Horse Racing
Danny Shum has a BMW Hong Kong Derby Feeling with Helene

By Declan Schuster
19/09/2023 15:11

Helene Feeling (No. 3) is an improving talent.
Helene Feeling (No. 3) is an improving talent.

Helene Feeling has swiftly garnered a strong set of BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) credentials and trainer Danny Shum is hopeful the exciting three-year-old can advance his claim when he resumes in Wednesday night’s (20 September) Class 2 Victoria Harbour Handicap (1650m).

With nearly 200 days to go until the 2024 renewal of Hong Kong’s most famed age-restricted test, the Irish-bred has been engaged with an early season assignment against a group of hardened 80-plus raters in the final of eight races at Happy Valley tomorrow.

“He has a good heart, he always tries and hopefully we can get a win before March and then he can go into the Derby,” Shum said.

Victorious at Happy Valley and Sha Tin, the Sioux Nation gelding won twice in Great Britain pre-import as well. Jockey Zac Purton has partnered him in all five starts (in Hong Kong), but Karis Teetan is in the plate this week due to his 117lb impost.

Helene Feeling lands his second win in the city.

“He has a bad barrier (11 out of 12) and he’s up to Class 2. The jockey has changed because of the weight, so Karis is aboard – he’s in form. It’s not easy to jump into Class 2, especially from the bad draw.

“Hopefully Telecom Fighters is very fast, so he can follow him and sit third, fourth – that would be ideal,” Shum said.

Boasting a mark of 82, Helene Feeling faces the 100-rated The Irishman (135lb) as well as Spirited Express (127lb), Berlin Tango (125lb), Rise Brethren (122lb) and more.  

“Helene Feeling is improving, he’s getting better and more confident in himself. I think 1600 to 2000 metres he should handle, no problem,” Shum said.

Victory this week would all but confirm Helene Feeling’s spot in next year’s BMW Hong Kong Derby – run on 24 March. It is the final leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series which begins with the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) before the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m).

Take two for Allgreektome

Allgreektome is a one-time winner in Hong Kong.
Allgreektome is a one-time winner in Hong Kong.

Trainer David Hayes hopes Allgreektome can make the most of better circumstances when he returns in a quality-filled Class 3 Tsim Sha Tsui East Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley tomorrow night after being withdrawn pre-race last Wednesday (13 September).

“He went out on the track with the clerk of the course and he was leaning on the pony a little bit and he (the pony) lashed out and kicked in between the legs and there was a minor cut, very minor – it was nothing.

“I wasn’t too worried because he drew wide, he had a wet track and tomorrow he has a dry track – probably firm and he has a good barrier,” Hayes said.

Allgreektome steps away from barrier two with jockey Luke Ferraris engaged.

Beauty Eternal stretches out at Sha Tin

Jockey Zac Purton returned satisfied following the midfield finish of Beauty Eternal at Sha Tin this morning (Tuesday, 19 September) in a barrier trial over 1200m on dirt.

The gifted chestnut is seven-time winner, including twice at Group 3 level last campaign. He is slated to return in the G2 Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m) on 15 October.

“He felt good, he was quite well behaved but obviously he’s not fit yet and as he gets fitter that streak might start to come back out.

“This is basically his second preparation now, he’s had the benefit of a break and he feels like he’s reasonable order. He moved very well, he still had the enthusiasm, so hopefully he can take that next step this season,” Purton said.

Sword Point crossed the line a runaway first in the same barrier trial. 

Wednesday’s (20 September) eight-race fixture at Happy Valley kicks off at 7.15pm with the Class 5 Chatham Handicap (1800m).