Horse Racing
LONGINES Hong Kong International Races Thursday (7/12) track notes

07/12/2017 15:33

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup


Moved on to the turf for the first time this week with work rider Leanne Masterton guiding her around without exerting the recent G1 winner in Canada. She was timed over 600m in 40.2s (14.0, 13.8, 12.4).

Trainer Andrew Balding, who arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, said: “She’s very fit so not much is needed this week. She’s seems to love travelling and has taken this whole experience in her stride.”


Worked on the turf for the first time this week under Gary O’Connor and was clocked over 1000m in 1m 08.4s (15.6, 15.0, 13.0, 12.0, 12.8).

His trainer Aidan O’Brien said from Ireland: “He’s had a nice break since his last run in Canada, where I think the ground didn’t help him. The good ground at Sha Tin should suit him, and hopefully he’ll get an even pace and get into a good rhythm.”


The only French galloper to take to the turf on Thursday, he stepped out under raceday rider Stephane Pasquier and was clocked as completing his final 800m in 58.2s (16.0, 15.6, 14.0, 12.6).

Pasquier, who makes his third appearance at the meeting on Sunday, said: “We didn’t go quick but that was enough for him. He is a horse that can take plenty of work but that was all done in France. He adapted well and changed his legs pretty fluently so I was satisfied with how he went. He has strengthened up since last year and is a lot more powerful. They will go that bit quicker over 2,000 metres [than in the Vase last year] but I don’t expect that to bother him. He has been ridden more prominently over that trip at home and the distance doesn’t worry me.”


Galloped for 1000m on turf, and was driven strongly for the last 600m by raceday jockey Joao Moreira, clocking 40.4s (14.4, 13.6, 12.4) for the final 600m.

Trainer Noriyuki Hori said: “I advised Joao to warm him up well for the first lap including jogging and cantering before galloping. I think Joao has been able to get a good feel and confirm what he wanted to. He was very positive after the work. He also said the horse was in good form and very relaxed in the different surroundings as this is his third time in Hong Kong. He’s a happy horse.”


Steady work over 1000m on the turf in 1m 18.9s (16.2, 17.1, 15.4, 15.8, 14.4).

Kevin Bradshaw, assistant to trainer Sir Michael Stoute, said: “He’s well. He’s had an easy week but that was the plan with him all along.”


Continued his preparation, breezing around the all-weather track.

Trainer Harry Dunlop said: “We used to think that he was a soft-ground horse but actually this year his form on soft has been patchy and he’s run really well on quicker ground. He’s got something to find on Sunday and we’re realistic about his chances but we’ve been really happy with him since he arrived in Hong Kong.”


Galloped on the main all-weather track under raceday rider Nash Rawiller, recording his last 800m in 52.2s (27.8 24.4).


Breezed over the Sha Tin turf with raceday rider Yutaka Take in the saddle, completing 1400m in 1m 36.4s (15.6, 15.4, 14.2, 15.4, 13.0, 11.6, 11.2).

Assistant trainer Kota Kato said: “She had a great work this morning. Take was very pleased with her. We are hoping for an inside draw this afternoon.” Smart Layer drew nine.


Breezed 800m over the Sha Tin turf with new rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle, in tandem with Tosen Basil (Vase).

Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said: “He breezed very well and is right where he needs to be. We are really hoping for an inside draw today. It is where he’ll do his best.” Staphanos drew eight.


Cantered one lap of the small inner all-weather track.


Worked on the turf on Thursday morning with regular rider Derek Stamp in the irons, with his final 400m recorded at 23.5s.

Speaking from Ballydoyle ahead of his arrival in Hong Kong, his trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “The dirt track at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Classic was all a bit too much for him, but he came out of that race well, and so we decided to send him on to Hong Kong. The turf at Sha Tin should suit him much better.”


Galloped on the turf under Tommy Berry in company with stablemate Midnight Rattler, clocking 1200m in 1m 21.5s (29.2, 28.7, 23.6).

Trainer John Moore said: “He was the pick of them this morning, the standout. He hit the line really well. And he’s certainly my best chance of a win on the day.”


LONGINES Hong Kong Mile


Loped around the main all-weather track under raceday rider Derek Leung.

Leung said: “He’s fit and well and we just hope that he’s fresh because he’s had three tough runs. He’s always quiet in the mornings, he always saves his energy for raceday. He will have his final gallop tomorrow. I know this horse well now and I can’t wait for Sunday.”


Cantered one lap of the small inner all-weather track.


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


Galloped on the turf under Tommy Berry and finished behind his lead horse, Harbour Master. Clocked 1m 20.0s (28.5, 27.9, 23.6) for 1200m.

Trainer John Moore said: “He was a little disappointing in his work. We’ll take him back to the stable and see if there’s anything we can improve. He worked ok but he could have worked better.”


