LONGINES Hong Kong International Races – Thursday Track Notes
LONGINES Hong Kong Cup
Seasons Bloom under Karis Teetan, photo Liesl King
SEASONS BLOOM – HK
Trainer Danny Shum said: “I’m happy, everything is very good. He had a grass gallop this morning and he worked good – Karis Teetan rode him for me and he was happy with the horse.”
STAPHANOS – JPN
Breezed four furlongs on the turf course in 49.5s (28.3, 21.2).
Assistant trainer Kazuo Fujiwara said: “He breezed well this morning. He has maintained his condition well.”
Stormy Atlantic and Gary Plasted, photo Liesl King
STORMY ANTARCTIC – GB
Scheduled to go on the turf but trainer Ed Walker decided to keep to the all-weather with the five-year-old gelding who enjoyed a relaxed canter under work rider Gary Plasted.
Walker said: “Our horse been eating well, drinking well and seems in great shape. Gary (Plasted) has done an excellent job.
“Stormy Antarctic will no doubt be at long odds here because of a bad performance when he came here for the Champions Mile in 2017. But two of the differences between now and then is that he is now a gelding and he won't have the blinkers on. He's also got James Doyle on board, one of the best jockeys in the world right now don't you think? I've got a good feeling about Sunday.”
SUNGRAZER – JPN
Jockey Joao Moreira said: “I was standing by the rail (yesterday morning) when he went by and I really liked what I saw. I was impressed with how he stretched out and I believe he has a really good chance.”
LONGINES Hong Kong Mile
Beauty Generation and Zac Purton, photo Liesl King
BEAUTY GENERATION – HK
Worked on the all-weather track under jockey Zac Purton, clocked 1m 25.7s for 1200m (32.6 27.9 25.2).
Trainer John Moore said: “Keeping this horse up to the mark after winning three already is quite a task and brings a lot of pressure, but I’m coping with it.
“I think the horse is getting into a little bit of a habit –he has a tendency to get his head on the side on the right and tends to hang out that bit. When Zac rode him this morning he fanned on the corner and it appeared he was hanging out that little bit. But afterwards we went through with a fine-toothed comb – with the vet and the farriers – and as far as we’re concerned he’s sound. He’s just holding his form, he’s jumping out of his skin.”
INNS OF COURT - FR
Took his turn to lead stablemate Waldgeist in two steady laps of the all-weather under work-rider Vincent Champion.
Godolphin’s Lisa-Jane Graffard said: “The horse looks great, he seems to have travelled very well. He is very relaxed and well in himself and I couldn’t be happier with his physical condition. Andre (Fabre) has always felt he was capable of winning a Group 1 over a mile and he was just beaten a head-bob in the Jacques le Marois [last year], so he is not far off that class. I think he is a horse that needs a strong pace and whether that is over 1,300, 1,400 or 1,600 I think he is definitely a Group 1 horse.”
ONE MASTER - GB
William Haggas’ One Master went out on the all-weather again on Thursday morning with Alex Badri in the saddle. She looked in good order, and appeared ready to do more than was asked of her.
Badri said: “She was a bit fresh today but I didn't want to do anything with her until the trainer arrives tomorrow. I think we’ll have to give her a gallop on the turf then.”
Persian Knight, photo Liesl King
PERSIAN KNIGHT – JPN
Galloped 1200m over the turf course and clocked 1m25.6s (34.0, 29.3, 22.3).
Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said: "He moved nicely to remain active while he was galloping. I think he goes into the race a fit horse. He has a great mode and is very settled."
LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint
Fine Needle with jockey Yuga Kawada in the saddle, photo Liesl King
FINE NEEDLE – JPN
Jogged from 1400m pole and galloped for 800m under jockey Yuga Kawada in 1m24.2s (34.4, 27.2, 22.6).
Kawada said: “I think his condition has improved a lot since he won the Sprinters Stakes last time. He is fit and ready.”
Trainer Yoshitada Takahashi said: “His experiences here in spring (4th in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize) have helped him for coming back this time. Everything has gone well so far. He is going into the race a fit horse.”
Zac Purton on a flying Little Giant, photo Liesl King
LITTLE GIANT – HK
Worked on the all-weather track, covering 1200m in 1m26.4s (33.5, 28.1, 24.8).
