Helene Feeling has swiftly garnered a strong set of Hong Kong Derby (2000m) credentials and trainer Danny Shum is hopeful the exciting three-year-old can advance his claim when he resumes on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.
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.
“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 March 24. 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).