Little Mike, Moonlight Cloud Stretch Legs at Sha Tin

by | 12.02.2013 | 3:56pm
Little Mike, by Spanish Steps, holds off Point of Entry to win the BC Turf

The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races is less than a week away and 21 of the 28 overseas contenders emerged from the Sha Tin quarantine stables to stretch their legs this morning. It was a case of gentle work on the all-weather track for most, with only Little Mike and Linton opting to gallop on the turf.

LONGINES Hong Kong Vase

Cantered on the all-weather track.
Trainer Naosuke Sugai said: “He is a very tough horse. I think he handles the new surroundings and has settled well. This morning he was too fresh because he did not come out on the track yesterday, and he was likely to be happy to canter on the course.  He will be more relaxed tomorrow.”

The Melbourne Cup 5th cantered the all-weather track and looked well muscled behind the saddle.
Paul Francis, travelling head lad to trainer Marco Botti, said: “He's had a nice canter. I'm pleased with his coat considering how cold it was in Melbourne, and though he's fit he comes here fresher than last year having had less races. The Fugue is the one to beat.”

Light canter on the all-weather.
Aymeric Candas, travelling head lad to trainer Mikel Delzangles: “We went to Australia, then Japan, and here we are again. The old man knows it all and he settles well.”

Light work on the all-weather track.
Jean-Michel Roux, travelling head lad for Alain de Royer Dupre, said: “She travelled perfectly, as most of the horses did, and we are quite happy with her so far. She did not do much this morning and needs to find her bearings. We will see to that now. Work is for another day.”

Had an easy stretch on the all-weather after working more vigorously last Saturday morning.
Charlie Henson, assistant trainer to Luca Cumani, said: “I'm very happy with him. His work on Saturday was very good – exactly what we wanted – and he looks to be in good shape. He ran his last 400m in 22.6s and it was a similar gallop to his work immediately before the Melbourne Cup.
“His work at Werribee before coming here was good and he's holding his condition in good fashion. It's very different here compared to Werribee. So much more to see, so much more going on but he's settled in well.”
Mount Athos failed in the 2012 Japan Cup immediately after his very good fifth placing in that year's Melbourne Cup but Henson is hopeful for a more positive back-up to Mount Athos' Melbourne Cup third this year.
“I think the Japan Cup just came too soon for him last year and the race didn't unfold for him well. He broke slowly and they didn't go that quick which was against him. The extra couple of weeks between runs this year is more suitable for him.”

Last year's LONGINES Hong Kong Vase winner Red Cadeaux cantered around the all-weather track, a light exercise that was also watched keenly from the sidelines by big-race rider Gerald Mosse.
Robin Trevor-Jones, travelling head lad to trainer Ed Dunlop, said: “He's as fit as a flea. Gerald has such a great record on him including winning this last year, but he has never ridden him in work and we are not planning to change that successful formula anytime soon.”
“And after the amazing job Gerald did with him in Melbourne last month from such a difficult draw, I'm not even getting too worried about what gate he gets on Thursday! We want a proper gallop on Sunday, and I'm not sure where it is going to come from, but our main problem is The Fugue and we've got to give her 4 pounds. Without her we are the one to beat.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint

Worked 800m on the all-weather in 56.5s (splits: 31.0, 25.5)
Jockey Tye Angland said: “He felt good this morning, it wasn't a hard workout and he pulled up well. It was a nice little blow and he seems to be on track at the moment.”

Cantered on the all-weather track.
Ryuji Iwamoto, assistant trainer to Takayuki Yasuda, said: “He travelled comfortably and has been relaxed since he arrived. He has no problem with the surroundings at Sha Tin as he was here last year, too. He has a good appetite. The team will do the best to defend the title this year again.”

Galloped 800m on turf track in 52.4s (splits: 29.2, 23.2)
Trainer Chris So said: “He galloped with Longwah Supreme this morning and he went well. Gerald reported that he felt really good, his action is sound and he's happy. I'll give him one more gallop over 400m on Thursday, maybe – just to give him a blow.”

LONGINES Hong Kong Mile

Light canter on the all-weather track.
Regis Barbedette, travelling head lad to trainer Freddy Head, said: “She has only travelled this far once before, that was for the Breeders'Cup in California. That day, she was beaten because of a bad draw and an awful race. The trip did not bother her. Freddy Head told us to give her a light canter over six furlongs today. She needs to relax a bit and that is exactly what this piece of work will do. Freddy arrives on Wednesday. We will ask for more then. The weather here is great and the track will suit her. She will enjoy turning right rather than on the left hand, which she never really liked. Our main concern in the race would be Sky Lantern. We also had a look at the local prep race and we always watch out for local milers, as they are very good.”

Linton stepped out on the turf track this morning but wasn't asked to break any records. He worked over 1200 metres in a very leisurely 1m 34.5s, coming home the last 400m in 28.8s under a tight hold from handler and regular track rider Carolyn Mason.

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup

Light canter on the all-weather track.
Jean-Jacques Poincelet, assistant trainer to Corine Barande-Barbe said: “The trip went fine and the horse is happy to go. He was a little bit stiff this morning but you can't blame an old warrior for that. It does not really matter.”

Galloped 800m on turf in 53.7s (splits: 28.3, 25.4).

Cantered on the all-weather track.
Yoshiyuki Miyashita, assistant trainer to Hisashi Shimizu, said: “This is his first time travelling abroad, so he was a little bit tired after the journey to Hong Kong. But his condition has recovered, and he is full of beans and cantered comfortably this morning.”

  • steve k

    Loved Sha Tin and the great hospitality when I was there.

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