Last year’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) winner Mogul returns on Sunday (12 December) to defend his title and leads a three-pronged attack on International Day at Sha Tin from the formidable Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore training and riding combination.
Mogul, a four-year-old son of Galileo, has not won in four starts since last year’s Hong Kong success. However, that victory was his third from as many runs right-handed at 2400 metres on good ground and jockey Moore believes his 2021 performances can be excused.
“He’s had a quiet year,” Moore said. “He started in Dubai and ran respectably and (then) ran a good race in Paris in the Prix Ganay (G1, 2100m) before the ground was very soft at Epsom for the Coronation and he didn’t like it and it was the same again when he went back to Deauville.
“A few things haven’t gone quite right for him through the summer, so he’s been lightly raced. His work’s been good at home and he looks great. We know he likes Sha Tin and he likes quick ground. I believe Aidan’s very happy with him, so we’re hoping that he can step back in the right direction.
“He showed a couple of times last year he’s very talented. He’s a handsome horse with a great pedigree and I still have faith that he can get back on track. Aidan would like to have put a run in him but that didn’t happen but we think he’s in good shape. I suppose Mogul would look our best chance on paper”.
Moore and O’Brien, of course, combined with the most recent multiple Vase winner Highland Reel who scored in 2015, was second in 2016 and won again in 2017 immediately before his retirement to stud.