Horse Racing
LONGINES Hong Kong International Races Tuesday (5/12) track notes

05/12/2017 14:12

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup

The winner of Woodbine’s G1 E P Taylor Stakes on her most recent start continued her preparation with another canter around the all-weather track.
Prior to trainer Andrew Balding’s imminent arrival in Hong Kong, work rider Leanne Masterton continued to provide an upbeat message. “So far, so good,” she said.

Followed his stable companion Highland Reel in cantering a lap of the all-weather track under his work rider Gary O’Connor.
Pat Keating, travelling head lad to trainer Aidan O’Brien, said: “There’s not a lot to say from yesterday, they are all doing well and I’m happy enough with all of them right now.”

Garlingari cantered two solo laps of the all-weather track on Tuesday morning at his second visit to Hong Kong.
Assistant trainer Jean-Jacques Poincelet said: “He is quite used to the place now. He travelled over well and has eaten up well. He might get a feel of the grass on Thursday but it won’t be anything too energetic as he worked in Chantilly before he left. He has had an easier campaign this year than last, when he ran a lot of races. I think he is in better physical and mental shape.”

Originally scheduled to stay in the quarantine stables, he eventually took to the all-weather track for an easy canter.

Remained in the quarantine stables as scheduled, trotting in the sand ring.

Similar to Monday, the four-year-old colt had a walk, a trot and a light canter over 1000m on the all-weather track.
Trainer Harry Dunlop’s wife Christina confirmed that Hong Kong-based Australian rider Sam Clipperton would partner the five-time winner for Sunday’s big assignment: “When we’ve taken Robin Of Navan abroad, we’ve looked to local riders and it has tended to pay off, especially with the post positions to consider. And Sam is young and hungry – just like my husband!”

Mrs Dunlop added: “Harry’s brother Ed has won three HKIR races (Ouija Board, Snow Fairy and Red Cadeaux), and we’ve had lots of helpful advice from him and Robin Trevor-Jones who always accompanied Ed’s horses to Hong Kong. As to his condition, Robin Of Navan is eating and drinking well and is nearly back to his optimum weight.”

Took to the small all-weather track for two laps at a canter.

Remained in the quarantine stables, being led around the sand ring at a walk, after yesterday’s turf gallop.
Assistant trainer Kota Kato said: “Her condition has remained consistent. Since we have taken her out on the track every day since she arrived, we gave her a rest today and just did some light exercise in the quarantine area. She is in the same rhythm we usually keep her in at Ritto Training Centre. Compared to last year she is eating very well and keeping her weight steady.”

Cantered one and a half laps around the Sha Tin all-weather track.
Assistant trainer Kazuo Fujiwara said: “He is in great condition. Hugh Bowman will ride him on Thursday.”

A routine canter, heading out with stablemates Beauty Only (Mile), Peniaphobia (Sprint) and Gold Mount (Vase). Completed one lap of the inner all-weather track.

With his regular rider Derek Stamp aboard, War Decree cantered a lap of the track with his fellow Ballydoyle challengers.

Cantered on the small inner dirt track under his regular work rider.
Jockey Tommy Berry said: “He’ll gallop on Thursday morning. I’ve watched him every morning since his last run. He didn’t need the extra trial, he had that tough run, which was a little bit tougher than we would have liked. That really tightened him up, fitness-wise and he’s pretty much spot-on now. He had one gallop on Saturday morning, which was really good – he really wanted to get on with the job. After his gallop on Thursday, he’ll be where he needs to be.”


LONGINES Hong Kong Mile

With raceday rider Derek Leung in the saddle, he cantered a lap of the main all-weather track.

Cantered on the small inner all-weather track and looked fresh, flicking his tail and throwing his head.
Jockey Zac Purton said: “He had a little bit of time off after the Yasuda Kinen so his preparation this season is a little behind what it was last season. His form hasn’t been as good as it was early last season, but he’s getting better and his last run was an improvement on his previous two starts. My concern was that maybe he’s starting to hit his peak at the wrong time, in that this race might come a bit quick for him – if it was in January it might be better – but I’ve heard from the stable that he’s done very well in the last 10 days.”

Took to the small all-weather track for a cantered lap.
Jockey Brett Prebble said: “His action’s good. He’s a happy horse and seems very alert.”

Had an easy canter under jockey Tommy Berry on the main all-weather track.
Berry said: “He’s going to be spot-on for Sunday, he’s been underdone in his first two runs and that trial just topped him off perfectly. He’ll have no excuses on Sunday.”

Cantered two laps of the small all-weather track.
Trainer Tony Millard said: “He’s well. He had absolutely no luck last time out. He ran well in the Cup last year, he ran sixth behind Maurice, but I think that 2000m just sees him out a little bit. His best trip is 1800m but I think with the right run he can be competitive at 1600m.”

