Caspar Fownes and David Hayes will unveil two potential BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) contenders when highly-credentialled imports Rocket Spade and Helene North Star debut at Sha Tin on Saturday (18 December).
Both Fownes and Hayes are accustomed to Hong Kong Derby success and both men are hopeful their new charges can develop into leading chances for the 20 March Classic after they step out tomorrow.
Rocket Spade, who contests the Class 2 Lukfook Jewellery Cup Handicap (1400m) under Vincent Ho, won the G1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie Racecourse in March, 2021 after landing the G2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) and the G2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) at the same course in January and February, respectively.
The son of Fastnet Rock won five of 10 starts for Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott before transferring to Fownes. More recently, he finished third in a 1200m trial at Conghua on 9 December in preparation for Saturday.
“He’s a very nice horse, nice to have him in the stable,” Fownes said. “Last time he ran was probably seven or eight months ago (eighth in the Australian Derby on 10 April), so we’re starting him off at 1400 metres.