John Moore heads into Wednesday’s (18 December) nine-race card at Happy Valley hoping Stronger (116lb) can out-muscle his rivals in the night’s tough finale, the Class 2 Mercury Handicap (1200m).
The classy Australian import produced a slashing second on his Hong Kong debut behind the speedy Duke Wai over 1000m at Sha Tin last time.
“I was very impressed with him in his Hong Kong debut, he lived up to expectations in the sense that he ran very well at the Gold Coast pre-import when he won the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m), so we knew that he was talented before he arrived here,” Moore said.
The Not A Single Doubt colt won three races pre-import, and, prior to his G3 win, was a closing fourth behind Bivouac, who boosted that form subsequently with a win the G1 Golden Rose and second-place in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes last month at Flemington.
Moore has been pleased with the colt’s attitude since arriving in August and was satisfied with his pre-race gallop on Monday (16 December).
“He ran 47 seconds down the back straight yesterday morning and he gave Matthew (Chadwick) a very good feel,” the seven-time champion trainer said.
“He’s a very easy horse to train, he’s still an entire but he’s very laidback and he just does what he needs to do, so from that point of view everything has gone to plan so far with him.