Had his first piece of work since Friday, completing a lap of the main all-weather track at a canter.

Karar repeated his easy two loops of the all-weather in behind Vase candidate Talismanic, the pair having been travel companions to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup last month.
Anthony David, travelling head lad to trainer Francis Graffard, said: “In terms of the travelling everything went fine. He didn’t move while he was on the plane and has adapted to the surroundings here pretty quickly. He ran just a month ago in the Breeders’ Cup and so he is fit and ready. He has worked well in the interim back at home and we just need to keep him ticking over. I don’t anticipate he will work on the turf course before the race.”

With Seamie Heffernan again aboard, the three-year-old was also part of the Ballydoyle group cantering a circuit of the all-weather track.

Trotted around the quarantine stables sand ring.
Trainer David Simcock said from England: “Lightning Spear travelled over great and took the journey very well. His work has been good since he arrived in Hong Kong. He has a little bit of an inconsistent look to him now, but on his day he is capable of a very, very good performance. We are going there with an open mind and expect him to run well.

“In an ideal world, we would love to race him on good ground every time. He doesn’t quite see out a mile on soft ground and, if it’s very fast, he turns his nose up a bit. Somewhere in the middle on either side of good is perfect for him. When he is having a good day, he is a very talented horse.”

The smallest of the Ballydoyle quintet by quite some way, she brought up the rear of the group of five. She followed her companions in a regulation canter on the all-weather track, timed going the last 400m in 30.0s (15.2, 14.8).

Tack-walked around the quarantine stables sand ring after his turf gallop yesterday.
Work rider Joji Yamamoto said: “He had a strong canter on the turf yesterday and he has been getting fitter going into the race. We will gallop him on Thursday. Everything has gone as scheduled.”

Completed one lap of the small all-weather track at a canter.
Trainer Danny Shum said: “I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s still on the way up but I think the break before last start was very good for him. He’s going to be at his top for this race, I think.”

Cantered two laps of the small all-weather track at Sha Tin.
Trainer Tony Millard said: “This horse has come along in leaps and bounds since last start. I know he surprised a few people with how well he ran but I’ve always believed this was a good horse and we are only starting to see it now. He didn’t have the best of luck last time, so if he can get the right run, I think he can surprise a few people again.”

Took to the small all-weather track for a lap at a canter.


LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint

Completed a canter around one lap of the small all-weather track.

Cantered around the small all-weather track for one lap.

Took to the small all-weather track for a one-lap canter.

Cantered one and a half laps around the Sha Tin all-weather track.
Groom Yoshiaki Terada said: “She is now used to her new surroundings a bit more, so she settled much better today. She acted up a bit the first day. She is a smart horse. Jockey Yasunari Iwata won’t make it over for her breeze on Thursday so our assistant trainer Rena Maehara will ride her.”

Ventured out onto the small all-weather track for one lap at a canter.

Didn’t progress beyond the trotting ring at Sha Tin, cantering around the small enclosure near the stables.

Took to the main all-weather track for a strong canter under Tommy Berry.
Berry said: “He was a bit above himself this morning, he usually goes around on the bit but he really wanted to get on with the job this morning. It’s probably the best he’s felt all preparation. He’s going to be peaking on the right day. He had a trial that would have given him plenty of confidence the other morning. He’s come on very well since that trial. He’s going to have to perform up to his best just to run a place – it’s a very strong race and John Size’s horses have had the measure of him so far.”

Remained in the quarantine stables, trotting around the sand ring.
Assistant trainer Katsuhisa Suzuki said: “Staying in the stable area and exercising in the trotting ring for two days since her arrival in Hong Kong was always the plan.  She is a small, sensitive filly and can be a bit tense, which is why we need to keep her relaxed going into the race. Zac Purton will be riding her in a gallop.”

Raceday rider Purton said: “I’m riding her tomorrow (Wednesday) – just a canter – and then I’ll gallop her on Thursday. She’s obviously improving – her last run was the best – and she gets in with a weight allowance. Our horses break fast so the first 150 metres is going to be very important. If she jumps well and is right there with the leaders, I think she can run a cheeky race.”

Went around once on the small all-weather track at a canter.

Trotted around the sand ring in the quarantine stables as per his schedule.

Came on to the track with the lead pony, then paddock schooled without incident before bowling a lap of the turf track. He is expected to have a more serious workout tomorrow.

