LONGINES Hong Kong International Races – Thursday Track Notes

05/12/2019 14:35

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup

Completed his first gallop in blinkers, having worn the headgear in a trial last month. Under race day rider Damian Lane, he worked with Class 4 galloper Joyful Heart, stopping the clock in 55.8s (30.2, 25.6) for 800m.
Trainer Frankie Lor said: “Damian rode him this morning and said he felt in very good form. We put the blinkers on him and he worked well in them so he’ll race in the blinkers (first time) on Sunday. Hopefully they sharpen him up and he can improve.”

The Aga Khan’s three-year-old daughter of Kitten’s Joy cantered just over a lap of the all-weather.
Fresh off the plane from France, her trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said: “Her coat looks well and she is in fine health. She was a little ‘on her head’ at the end of her work but she can be like that. For the moment though I wouldn’t change anything. She’ll canter again on Friday and then we’ll take it very quietly on the eve of the race.”

Cantered around the turf track with stable companions Anthony Van Dyck and Mount Everest.
Pat Keating, travelling head lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien, said: “That was perfect. They just picked up a little at the end, so that was just what we wanted.”

Stepped onto the main all-weather track for a 1200m gallop, steadily increasing through his sections for a time of 1m 31.3s (34.1, 31.1, 26.1).
Trainer Tony Cruz said: “He went well. He just had his usual fast work.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Mile

Light work in the quarantine trotting ring for about an hour.
Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi said: “He eats up like he always does and is in his usual fit condition.” 

Took to the Sha Tin turf track alongside regular lead horse, the now-retired Group 3 winner Harbour Master. He completed the 1200m in 1m 24.4s (29.9, 30.6, 23.9).
Trainer John Moore said: “We’ve tweaked some things, he’s fit and he’s a very sound horse. No excuses now. He’s not giving away lots of weight so we’re looking forward to a big run.”

Easy exercise in the quarantine trotting track for about an hour before being hand walked.
Assistant trainer Kenichi Shono said: “He wasn’t stiff or sore from his work at all and moved smoothly this morning. He is mentally and physically fit.”

Ridden by trainer Tony Cruz’s assistant Cody Mo, he stepped out over 1200m on the main all-weather track in a time of 1m 28.7s (33.4, 29.0, 26.3).
Trainer Tony Cruz said: “He did a nice gallop and I’m happy with that. He’s fit and he’s in good form.”

Walked for an hour around the stable area.
Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said: “She walked sound and there are no worries about her condition.”

Worked on turf over 1200m in 1m 29.8s (33.2, 33.1, 23.5), with work rider Yuki Iwasaki in the irons.
Iwasaki said: “He grabbed the bridle effortlessly and moved beautifully. He is ready for the race mentally as well.”

Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said: “He was breathing very well and moved nicely. He is going into the race a fit horse.”

Not asked for much, completing a reverse round of the small inner all-weather track.
Trainer John Size said: “Even when he won his last start, I still think that he probably wasn't at his peak. I'm hoping he can do a little bit better. It is a stronger race and there is tougher competition here, particularly from the Japanese entries. He'd have to improve and then some to win the race, but it's not impossible. I'll have to look at the draw first, I've just seen the outside gate and I think we'll make some plans in the coming days.”

Looking more relaxed than earlier in the week, he completed about a circuit on the turf, completing his last 800m in 1m 03.1s (29.6, 33.5). He quickened up nicely, ridden as usual by Fabien Guilois.
Guilois said: “I know this horse well as I ride him all the time back home in Newmarket and I really think he is in top form right now.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint

Took to the back straight for a gallop under the watchful eye of trainer John Moore. He clocked 51.6s (26.1, 25.5) over 800m down the river side under regular trackwork rider Romain Clavreul.
Moore said: “His work has gone to plan. He’s a fit horse and I was happy with his gallop this morning.”

Clavreul said: “He’s feeling great, he’s flying! That was an easy gallop but he’s right on track.”

Worked one lap counter-clockwise on the inner all-weather track.
Trainer John Size said: “He seems okay, he's only had the one start this preparation but I think everything is in order with him. He seems to feel well, he looks good, a little bit of cool weather this week has picked the horses up and I think he's fresh enough to run a good race. He hasn't won second-up but you can make anything you want from statistics, although you should take note of them too. Every statistic has some weight so I'd be interested to see if he can defy that. You couldn't argue about his consistency, he's never been out of the first three in all of his racing career, so I'm not sure that his form fluctuates that much.”

Was hand walked for about an hour in quarantine.
Assistant trainer Keiichiro Yasuda said: “He is very sound and moving smoothly after his breeze yesterday. He has eaten up well. He is in great condition.”

Completed a reverse lap of the small inner all-weather track.
Trainer John Size said: “Gate 13 won't help him at all but I think, with a full field, there's probably plenty of pressure in the race and he can run from back in the field so maybe he can run a good race from there. He's a very sweet horse though, a stable favourite for sure.”

Took to the trotting ring for an easy canter.
Trainer John Size said: “He's done a very good job because he only started racing as a four-year-old. He's only been racing for about a year or so and he's come up in class pretty fast. His run was sound the other day, his first try at set weights, and he came off a bad draw and he went back in the field. He gets a very good switch here, coming in about nine spaces in the gates. He could give himself the run of the race from there and grab some prize money.”

