to switch him on,” the 11-time champion trainer said.

The son of Exceed And Excel won three races on the bounce this season ranging from 1400m to 1800m, before returning a weakening 11th-placed effort last start following a three-month freshen-up.


“He has a very good temperament, he is a very quiet horse and he probably just missed the competition – he hadn’t raced for three months and it looks like that is correct because today he savaged the line, he knew what he was doing and he was there to win the race,” Size said.

A $200,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Fernrigg Farm draft for Mitchell Bloodstock, Excellent Proposal arrived in Hong Kong as a PP (Privately Purchased Horse) on a rating of 75 after beginning his career in Australia.

He won three of four starts for Richard and Michael Freedman winning at Kembla, Randwick and Rosehill.

“Early in the season in September and October I had to ask him for something to see if he was actually capable of running the distance and his last win over 1800 metres was the deciding factor that we should probably run him in the series,” said Size.

“So, therefore I needed to give him some time off to recharge his batteries and get a bit of maturity and strength into him physically. I think at this point I am happy with the outcome so far and he’ll just continue on to the next two legs and hopefully he can be competitive in them as well.”

Excellent Proposal as a yearling.

Bred by Holloway Equine, Excellent Proposal is the only winner from stakes-placed Pivotal mare Procrastination (GB), who died in 2017 after leaving four foals, all of them colts.

Bred by Darley in the Northern Hemisphere, Procrastination was a daughter of Australian Group II winner Dilly Dally, who started her stud career in Europe for Darley before returning here in 2012.

Dilly Dally has two daughters at stud here and she is now retired.



Race Result - The Hong Kong Classic Mile Gr1 1600m

Sha Tin Track: Good Time: 1:33.81
Excellent Proposal
T: J J Size J: B Shinn 57
4g Exceed And Excel (AUS) x Procrastination (GB) (Pivotal (GB))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $200,000
V:Fernrigg Farm Denman NSW
B: Bill Mitchell (FBAA)
Lucky Express
T: J J Size J: K Teetan 57
4g Toronado (IRE) x Il Diamante (AUS) (Testa Rossa (AUS))
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale $145,000
V:Swettenham Stud, Nagambie
B: Carringbush Park Pty Ltd
Tourbillon Diamond
T: C S Shum J: A Badel 57
4g Olympic Glory (IRE) x Modave (NZ) (Montjeu (IRE))
MM National Yearling Sale $7,000
V:Arrowfield Stud Scone NSW
B: Neil Douglas
Lucky Patch
T: K W Lui J: M F Poon 57
4g El Roca (AUS) x Gould (AUS) (Danehill Dancer (IRE))
MM National Yearling Sale $40,000
V:Westbury Stud Ltd Karaka NZ
B: GPI Rcg/Healey Racing/Andrew Williams Bstock
Shadow Hero
T: D A Hayes J: Z Purton 57
4g Pierro (AUS) x Sookie (AUS) (Casino Prince (AUS))
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale $260,000
V:Newgate Farm, Aberdeen
B: Sweetbriar Equine
Sky Darci
T: C Fownes J: J Moreira 57
4g Darci Brahma (NZ) x Strictly Maternal (NZ) (O'Reilly (NZ))
NZB Karaka - Book 1 $160,000
V:Highden Park
B: Mr B Kwan
Healthy Happy
T: F C Lor J: C Y Ho 57
4g Zoustar (AUS) x Lady Lakshmi (AUS) (Lonhro (AUS))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $375,000
V:Woodside Park Stud Tylden Vic
B: James Harron Bloodstock
The Summit
T: D A Hayes J: A Hamelin 57
4h Wootton Bassett (GB) x Acola (FR) (Acatenango (GER))
Russian Emperor
T: D Whyte J: M L Yeung 57
4h Galileo (IRE) x Atlantic Jewel (AUS) (Fastnet Rock (AUS))
T: A T Millard J: C Schofield 57
4h Ivawood (IRE) x Coco Demure (IRE) (Titus Livius (FR))
Beauty Joy
T: D A Hayes J: N Callan 57
4g Sebring (AUS) x Impressive Jeuney (AUS) (Jeune (GB))
Celestial Power
T: F C Lor J: K C Leung 57
4g Star Witness (AUS) x Askari (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale $40,000
V:Newhaven Park, Boorowa
B: Tricolours Racing & Syndications Pty Ltd
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