John Moore has December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint on Aethero’s agenda after Hong Kong’s potential next big thing toyed with his rivals in the Class 3 Riding High Together Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin this afternoon, Monday, 1 July.
The handler’s much-hyped juvenile faced his most difficult task yet as he stepped out of two easy Griffin race wins and into open handicap company for the first time. But the outcome was the same: the Sebring gelding sped to the lead, made the running, and breezed down the home straight for an eased-down length and three-quarter score.
“He looks decent, doesn’t he? He did the job today in the fashion that I thought he would,” Moore said of the 1.6 favourite, who stopped the clock in a class record 1m 08.32s.
“Three runs next season to get him into the 100-range before we get to the Hong Kong Sprint, that would be the ultimate target. I’m getting ahead of myself a bit but I believe he’s definitely the sort of horse that could be the likely type to make it.”
Moore noted that his charge is “not the finished product” but was firm in his conviction that he has what it takes to progress physically and mentally in time for the December showpiece.
“With the boys who will be on him of a morning and the ‘TLC’ and so forth, by the time he gets to December he’ll be focused, he’ll be the finished product – he’s just got to convert the goal,” he said.
“He has the makings of one of Hong Kong’s top sprinters, the way he went there. I know he didn’t beat very much but he’s only a two-year-old, he’s in open company so to do it as comfortably as that is really pleasing.”