It was seen as another significant step for the Grey on his return to racing after last being seen on the 11th December where he finished a disappointing 11th in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint behind Japanese runner Danon Smash.
Rated the world’s equal-top sprinter in the year-ending 2020 LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, Classique Legend motored up the 1000m straight course under Zac Purton in 57.90s with hands and heels, gapping the field by 3 and ½ lengths.
Trainer Casper Fownes is pointing to the G2 Spring Cup over 1200m at Sha Tin as Classique Legends next test on the 5th April.
.“Very pleasing trial, it was what I expected he would be doing, leading into it,” Fownes said, who is ultimately plotting a path towards the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin on 25 April with Classique Legend.
“He’s had a much more normal preparation now and he’s going the right way heading to the Group 1 at the end of next month and obviously the lead-up race three weeks earlier.
“There’s a lot of things that have been going on with the horse. It’s been hard work for me and the team, so hopefully now we can just go forward and get the best out of him.
“He’s in a good space, his mind is happy. Zac was happy with the trial, Zac was actually surprised the horse showed that much gate speed, he normally seems to be more of a get-back horse who charges home.
“I was happy with the trial - he’s looking good.”
Zac Purton who was piloting was happy enough with the Grey Sprinters performance and quick to highlight there was more to come before he reaches back to his Australian best levels.
“I was happy with it, he is a lovely horse, he has a really good nature and has a lot of similarities with (his half-brother) Aethero in the way he is built and the way he moves so I am familiar with that a little bit and it was good to feel it again,” Purton said.
“We all saw it, he jumped out well, travelled well and did everything right. There is certainly a fair bit of improvement in him you’d think.”