Jockey Zac Purton said: “It was just an easy piece for him this morning. He’s coming back to 1200 (metres) from 1400. He’s probably the fittest he’s ever been in his time in Hong Kong so hopefully that’s a good thing.”
SIR DANCEALOT – IRE
David Elsworth’s HK Sprint representative continued his build up for Sunday breezing on the all-weather track, watched by the trainer for the first time this week.
Elsworth said: “He is looking well, and I hope he’ll run a race on Sunday. His best distance is probably seven furlongs (1400m), but there’s no international race over that distance, so the choice was six furlongs (1200m) or a mile (1600m) here. I thought maybe the 1200m was the better option here, given that based on his last run he’d have a bit to find with the Haggas horse (One Master), and that maybe the Sprint was slightly the easier option.”
“Of course the Sprint will be competitive, and all the others will have their own ideas on that, but this fellow was a good fourth in the July Cup, and we haven’t come here for the fun of it.”
LONGINES Hong Kong Vase
Eagle Way, photo Liesl King
EAGLE WAY – HK
Galloped 1200m on the all-weather track in 1m25.5s (32.1, 28.1, 25.3).
Trainer John Moore said: “He’s a very fit horse and his work there just keeps him ticking over. I’m sure he’s going to run a big race, even against horses with better form than he has. Home town advantage can gain him a length or two.”
EZIYRA – FR
After briefly unshipping work rider Carlos Viera she was soon moving well in a routine canter on the all-weather.
Travelling head lad Patrick O’Brien said: “She had her first canter yesterday and the same today. We're happy to stay on the all-weather all week. She moved super this morning and we're 100 per cent happy with her. When she pulls out it takes her a few strides to get going but she has a beautiful action. She's been no problem and she races in a hood just because she can get a bit on top of herself come the day. Going down a horse came by her on the rail and she saw him and ducked. His iron came out and she just dumped him but she didn't get loose.”
LATROBE - IRE
Continued his build up to Sunday on the all-weather track under his work rider Martin Doran.
LYS GRACIEUX – JPN
Jockey Joao Moreira said: “She’s a lovely mare, she looks like she’s settling in well – the travel didn't take much out of her. I got off her yesterday (after the gallop) and she had a great feel. If she’s not in the same shape as when the QEII in Japan five or six weeks ago, she’s even better. She’s a nice mare with talent; she has proven ability to win Group 1 races. Yes, it’s a tough race, probably the strongest of the four, but I believe she’s a chance. The key to get her to perform at her best is to get her to switch off in the first half of the race. She needs to be relaxed.”
Mirage Dancer stretches out under Ryan Moore, photo Liesl King
MIRAGE DANCER – GB
Sir Michael Stoute’s trainee Mirage Dancer took to the turf on Thursday morning with Sunday’s jockey Ryan Moore on board and looked in good shape as he had a nice breeze down the home straight, covering 800m in 54.8s (30.4, 24.4).
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s assistant Sarah Deniff said: “This morning (jockey) Ryan Moore was very happy with him and I am too, everything is good and we’ll hope for a nice draw later.”
PRINCE OF ARRAN – GB
Went 1400m on the turf and quickened up over the last 400m, ridden as usual by Natasha Eaton.
Trainer Charlie Fellowes said of the Melbourne Cup third. “He had a nice leg stretcher this morning and he's in really good shape. I think he'll love racing at Sha Tin and I believe that the 2400m of the Vase is better for him than the longer trip of the Melbourne Cup. We're really excited about Sunday.”
SALOUEN – GB
Continued his build-up by breezing around the all-weather track under work rider Shaun Graham.
Trainer Sylvester Kirk commented: “We were thinking about a go on the turf this morning but decided to keep to the all-weather and I'm glad we did. Salouen's in grand form and seems to be really enjoying himself here but we could do with a drop of rain close to the race.”
Stephen Nicholson and Red Verdon, photo Liesl King
RED VERDON – GB
Went out on the all-weather with his regular work rider Steve Nicholson in the saddle.
Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “He will stick to the all-weather for the rest of the week going into Sunday’s race. He’s fit and well and doesn’t need to go on the turf, I’m happy with him.”
ROSTROPOVICH – IRE
Made his first appearance on the turf track this week, and worked with his big race jockey Wayne Lordan in the irons.
Lordan said: “I’m happy with that. He seems very well and in good heart. He’s been running well, and he’s maturing with experience.”