BLOND ME (GB)
Moved on to the turf for the first time this week with work rider Leanne Masterton guiding her around without exerting the recent G1 winner in Canada. She was timed over 600m in 40.2s (14.0, 13.8, 12.4).
Trainer Andrew Balding, who arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, said: “She’s very fit so not much is needed this week. She’s seems to love travelling and has taken this whole experience in her stride.”
Worked on the turf for the first time this week under Gary O’Connor and was clocked over 1000m in 1m 08.4s (15.6, 15.0, 13.0, 12.0, 12.8).
His trainer Aidan O’Brien said from Ireland: “He’s had a nice break since his last run in Canada, where I think the ground didn’t help him. The good ground at Sha Tin should suit him, and hopefully he’ll get an even pace and get into a good rhythm.”
The only French galloper to take to the turf on Thursday, he stepped out under raceday rider Stephane Pasquier and was clocked as completing his final 800m in 58.2s (16.0, 15.6, 14.0, 12.6).
Pasquier, who makes his third appearance at the meeting on Sunday, said: “We didn’t go quick but that was enough for him. He is a horse that can take plenty of work but that was all done in France. He adapted well and changed his legs pretty fluently so I was satisfied with how he went. He has strengthened up since last year and is a lot more powerful. They will go that bit quicker over 2,000 metres [than in the Vase last year] but I don’t expect that to bother him. He has been ridden more prominently over that trip at home and the distance doesn’t worry me.”
NEOREALISM (JPN) - with Joao Moreira on board
Galloped for 1000m on turf, and was driven strongly for the last 600m by raceday jockey Joao Moreira, clocking 40.4s (14.4, 13.6, 12.4) for the final 600m.
Trainer Noriyuki Hori said: “I advised Joao to warm him up well for the first lap including jogging and cantering before galloping. I think Joao has been able to get a good feel and confirm what he wanted to. He was very positive after the work. He also said the horse was in good form and very relaxed in the different surroundings as this is his third time in Hong Kong. He’s a happy horse.”
POET’S WORD (GB)
Steady work over 1000m on the turf in 1m 18.9s (16.2, 17.1, 15.4, 15.8, 14.4).
Kevin Bradshaw, assistant to trainer Sir Michael Stoute, said: “He’s well. He’s had an easy week but that was the plan with him all along.”
ROBIN OF NAVAN (GB)
Continued his preparation, breezing around the all-weather track.
Trainer Harry Dunlop said: “We used to think that he was a soft-ground horse but actually this year his form on soft has been patchy and he’s run really well on quicker ground. He’s got something to find on Sunday and we’re realistic about his chances but we’ve been really happy with him since he arrived in Hong Kong.”
SECRET WEAPON (HK)
Galloped on the main all-weather track under raceday rider Nash Rawiller, recording his last 800m in 52.2s (27.8 24.4).
SMART LAYER (JPN) - with Yutaka Take on board
Breezed over the Sha Tin turf with raceday rider Yutaka Take in the saddle, completing 1400m in 1m 36.4s (15.6, 15.4, 14.2, 15.4, 13.0, 11.6, 11.2).
Assistant trainer Kota Kato said: “She had a great work this morning. Take was very pleased with her. We are hoping for an inside draw this afternoon.” Smart Layer drew nine.
STAPHANOS (JPN) (rail side) - with Hugh Bowman on board
Breezed 800m over the Sha Tin turf with new rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle, in tandem with Tosen Basil (Vase).
Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said: “He breezed very well and is right where he needs to be. We are really hoping for an inside draw today. It is where he’ll do his best.” Staphanos drew eight.
TIME WARP (HK)
Cantered one lap of the small inner all-weather track.
WAR DECREE (IRE)
Worked on the turf on Thursday morning with regular rider Derek Stamp in the irons, with his final 400m recorded at 23.5s.
Speaking from Ballydoyle ahead of his arrival in Hong Kong, his trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “The dirt track at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Classic was all a bit too much for him, but he came out of that race well, and so we decided to send him on to Hong Kong. The turf at Sha Tin should suit him much better.”
WERTHER (HK) - with Tommy Berry on board
Galloped on the turf under Tommy Berry in company with stablemate Midnight Rattler, clocking 1200m in 1m 21.5s (29.2, 28.7, 23.6).
Trainer John Moore said: “He was the pick of them this morning, the standout. He hit the line really well. And he’s certainly my best chance of a win on the day.”
Trackwork videos will be available by noon the day after (Videos of Dec 6 and 7 will be available on Dec 8).