Hong Kong International Races: Tuesday, December 4 track notes

Sungrazer hit the track ahead of the Hong Kong Cup. Source: HKJC

THERE’S less than a week to go until the Hong Kong International Races and the gallopers are starting to hit the track in preparation for the four major Group 1 races.

Take a look at what the connections had to say after Tuesday’s track work.

Hong Kong Cup Tuesday track notes

Sungrazer hit the track ahead of the Hong Kong Cup. Source: HKJC


Easy canter for one and a half laps on the all-weather track.

Work rider Yuta Komiyama said: “Everything is under control at the moment. I think she moved nicely but she is still getting used to the new things here.”


Cantered a lap and a half around the all-weather track.

Assistant trainer Kazuo Fujiwara said: “He is improving daily and moved over the track really well. We’ll breeze him on Thursday.”


Cantered a lap and a half around the all-weather track.

Assistant trainer Keiichi Asami said: “He moved well today over the track, he has travelled really well and is in solid condition.”


Trainer John Moore said: “He’ll gallop on Thursday on the dirt. He’s had two runs going in and I’m happy with his progress. He has to be right in consideration for winning this but he is maturing into the veteran stage and we have to remember that. The press (recently) made something of the work rider jumping off at the top of the tunnel to the track after he worked but it was solely because the rider had to run around the corner to jump on another horse as time was pressing, so that was nothing to do with the horse’s soundness.”

Hong Kong Mile Tuesday track notes

Mozu Ascot has pleased connections on Tuesday. Source: HKJC


The Andrew Balding trainee was reluctant to break off from the gap crossing to the inside rail and nearly impeded Red Verdon in his gallop down the straight. When he did consent to break off Beat The Bank completed a steady canter around the all-weather track with a minimum of fuss.


Trainer John Moore said: “It’s all going to plan. He’ll have a light workout on the dirt on Thursday – he’s a very fit horse that just needs to keep ticking over. I’ll keep all of mine on the dirt for some nice, level ground, rather than go on the turf this week. His feet are perfect now.”


Trainer Peter Ho said: “He’s in good form and hopefully he can get a place – he can’t win but racing is racing, so you never know. He’s a handy ride and he can go in whatever position he likes. He can go forward or he can sit back, it depends on what happens in the race and what draw he gets. The draw will be a key factor.

“James (McDonald) wil ride him and he is a very good jockey, he’s had good winners at the high level and he’s learnt from his mistake (18-month ban for betting on a horse he was riding) so I approached him to ride and I think he’s more mature now – he’s always cool in his races.”


Completed two gentle laps of the all-weather.

Travelling head lad Richard Lambert said: “He’ll just be doing the same all week, very routine on the all-weather. He won’t be going on the grass as all the work was done at home. Mickael (Barzalona] will arrive today but we won’t change anything, Vincent Champion will canter him in the mornings.”


Cantered one lap around the all-weather track.

Assistant trainer Shigeki Miyauchi: “We are very happy with his condition – he is in similar form as the filly (Lys Gracieux). He’ll have his final fast work on the turf tomorrow. When the trainer arrives later today we will decide who will ride him tomorrow.”


Visited the track for the first time on Tuesday morning for a light canter under her work rider Alex Badri.

Badri said: She was a little fresh, a little keen today, but it was her first day out on the track, and she was a little disturbed by the other horses going in all directions. It was easier at Churchill (Downs) at the Breeders’ Cup, as she went out on the track with a stable companion, but she’ll be fine tomorrow, I’m sure. She’s fit and well, and I don’t think she’ll do much this week, but her trainer is in town on Thursday, and he’ll decide.”


Trainer Tony Millard said: “He went on the grass on Thursday and Silvestre (de Sousa) rode him. He went very nicely and I’m happy with the work. He sprinted up today and has come back good.”


Had a light two-lap canter around the all-weather track.

Assistant trainer Shinji Yasuda: “She has completely rebounded from the journey here and is in good condition, much like we’d expect back home. We went easy with her today and we will breeze her tomorrow.”


Jockey Karis Teetan said: “I’m happy to be on him. He’s a horse I know, I’ve won three times on him and he’s in good form now. I think his last run will have his confidence up and he could run well with a decent draw. He’s a chance to pick up some prize money and I’m really happy to have the chance to be riding him.”


