FWD Champions Day Track Notes – Friday, 26 April, 2019
NOTE: Santa Ana Lane, Eminent and Enzo's Lad worked at 3.30 am (before the local horses and other international horses) under quarantine protocols set for horses arriving from Australia.
FWD QEII Cup
DARK DREAM – HK
Trainer Frankie Lor said: “Dark Dream is a little bit one-paced, but he should run well, 2000 metres-plus will be no problem for him.”
DEIRDRE – JPN
Deirdre cantered on the all-weather track.
Trainer Mitsuru Hashida said: “She felt good this morning and looks well indeed. She has kept her good form and has been the same as how she was in Dubai. She showed great acceleration towards the end of the gallop on Wednesday.”
EXULTANT – HK
Jockey Zac Purton said: “Everyone keeps telling me (the tempo) is going to be strong but so far this season it hasn’t been. Last time I rode him the tempo was meant to be strong but they pulled it up to a walk so I’m lucky in the respect that my horse is versatile. If they want to put on the brake and pull it up, well I’ll just get out and take off. I know my bloke can stay, he’s got a good set of lungs and I’ll just do what I did last time. But if they want to go along at an even tempo I’ll just bide my time.”
FURORE – HK
Trainer Frankie Lor said: “He has shown he has a very good turn-of-foot in the straight. He could show again that he is the best of my four-year-olds.”
GLORIOUS FOREVER - HK
Trainer Frankie Lor said: “I think this horse is better if he can lead in front by himself, he should be much better. This time I have drawn seven so we will see if he can lead in front. I think it depends where the jockeys jump and whether he can jump fast. I can say he still has a little bit to improve.”
LYS GRACIEUX – JPN
Lys Gracieus jogged for a half lap and cantered easily for a lap over the all-weather track.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: “She had a nice, easy piece of work to stretch her legs this morning. She has settled in and there are no worries. The starting gate will be the key, so she schooled at the gate with the handler. Everything has gone as planned. I’m not concerned about the rain-affected track, but I will be grateful if there is no rain on Sunday. Her conformation looks well and she is in good form.”
WAIKUKU – HK
Jockey Joao Moreira said: “He was definitely very unlucky his last two starts in regards to barrier draws, this time we are four gates towards the inside (gate eight) which is a plus. It’s not the ideal barrier, but we’ll deal with it the best we can. The condition of the horse is pretty good, he’s in good form, I’m very happy with the way he has been doing things. I think this will be his last run for the season I guess and then he’ll have well-deserved time off because in my opinion he has done very well in his first preparation. If the rain comes I don’t think it will affect him too much, he will still be able to perform at his best on the softer ground.”
WIN BRIGHT – JPN
Win Bright cantered easily for a lap on the all-weather track.
Trainer Yoshihiro Hatakeyama said: “He was too fresh this morning, which proved he is in good form. He has done a similar routine to what he would have done at home, so all has gone smoothly. We got the luck of draw (gate one) but I have heard that too much rain might affect the rail and that is my only concern.”
Deirdre (JPN), picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
FWD Champions Mile
BEAUTY GENERATION - HK
Jockey Zac Purton said: “This weekend I’m pretty comfortable going into this race, they’re all horses we've raced against all season, we know where they’re at and what they’re capable of. It should just be another formality for him. But the pressure builds and expectation grows. I was only out for dinner last night and as soon as I walked into the restaurant I had three waiters come running up to me straight away saying they’re going to be here on the weekend to cheer him on - they want to come and support him. So, from that regard, it’s great for racing in Hong Kong and great for racing around the world; there are a lot of people now following him and rightly so, he deserves it.”
Chairman’s Sprint Prize
BEAT THE CLOCK - HK
Jockey Joao Moreira said: “His last race was pretty good, unfortunately things didn’t go to plan, it was a very tricky race because it was slowly run the first half of the race and we finished off very strong. I was extremely happy with his performance, I think he’s a better horse than what he has been in the past and I would point him as one of my best rides in the three Group 1’s. He’s been giving them a hard task every time he goes out there. He’s been consistent and I couldn’t be happier with him. We are running in our home yard, which I think makes a huge difference.”
MR STUNNING – HK
Mr Stunning didn’t excersise this morning due to a sore foot.
Trainer Frankie Lor said: “He’s come out of that last race good. The only thing is that we found a little foot problem this morning so the farrier will take a look at his feet, but the farrier said he looks much better so we will see this afternoon. He didn’t come out this morning because he will come out and walk out this afternoon.”
NAC VENUS – JPN
Nac Venus jogged for 200m and cantered for one and a half-length laps over the all-weather track.
Work rider Hirokimi Tamogi said: “She galloped the day before yesterday and was walking in the machine yesterday, so she was very fresh this morning. She felt really good. She moved flexibly and sharply. She will stretch her legs on the all-weather tomorrow morning.”
PINGWU SPARK – HK
Galloped on the all-weather track with Derek Leung.
Jockey Derek Leung said: “Hope he can keep his form. Back to 1200m in a good race is always tough for him and he needs to show improvement, but 1200m seems a bit easier than a mile, he just needs the tempo and he will run quite an honest race again. He’s been in a good spot and had his chance every run, he’s been running ok, but he just didn’t accelerate like last season, but I’m sure if the tempo is good he will run in the prize money.”
RATTAN – HK
Trainer Richard Gibson said: “We’re under no illusions it’s a tough race, I think horses do develop with age and racing experience and these kiwi horses are quite late maturing horses and we’ve also got to develop with the race programme that we’ve got in front of us. We took our chance against Beauty Generation and weren’t good enough so we’ve just tried to keep it smart and adapt accordingly. He’s quite a unique horse, he requires very little exercise, he keeps himself in fantastic condition, he’s a very good horse running fresh and first up and we’ve been very proud the way we’ve continued to improve this horse.”
SANTA ANA LANE – AUS
Galloped 400m on the all-weather track and clocked 25.7s through 400m.
Regular track rider Will Stewart said: “He went super this morning. He only quickened up the last 200 metres to blow the cobwebs out. Couldn't be happier with him.”
VIDDORA - AUS
Cantered on the turf track under big-race jockey Joe Bowditch.
Trainer Lloyd Kennewell said: “The big thing for me is each day we have leapt forward and made progress, if she didn’t make progress yesterday we were in big trouble, she made significant progress overnight with a lot of work gone into her with (Paddy Bell) who is travelling with her - a lot of icing, natural therapies we can use here and it’s worked, we’re lucky we have time on our side and I’m quietly confident we’ll pass the vet check.”
“She has to go there (UK) no matter what due to quarantine restrictions, she’ll head off on Wednesday to England and be set for the King’s Stand all depending on how she goes Sunday.”