It’s a rare thing to see a new import make its Hong Kong debut just two weeks before an intended run in the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, but that’s the plan for Northern Superstar.
The five-year-old mixed it with the very best in South Africa and is gearing up for a tilt at some notable Group 1 rivals in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) in two weeks’ time, via Sunday’s (25 November) Class 1 Chevalier Cup Handicap (1600m).
Trainer Tony Millard, the man behind Ambitious Dragon’s Hong Kong Mile win in 2012, is not fazed by the unorthodox route into Hong Kong’s richest race. “It was always the plan to go to the Cup – that’s the type of horse he is,” he said.
Northern Superstar (122lb), previously named Edict Of Nantes, won the G1 Cape Derby and G1 Daily News 2000 in his homeland. He is set to line up in the weekend’s quality-packed 13-runner feature off a domestic rating of 98 and with three barrier trials under his belt as preparation.
“He’s been off for a long time, he’s had some barrier trials and I think there’s going to be a question mark about his fitness, but he’s doing well,” said jockey Grant Van Niekerk.
“Each trial has been an improvement and Mr. Millard seems to be happy with him so I’m hoping he runs a good race.”