Cantered two laps of the small inner all-weather track under raceday rider Umberto Rispoli.


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


Cantered on the all-weather and continues to quietly go about his business under work rider Fabrice Proust. Timed over 600m, clocking 42.6s (15.4, 15.2, 12.0).


Worked on the turf for the first time this week with Seamie Heffernan on board and was timed at 26.6s (13.6, 13.0) for the final 400m.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien said from Ireland: “We were delighted with his run at the Breeders’ Cup (2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Mile). He’s been very consistent all year, and has come out of that last run well. He’s only a three year old and his season next year will be one to look forward to. He’s still improving, and may stay a bit further with time.”

Lancaster Bomber will be ridden by Ryan Moore on Sunday, with Seamie Heffernan taking the ride on the other Ballydoyle runner, Roly Poly.


Breezed around the all-weather track under work rider and the trainer’s wife Jenny Simcock.

Mrs Simcock said: “He’s fine and more settled than yesterday.”


Took to the turf for the first time on Thursday morning and with regular rider Richella Carroll on board, was clicked up in the final 400m in a time of 23.6s (12.0, 11.6).

Aidan O’Brien said of the three year old daughter of War Front, a three-time Group 1 winner this season, “She was beaten three lengths from a wide draw in her last race (Breeders’ Cup Mile), but she has come out of that race well. She’s a very sound filly with a lovely pedigree, and she’s a very enthusiastic racer.” Seamie Heffernan will be in the irons on Sunday.


Galloped on the turf, recording his final 1000m in 1m 02.2s (13.4, 14.2, 12.2, 11.2, 11.2).

Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said: “He has not geared up mentally yet, so I asked the rider to drive him strongly in the stretch. I am happy with it and he will switch on another gear. I am looking forward to how Hugh (Bowman) will ride him in the race.”

Bowman said: “I haven’t been on his back, but I did watch him closely as he worked by this morning. He’s a very imposing horse and I think the Mile this year is a wide-open race. He’s going to need a few things go his way, but if the race is run to suit him, I’ve got no doubt he will make his presence felt.”


Galloped down the riverside with Joao Moreira aboard, in company with stablemate Happilababy. Timed over 800m in 50.4s (26.8, 23.6).


Cantered two laps of the small inner all-weather track under regular track rider Bev Millard.


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


LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint


Cantered one lap of the all-weather track.

Trainer John Size said: “He ran well last start, as all of mine did. I couldn’t ask for more from him or from them.”


Galloped on grass under Umberto Rispoli with stablemate Megatron, finishing his final 800m in 49.3s (26.9, 22.4).

Trainer Ricky Yiu said: “I was really happy with that. It was his first work on the grass since he’d been to Japan, he had a good blow and I think that will top him off nicely for Sunday.”


Cantered one lap of the main all-weather track.

Trainer John Size said: “D B Pin is only rated 120 but he doesn’t have to improve much to have a rating to win the race. They are all going well, they’ve all had good preparations and they are on track.”


Breezed over the Sha Tin turf under work rider Rena Maehara, clocking her final 600m in 38.4s (15.6, 12.0, 10.8).

Trainer Tomoyuki Umeda said: “She worked really well this morning. She did exactly what we wanted. Her rider, Ms Maehara, said she felt great.”


Raceday rider Hugh Bowman sat on Lucky Bubbles for only the second time, the first since his G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) win in May. He galloped 800m on the all-weather track in 53s (28.6, 24.4).

Bowman said: “He’s a great horse and he’s an absolute model of consistency. He was obviously a really good run first-up and no luck second-up. I think he’s my best ride because he’s here in Hong Kong, he’s performed well in the race before. This horse never runs a bad race, you know exactly what you’re going to get.”


Cantered one lap of the main all-weather track.

Trainer John Size said: “He’s the highest-rated horse and he’s performed that way the last two starts. On ratings and the way you look at the race on paper, you’d think he’s the formidable horse of the lot. He’s sound and he’s fit and well.”


Cantered one lap of the Sha Tin all-weather track.


Galloped from the 800m pole under raceday rider Zac Purton and driven along for the last 600m, clocking 50.6s (16.8, 12.6, 10.6, 10.6) for the entire 800m.

Purton said: “She moved nicely and had a good gallop today. I am very hopeful.”

Trainer Makoto Saito said: “I asked Zac to work her yesterday as well to know how she feels. He followed my instructions today. She was shying a bit yesterday but she has acquainted herself with the track now. Zac said he had a good feel for her, and all has gone as planned. Hopefully she will keep her good form for Sunday.”


Cantered one lap of the small all-weather track.


Was asked for a little more effort on the all-weather by Wilfred Conart on Thursday, with his final 400m clocking in at 26.8s (13.4, 13.4).