Once again came out as the tail-end component of a French trio featuring Talismanic (Vase) and Karar (Mile). Breaking off from the 1000m mark, he was timed for the final 800m under work rider Mickael Mignant, easing down in the final 200m, in 1m 00.6s (13.8, 14.2, 12.8, 19.8).
Travelling head lad Cyrille Estampes said: “He travelled over well and everything has gone fine. We’ve had no problems since arriving and he has settled in well. I didn’t travel him to Dubai but as this is his second long distance trip that must be a help. He has been staying in Chantilly [since his win at Maisons-Laffitte on 1 November]. He hasn’t done a lot of work but the horse is ready. The trainer [Didier Guillemin] arrives tomorrow and we will see what he decides for the rest of the week.”

Cantered one lap of the small all-weather track.


LONGINES Hong Kong Vase

The UK galloper was out for the second morning runner, given an easy canter around the all-weather track ahead of trainer Ralph Beckett’s arrival on Wednesday.

The four-year-old colt continued light cantering work on the all-weather track, similar to his exercise on Monday.
Travelling head lad Tony Gorman commented: “He’s a big strong horse, much stronger that he was last year and that’s reflected in his recent performances. He certainly looks in great shape now.”

Completed a lap of the small all-weather track under jockey Tommy Berry.
Berry said: “He was really good this morning and I couldn’t be happier with him at the moment. A setback, obviously, is never ideal and he’s had a couple of easy weeks because of it, but he’s quite a light horse, so it doesn’t take much to get him fit. He hasn’t suffered much for fitness, it’s just match practice that he might be lacking. He feels really well within himself, he’s kicking up all the way back in, which is a great sign for him. Going into a race like this, it would have been nice to go in with another run under his belt.”

Led stablemates Peniaphobia (Sprint), Time Warp (Cup) and Beauty Only (Mile) onto the small all-weather track for a cantered lap.

Went once around the small all-weather track under raceday jockey Sam Clipperton at a canter.
Clipperton said: “The horse is going very well in his work, he’s very fit and well. We know from his French form and even his runs here that the 2400m won’t be a problem. For him, it’s just a matter of sorting out his racing manners.”

Led the Ballydoyle quintet in a routine exercise canter on the all-weather track under regular exercise rider Davy Bergin.
“He knows he’s back here in Hong Kong, and he likes this place,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien’s travelling head lad Pat Keating. “Davy’s happy with him.”

Stayed in the quarantine stables after yesterday’s turf gallop, being tack-walked around the sand ring.

Worked strongly on the turf course this morning, running 1200m in 1m 26.8s (31.2, 31.6, 24.0) with his last 200m in 11s.
David Casey, rider and assistant to trainer Willie Mullins, said: “He’s well, he’s in good form and there’s no problem with how he’s taken the trip. I was pleased with his work this morning.”

Mullins said from Ireland: “I am very happy with Max Dynamite and he has been working well. We would be delighted if he could make it into the first three in Hong Kong. He has recovered well from his run in the Melbourne Cup and has been fine since then. We are looking forward to him running at the weekend.

“The drop back in distance is not ideal, but it is what we have to do and he had some good form over shorter distances back in his younger days.”

The South African mare, now trained in England, cantered on the all-weather track.

Talismanic once again acted as team-leader for three of the French challengers on Tuesday, hacking steadily around the outside of the Sha Tin all-weather for two laps.
Richard Lambert, travelling head lad to Andre Fabre, said: “He just did the same as yesterday and everything is well with the horse. It’s less than a month since he ran in America and he’s ready.”

Lisa-Jane Graffard, Racing Manager for Godolphin France, said: “Everything has been good with Talismanic since the Breeders’ Cup. He has been kept ticking over and is in good form. He travelled back well from the USA and has travelled out nicely to Hong Kong.

“The horse has a great temperament which helps and has shown himself to be very adaptable. Talismanic is maturing and improving all the time, so who knows what level he can reach in Hong Kong. It will pose a different challenge, but he should run very well again.

In the past, he has run better going left-handed than right-handed, which would could be one negative to look out for.”

Kept the clockers on their toes when completing his final planned piece of turf work on Tuesday morning. Starting off from a steady canter at around the 1400m mark he was steadily wound up by work rider Emmanuel Cardon. Clocked from the 1200m, he came home in 1m 20.6s (28.0, 29.4, 23.2), completing his final 200m in 11.4s.
Trainer Alain Couetil said: “Everything went fine with the work and the horse is well, probably better than ahead of the Melbourne Cup. I don’t pay too much attention to the times but he is in good form and finished off the work well in the straight. That will be his last piece on the turf.”

Cantered one and a half laps around the Sha Tin all-weather track.
Assistant trainer Kazuo Fujiwara said: “He is in great condition. Joao Moreira will ride him on Thursday.”