Newmarket trainer William Haggas is looking forward to bringing down the curtain on a memorable season when One Master tackles the world’s leading specialist turf miler Beauty Generation in the Hong Kong Mile on 9 December at Sha Tin.
Haggas has sent out close to 150 winners in 2018 and amassed over £3 million in prize money for the first time, an exceptional sum by UK standards.
Stable flagbearer Sea Of Class won the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks before failing by just a short neck to reel in Enable in Europe’s richest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, at Paris-Longchamp on the first Sunday in October.
Compensation for that narrow loss came swiftly just two hours later when his Hong Kong Mile hope One Master got up in the dying strides under Pierre-Charles Boudot to win the G1 Prix de la Foret at 42/1.
From there she went to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup Mile where, despite her G1 win, she was sent off at around 20/1 in a field of 14 under James Doyle.
One Master produced another fine effort in the colours of Lael Stables, staying on strongly for fifth, just a length behind winner Expert Eye, and she might well have finished second in a few more strides.
“I was thrilled with that run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, it was quite possibly her career best, especially as her jockey was caught down on the rail, which was not where he wanted to be,” said Haggas.
“But that is all in the past. What matters is that her owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who are octogenarians from Pennsylvania in the USA, are coming to Hong Kong to see her run.
“They were at the Breeders’ Cup, had a great time, and have never been to Hong Kong, so they said “Why not, we may not get another chance!” – it’s a seventeen-hour flight, I am full of admiration for them.”
Haggas added: “One Master will probably be running on quicker ground in Hong Kong than she met at Churchill, or when she won the Fairy Bridge Stakes in Ireland. But I don’t think that will inconvenience her.
“I have trained generations of her family, which is a salutary reminder of how long I’ve been training for! Her mother Enticing set a course record at Bath over five furlongs on firm ground that I think still stands. It’s also possible that One Master has improved as we have asked her to run over further.”
With Beauty Generation set to be sent off the shortest priced favourite in any of the four HKIR G1 contests, One Master will no doubt start as a relative longshot.
That will not worry her trainer William Haggas one little bit and, with Ryan Moore being lined up to ride, do not be surprised if this tough filly outruns the market yet again.