Hong Kong Mile aspirations for former Australian Southern Legend

Southern Legend
Former Les Bridge-trained runner Southern Legend scored its second win in Hong Kong at Happy Valley on Sunday. Photo: HKJC

SOUTHERN LEGEND was a four-time winner in Australia for trainer Les Bridge, but it’s now starting to make headway into the Hong Kong ranks.

The son of Not a Single Doubt scored its two offshore win on Sunday, winning the Yip Fat Handicap and winning jockey Nash Rawiller believes it could compete in the Hong Kong Mile in December.

“He’s a really nice horse and I’d hope he can get a mile,” Rawiller said. “I thought if he could have won the other day he might have gone 1400 (metres) and then had a chance of getting in the Hong Kong Mile in December.

“He’s still probably learning a bit as he goes along. What he’s done so far has been on raw ability and he’s just got to become rock hard – all the really good horses here have that, they know the ropes and they don’t have too many chinks in their armour.

“I have no doubt he can get to higher levels.”

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Winning trainer Caspar Fownes was happy to see the Australian group two-placed thoroughbred finally show its best ability in Hong Kong.

“It’s nice to get a horse like this to win,” Fownes said. “He’s a horse that is just starting to put it all together, so I’m looking forward to getting him back to Sha Tin and getting his rating up – if we can get his rating to 110 in the next race or two, we’ll see how we go.”

Southern Legend finished second behind Pingwu Park prior to winning on Sunday and Fowndes believes that’s a good form race for things to come later this season.

“His last run was outstanding,” the trainer said. “He chased what I think is a serious horse in Pingwu Spark, giving him a bit of weight.

“It would be nice for him to draw a gate though – he’s got good gate speed and if he can sit there fourth or fifth, it would make his job a lot easier and we might see what sort of horse he really is.

“That was a big effort today for him to do that against some decent Happy Valley horses.”

A treble of wins at Happy Valley gave Nash Rawiller, who travelled to Moonee Valley on Friday night to ride Spieth in the Manikato Stakes, his 13th win of the season.

“It makes a big difference to your confidence,” Rawiller said. “What makes it good is that I’ve done some hard yards here – I did have to more or less start at the bottom here but I’ve always been driven.

“I’m not going to rest on my laurels, I’m starting to make a few inroads and I’m starting to get good support from the crowd, I can hear them, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.”

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