Werther will attempt to give trainer John Moore a rare hat-trick in Sunday’s (25 February) Group 1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, but the handler is wary of a reformed rival back from the wilderness.
“I’d be worried about Pakistan Star,” Moore said, recounting the Tony Cruz-trained galloper’s brilliant barrier trial of a week ago. “Tommy (Berry) said the way Pakistan Star went past him was impressive; he straight away said we’ve got that horse to beat on the big day. That horse is fresh and on the trial alone he’s going to be tough to beat.”
Moore is ploughing through a difficult season with only 15 wins on the board from 291 starters, but should Werther win a second consecutive Gold Cup at the weekend the bay would become the stable’s third back-to-back victor in a row following Military Attack (2013 and 2014) and Designs On Rome (2015 and 2016). The handler has won nine of the last 12 renewals all told.