Group 1-winning WA owner Chris Wells has only bred a few horses over the years but he’s come up with another elite winner after booking Toronado (Ire) to his Northam winner Paris Texas (Hinchinbrook).

That mating was made in heaven because it produced Hong Kong’s newest superstar Helios Express who won the HK Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.  It followed his victory in the HK Classic Mile (1600m) and now he’s firmed into an even-money favourite for the HK Derby (2000m) on March 24.

Helios Express is trained by John Size and a clean-sweep would see him emulate Golden Sixty (2020) and Rapper Dragon (2017) as just the third horse in history to claim all three-legs of the prestigious HKJC 4YO Series.

Winning jockey Hugh Bowman said Sunday’s heart-stopping win over Chancheng Glory (USA) came after a few anxious moments.  “I couldn’t hold him at the 700m but I was given no option the way the race panned out.  I was confident he was going to give me that turn of speed and we were going to win comfortably at the 100m mark.

“But the second horse just wouldn’t lie down.  They’re two courageous horses who fought very hard.”

Helios Express (outer) wins the Classic Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday / Photo:  HKJC

Helios Express has earned the equivalent of AUD4.52 million from 6 wins in 8 starts for owner Andy Yung Ming Tai with another AUD5.09 million allocated for the HK Derby.

That’s a far cry from humble beginnings in WA.  His dam Paris Texas was bred by Namerik Thoroughbreds owner Alan Bansemer in Serpentine and he sold her for $60,000 at the 2015 Perth Magic Millions.

Wells recalled Paris Texas won a few races but had issues.  “She took off like a rocket to win at Northam one day but we never really saw the best of her.  I thought I would breed from her and I liked Toronado so I sent her to Swettenham Stud.

“I sold the colt for $10,000 at an Inglis Digital Sale because I’ve also got his full-sister Isolation Ridge with Lindsey Smith and she’s a couple of weeks away from a trial.  I’ve only bred a few but he’s by far the best obviously and I’ve been cheering him on the whole way through.”

Wells and Smith are the best of mates and they shared some memorable days with Scales Of Justice who won the G1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in 2016 before travelling east to garner another Group 1 in the 2019 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

They bought Scales Of Justice (Not A Single Doubt) for $180,000 at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and he earned over $2.31 million before tragically dying of a heart-attack while working on the beach at Warrnambool.