Hong Kong Sprint Tuesday track notes

Sir Dancelot (pcitured winning the Ladyswood Stud Hungerford Stakes) engaged in a light gallop under Ryan Holley. Source: HKJC


Jockey Douglas Whyte said: “He’s your bread and butter horse and when there’s a chink in any horse’s armour, he’s going to be there to gain and earn some prize money. I think his last run was a little bit disappointing and I can’t really put my finger on why because he hasn’t run like that the whole season. Every horse has a flat run and I’m hoping that was it.”


Trainer Benno Yung said: “He had an easy time this morning but will have a stronger gallop tomorrow. I think he’s going quite well and I’m happy with him. The 1200 (metres) might be a bit short but I’ve kept him fresh. Hopefully he can draw inside and the main contenders draw wide.”


Repeated the exercise routine of yesterday with a steady lap of the track under his regular work rider Ryan Holley, son of former British jump jockey Paul Holley.

Holley said: “All good.”

Hong Kong Vase Tuesday track notes

Exultant is primed for the Vase according to Zac Purton. Source: Hong Kong Jockey Club.


Galloped 800m on the turf course in 49s (25.7, 23.3) under jockey Ryusei Sakai.

Assistant trainer Shoichi Nishiura said: “I wanted her to relax today to get her to move nicely and we asked her to go a bit stronger towards the finish line. So far, we have been trying to get her form back since she arrived in Hong Kong. She worked perfectly today and has settled in the new surroundings well.”


Trainer John Moore said: “He’s in the same position as Beauty Generation in the sense that we just need to keep him ticking over. He’ll gallop on the dirt on Thursday and everything is in order with him.”


Jockey Zac Purton said: “He’s a very genuine horse who runs well virtually every time he steps out. He’s won three races here and I’ve been on him each time so it’s good to be back aboard. It looks a very strong version of the Vase this year and it won’t be easy but I expect he’ll acquit himself well. The pace looks solid on paper and that will suit him as he’s a real galloping horse.”


Continued his big race preparation with some light work on the all-weather track, ridden as usual by Martin Doran.

Mark Power, assistant trainer to Joseph O’Brien, said: “He’s in great form and has really developed mentally over the last few months. No plans yet for his work up to Sunday. Joseph will decide.”


Cantered one lap around the all-weather track.

Assistant trainer Shigeki Miyauchi: “We are very happy with her condition. She is eating well and moving well on the track. She’ll have her final fast work on the turf tomorrow. When the trainer arrives later today we will decide who will ride her tomorrow.”


Cantered 1000m on the all-weather track under work rider Chas Robertson.

Sarah Denniff, travelling head lass for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, said: “It’s the first time the colt has travelled and he’s taken it all in his stride. He’ll have a little breeze on turf on Thursday when I think Ryan (Moore) will ride. This is Mirage Dancer’s first run in a Group 1 but he’s got the profile of a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver.”


A regulation canter on the all-weather track under work rider Natasha Eaton.

Eaton said: “Good, very, very good. He’s fine and was nice and relaxed today.”


Breezed around the all-weather track and quickened up as he passed the on-looking trainer Ed Dunlop.

Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “I saw him for the first time in Hong Kong last night and he looks great. We don’t need to do much with him for the rest of the week and he’ll probably stick to the all-weather track.

“Nothing went right for him in the Caulfield Cup (where he finished 11th) and he’s 100% recovered from the bruised heel he suffered subsequently. It’s a tough assignment for him on Sunday but he comes here a fresh horse and if he’s on his A-game on Sunday he might be able to pick up some pieces.”

Red Verdon’s experienced work rider, Steve Nicholson, had to take evasive action in the straight when he found Beat The Bank in his path on the rail, but was unfazed by the incident, “Don’t worry, I’ve seen it all before,” he quipped as he guided his charge off the track.


Cantered a lap of the all-weather track with his regular work rider Patrick Gleeson on board.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s travelling head lad Pat Keating said: “All good, he was more relaxed today, but yesterday was his first time out on the track, so that’s to be expected. He’s doing well out here.”


Cantered two gentle laps of the all-weather track.

Andre Fabre’s travelling head lad Richard Lambert said: “He’s fine, he’s just doing routine canters on the all-weather. There’s no need to work him on the turf as he ran in the Breeders’ Cup and he did what he needed to do before coming out.”

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