Trainer Francois Rohaut said: “He was moving and breathing well this morning. He suffered slightly from the stress of travelling and arrived with a slightly elevated temperature but he is fine now. He will have a canter on the turf with Stephane [Pasquier] tomorrow and he won’t need any more than that. The horse was fit and ready before he left home.”


Remained in the quarantine stables as planned.


As with nearly all the French horses, Didier Guillemin’s G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) winner coasted around the all-weather in an easy canter.


Cantered one lap of the small all-weather track.

Trainer John Size said: “He’s one start behind the other horses, he’s only had a couple of runs whereas the other ones have had three so he’s still got room for improvement. He’s on target.”


LONGINES Hong Kong Vase


Cantered a circuit of the all-weather track under the watchful eye of trainer Ralph Beckett.

Beckett said: “We don’t need to do much with him as he’s done plenty of work back home. He’s in good shape. Obviously he’ll find horses like Highland Reel and Talismanic tough to beat but he likes right hand bends and fast ground. In Canada last time (the G1 Canadian International) it rained beforehand plus he was drawn out in the car park so you can forget about that run.”


Had his first look at the turf course, doing some quicker work than he had earlier in the week but not asked for maximum effort by jockey Sean Levey. Galloping 1200m, he clocked 1:17.2s (14.2, 12.0, 13.4, 12.0, 12.8, 12.6).

Travelling head lad Tony Gorman – who purchased the colt on behalf of his six-strong syndicate – said: “You won’t have seen anything too exciting as he is quite a lazy horse especially when he’s on his own but Sean was happy with him.”

Syndicate member Peter Govier said of his hopes for the race: “Hopefully he’ll manage to get very handy early – perhaps in second or third. If there’s a fast pace and it turns into a staying race so much the better.”


Galloped on the turf over 1200m under Tommy Berry and finished on top of his lead horse Beauty Prince in a time of 1m 21.6s (29.4, 29.3, 22.9).

Trainer John Moore said: “That was a good piece of work for a horse that’s been under a cloud. But he’s going into a very tough race.”


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


Galloped on the turf over 1200m under Sam Clipperton, leading stablemate Rivet to finish on top. Clocked1m 21.5s (28.8, 29.3, 23.4).

Trainer John Moore said: “He went really well. He hit the line really strongly, he didn’t hang and with the blinkers on, I’m very pleased with that work.”


Took to the turf track for the first time with regular rider Davy Bergin aboard, breezing home his final 400m in 24.6s.

Speaking from Ballydoyle on Wednesday before his scheduled arrival in Hong Kong later in the week, Aidan O’Brien said: “Highland Reel came out of his run at the Breeders’ Cup well. He’s a great traveller and all has gone well with him on the trip to Hong Kong. This is his final race before he goes to stud, and I know that Davy (Bergin) is very happy with him. He’s been a great horse to be around, and he’ll be hard to replace.”


Given a solid warm-up in the quarantine stables trotting ring before galloping over 800m on turf under raceday rider Mirco Demuro, clocking 52.4s (15.8, 12.4, 12.6, 11.6).

Demuro said: “The turf condition is better than last year, but it is still firm, so I let him fill his lungs and did not blow him out in the stretch. He always jumps well but needs some time to start his engine. He is in good form.”


Worked two laps of the all-weather track at a reasonable pace, quickening over the final 600m in 41.6s (15.4, 14.0, 12.2).

Raceday rider Glyn Schofield said: “Hopefully the Melbourne Cup form can hold strong again this year. He’s obviously a horse with a lot of stamina, a lot of strength, he seems to have travelled over really well. His work yesterday morning was pretty sharp, I was pleased to see a really strong turn of speed at the end of his work.”


Stretched out well over 800m on the turf in 52.3s (15.1, 13.5, 12.2, 11.5).

Kevin Bradshaw, assistant to trainer Sir Michael Stoute, said: “She’s settled in well and has done well through the week.”


The Breeders’ Cup Turf winner continued his easy regime of cantering on the all-weather under rider Vincent Champion.

Godolphin France representative Lisa Jane-Graffard said: “From early on this year his trainer Andre Fabre has been targeting international races. His first port of call was Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup and we always hoped he would show enough there to be able to consider Hong Kong. It will be a completely different race to the one in California but Highland Reel is always a very tough performer, wherever he goes. We’ll definitely have respect for Highland Reel and most of the other runners as well.”


Having already breezed on the turf twice this week, Alain Couetil’s charge is on an easy regime of all-weather cantering until raceday on Sunday.


Breezed 800m over the Sha Tin turf with raceday rider Joao Moreira aboard, in tandem with Staphanos (Cup).

Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said: “He had a great work and Moreira, who rode him for the first time today, is excited for the race now. He is in perfect condition.”