All the focus is on the big four main races on Hong Kong International raceday, but a very notable debutant earlier in the programme is more than a foot note on the day’s racing.
Lockheed, a £900,000 Goffs London Sale purchase and German 2,000 Guineas runner-up will be making his local Hong Kong debut for Danny Shum in the Class 2 Lord Kanaloa Handicap (1600m).
The horse was formerly owned by China Horse Club for a six start career which saw the grey son of Exceed And Excel G1 and G2 placed but was offered for sale when a stud career seemed unlikely.
Previously trained by William Haggas, Lockheed was the top lot at the Goffs London Sale in the lead-up to Royal Ascot in June. He was purchased for £900,000 by new owner Henry Cheng before being gelded and sent to Hong Kong to race.
Since his arrival in Hong Kong in August, he has had three barrier trials, all with Moreira in the saddle. The reigning champion jockey will maintain the connection on Sunday.
“His preparation has been great,” Moreira said. “Whatever he does on the weekend, he will still improve from because he’s a gross type of a horse. He will need a few runs. He was expensive though because he is a good horse, I like the way he moves and if he goes there and wins first-up, I wouldn’t be surprised because he has natural ability.
“Still, I would suggest we just see how he goes and take it from there. I’m quite excited to see what he does later in the season.”
The Hong Kong International Races meeting begins with the Class 3 Fantastic Light Handicap (1800m) at 12.25pm. The first of the international features, the G1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m), gets underway at 2pm.