The All-Weather track was quiet on Monday as the international runners for Sunday’s FWD Champions Day only stretched their legs before quicker work later in the week.
Australasian interest centred on the Australian sprinter Viddora (AUS) who came out under travelling foreman Paddy Bell with both appearing to be relaxed and into the groove of international travel after their foray to Meydan.
There the Lloyd Kennewell trained six-year-old I Am Invincible mare was a creditable fourth under Joe Bowditch in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint over 1200m, 4L from Godolphin’s Blue Point .
The trip to Hong Kong has gone well judging from Viddora’s appearance on Monday. The mare arrived at the track with her new companion, Japan’s Deirdre (JPN), who was fourth in the Group 1 Dubai Turf over 1800m, also 4L behind Japan’s latest star Almond Eye (JPN).
“She has settled in very well, she is eating and drinking, all the things you like to see,” commented Mark Player, HKJC’s international recruitment agent.
Viddora (AUS) has a look around, picture ThoroughbredNEWS
After a light round of the All Weather track Viddora walked back to the crossing to head back on the Turf Track to the Quarantine Stables at the top of the Sha Tin sprint course. In a confident mood she stopped to survey the surroundings before sauntering off under Bell who is well used to travelling sprinting mares with no less than Black Caviar his last assignment at Ascot.
The New Zealand Group 1 Telegraph Handicap winner Enzo’s Lad (NZ) and Sir Mark Todd trained Eminent (IRE) both used the sand yards in the Quarantine Centre after arriving on Sunday night. Todd rode Eminent in the light work.
“Eminent travelled very well said Mark with connections of both as pleased as they could be on Day One,” said Player.
Eminent was a disinterested eighth in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000m at Randwick on April 13th, some eight lengths behind Winx (AUS) in her final triumphant race of her extraordinary career.
It might be expected that the five-year-old Frankel entire will race on Sunday without blinkers. Eminent races in the HK$24m, Group 1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) on Sunday.
Enzo’s Lad will race in the HK$16m, Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) along with Viddora.
They will be joined by the last runner from Down Under to arrive, Santa Ana Lane (AUS) on Monday night. Provided he travels well in his first international trip the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes winner will be a major force in the sprint.
Deirdre (JPN) stops for a chat, picture ThoroughbredNEWS