An easy canter going counter-clockwise on the inner all-weather track.
Trainer John Size said: “I wouldn't think he could do any more than what he did first-up, he returned on a pretty high figure after a long break. If he can repeat that or improve on it, then he can go close to winning the race. It's mostly been a pretty soft approach throughout his career, but in Hong Kong, you can't race them too often anyway. When he's going up in class rather quickly, you can't take him to the races all the time. He was favourite for this race last season and he failed, so maybe he's got a little more in him.”

Stuck to the small inner all-weather track for what was a straightforward morning.
Trainer John Size said: “Ivictory has drawn gate 11 so he's got a bit of a task from there. His races have been sound this preparation, I thought he ran much better the other day, but he'll need a little bit of luck from the draw. If he had an inside draw, I'd be more confident we could get him some prize money.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Vase

Cantered around the turf track with big-race rider Ryan Moore partnering Anthony Van Dyck who wore blinkers.
Pat Keating, travelling head lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien, said: “That was perfect. They just picked up a little at the end, so that was just what we wanted.”

Continued his preparation on the all-weather track, watched for the first time this week by trainer Roger Charlton.
Charlton said: “I’m pleased with what I've seen and travelling doesn't seem to bother him. He’s a bit keen and he’s sure to be on his toes when you see him in the paddock on Sunday. Let's hope he can get some cover in the race.”

After a quiet day walking in the quarantine stables on Wednesday, Called To The Bar returned to the Sha Tin all-weather on Thursday, cantering just over a lap. Trainer Pia Brandt was in pole position to assess the son of Henrythenavigator as she has ridden all his work this week.
Brandt said: “He was very nice and relaxed today after his turf gallop on Tuesday but he’ll have to get back to work tomorrow. Coming here from the calm of Chantilly is obviously a big change but it’s only for a week and if he’s going to make it then he has to adapt.

“It’s natural that people might underestimate him because he has been running his best races over 3,000 metres and we’re putting him back in distance to 2400 metres but he has quite a strong turn of foot. I hope that he can show it, even coming back a bit in trip this time. The jockey will probably have to ask him for a little bit more urgency at the beginning because he is used to being quite relaxed early in his races. We’ll have to find something in between.”

Hand walked for an hour around the quarantine stable area.
Work rider Yuta Komiyama said: “All has gone well so far. She is in good shape after her breeze.”

Took to the Sha Tin turf over 1200m alongside Australian Group 2 winner Enjoying in a time of 1m 23.5s (29.6, 30.3, 23.6).
Trainer John Moore said: “He wanted to get on with it past the winning post, which is a good sign. He’s long in the tooth now and he’s got a few wind issues now he’s older but we’ve had no soundness issues with him this season. He’s mixed his form though, so I hope he can get a clear run and pick up some prize money.”

Galloped over 800m on the larger all-weather track, clocking 56.3s (30.0, 26.3).
Trainer Tony Cruz said: “I was happy with that work. All he needed was a regular, routine gallop.”

Worked on the Sha Tin turf track over 800m in 53.3s (30.6, 22.7) under raceday jockey Joao Moreira.
Moreira said: “He is a well-balanced horse, he carries his head high and he moved nicely. I have no concerns about him. I am very satisfied with his performance this morning. He was reacting very quickly, especially throughout the last 200m. I want to make sure that I keep a nice rhythm throughout in the race.”

Sporting blinkers for just the second time in a gallop, he worked alongside stablemate London Hall on the Sha Tin turf, clocking 1m 19.4s (27.1, 29.4, 22.9).
Trainer David Hall said: “He’s going to wear the blinkers for the first time, he was a bit naughty in his trial the other day and didn’t come out of the gates too well. You can’t have any hope in these sort of races if you’re too far out of your ground. I didn't think his form warranted putting them on but he’s a colt and he’s just starting to change a little bit in his behaviour.

“We jumped him out of the barriers and he went well enough. I just wanted to have him in behind one, making sure he’s not going to be too fierce with the blinkers on, and get him to relax and work up the straight together, and he certainly did that. He’s a had a bit of a slow build-up to get to the race and it’s a pretty strong event this year but he loves the distance and he’s had a good solid prep. He’s ready for it so whether he’s got the class to compete will be interesting to see. With the blinkers on, if he can jump and be in the middle instead of out the back maybe we can pinch a bit of prize money.”

Went out onto the all-weather course to stretch her legs and slowly cantered for one lap.
Assistant trainer Eishu Maruuchi said “She was the only Japanese horse to go out on the all-weather today, so she had a little trouble relaxing but once we got going we had no problems.”

Went onto the grass and had an easy gallop without regular work rider Natasha Eaton asking for too much.
Head groom Cheryl Armstrong said: “He just did a breeze on the bridle, Natasha was really pleased with him. He'll just have a steady canter tomorrow.”

Breezed comfortably on the turf.
David Casey, rider and assistant to trainer Willie Mullins said: “I just gave her a breeze over the last 200 metres. She’s doing good, very happy with that.”

Not asked for much of an effort through a lap of the all-weather track.
Trainer William Haggas’ stable representative Christopher Durham said: “He's just had a quick canter around just to keep him moving, we're all good.”