Two of Hong Kong’s potential contenders for Dubai World Cup night test their credentials on Sha Tin’s all-weather surface this Saturday (12 January) as Elusive State and Fight Hero line up for the Leighton Handicap (1650m).
The Me Tsui-trained Fight Hero (133lb) heads the weights for the Class 2 feature ahead of a planned tilt at the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) on 30 March, while Elusive State (113lb) needs to continue his winning spree for Tony Millard to boost his chance of fulfilling ambitious entries in either the G2 Godolphin Mile (1600m) or G1 Dubai World Cup (2000m).
Millard takes a refreshingly simple attitude to aiming so high with Elusive State, who was struggling in Class 4 company before finding his form for previous trainer Derek Cruz late last season.
“You’ve got to dream big,” sums up the South African’s approach and all the evidence suggests that Elusive State is thriving.
Silvestre de Sousa takes over from Chad Schofield for Saturday’s Class 2 contest and was impressed with his new partner in an easy trial recently.
“He’s put on a lot of weight and feels really strong and well built,” the jockey said. “He trialled good, jumping smartly and finishing on the bridle, and although he didn’t beat a lot last time he did it impressively. He’s up in class but he has a light weight and he’s a smart horse who is still improving.”