THE all-important barrier draws for the Hong Kong International Races have been announced and the top elects for all four group one races have drawn favourably.
Trainer John Moore will be jumping for joy after Werther drew gate three in the Hong Kong Cup. The $2.75 favourite at Ladbrokes could potentially firm even further as Sunday approaches after the plum gate.
If drawing the perfect gate wasn’t enough, one of Werther’s key rivals drew the worst possible gate.
Fellow top market elect Poet’s Choice ($6.50) will jump from the widest alley in the 2000m feature. The horse remains on the third line of betting, but will more than likely jump at a higher price after getting the horror draw.
The second favourite in the market, Neorealism ($6), will also have to overcome a nasty draw after landing gate one in the HK$25 million event.
The draw for the Hong Kong Vase wasn’t as ideal for retiring favourite Highland Reel, but the horse will still be well in contention from barrier eight. The Irish invader, which is looking to become only the third horse in Vase history to win the race multiple times, remains at the top of the market at the $3.50 quote.
An ex-Aussie galloper drew a little bit better than the mutliple group one winner Highland Reel.
Queensland Derby winner Eagle Way drew gate five for the HK$16.5 million feature, but did not deviate from the $8.50 quote.
In the Hong Kong Mile barrier draw, market leader Seasons Bloom held firm at its $3.75 price at Ladbrokes after securing alley number seven.
The Mile draw was not as kind to fellow top elect Beauty Only, which will jump from barrier 12 in the 14 horse field. The wide alley saw last year’s winner move out slightly in the betting to the $6 mark.
The news couldn’t have been better for star sprinter Mr Stunning, which drew barrier four for the Hong Kong Sprint. The allocation ensured the hattrick seeking horse stayed at the head of affairs at $2.75.
Fellow top elect Lucky Bubbles didn’t have the rub of the green, drawing gate one for the Sprint. It will take a slice of luck and all of Hugh Bowman’s expertise for the 2017 Chairman’s Sprint Prize winner to find a comfortable position in transit in the 1200m feature.