Pierre-Charles Boudot will break off from his battle with Christophe Soumillon for the French jockey’s title to keep the partnership with Waldgeist intact, while Godolphin’s retained rider Mickael Barzalona will be aboard Inns Of Court in the HK$25 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, a race Fabre has only targeted once before, finishing fourth in 2015 with Esoterique.
Barzalona will have already got a feel for the week as he heads to Happy Valley on Wednesday, 5 December, for the star-studded LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship.
As for Inns Of Court, the son of Invincible Spirit has only tackled a mile three times – all as a three-year-old in 2017 – but produced a career-best effort on ratings when narrowly beaten by stablemate Al Wukair at that trip in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
Inns Of Court’s best effort in 2018 was when caught in the shadow of the post by fellow Mile contender One Master over a turning seven furlongs (1400m) at Longchamp in the G1 Prix de la Foret.
That came on good ground and the likely sound surface of Sha Tin is likely to be much more suitable than the soft conditions encountered on his most recent start over six furlongs (1200m) at Maisons-Laffitte.
“He needed a race in between and remember he was carrying a penalty last time,” said Fabre. “He ran alright considering the ground and he has already shown he can perform well over a mile in the Marois. He should get a good pace to run at in Hong Kong and, while obviously it’s a very good race, he is a horse that is very consistent and always run well.”