Alexis Badel is optimistic Tourbillon Diamond can trade on proven stamina reserves to contend strongly in the HK$12 million G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (22 May) after an excellent last-start effort.
Third in the G1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick Racecourse in April, 2020 when known as Eric The Eel, Tourbillon Diamond has won twice in Hong Kong for Danny Shum and was most recently second to Romantic Warrior in the G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on 24 April.
“It was a great performance from the horse,” Badel said of Tourbillon Diamond’s last run. “I believe the draw (barrier two) helped me because I was in the right spot on the inside, saving a lot of ground, and I was lucky enough to find a way out in the straight.
“I am confident the (2400m) trip shouldn’t be an issue because he has done this in the past. I will start from a good gate (four) so it’s going to help me to put him in the right spot and relax him.”
Tourbillon Diamond’s best win so far in Hong Kong materialised in the G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) at Sha Tin on 7 November last year.
The son of Olympic Glory will vie with last year’s G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup winner Panfield and fellow G1 victor Russian Emperor and several other contenders on Sunday.
Blake Shinn is hopeful Russian Emperor can stay 2400m despite his sixth in the race last year.
“I’m pretty optimistic – we’ve got the blinkers off him, so if it’s a slowly run race, which it’s debatable whether it will be, the blinkers off will give him every chance and I think he’ll settle no problem, and he’s got a great turn of foot,” Shinn said.
“If it’s a fast-run race, from the barrier we’re probably going to go back from nine. If it’s a fast-run race, I’m not really sure. All I know is that the horse is primed and ready and may the best horse win.”