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John Moore may not have been on track, having saddled up Not Listenin’tome in Dubai on Saturday night (25 March), but the handler’s double at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 March) may have revealed plenty for the future after wins to Happy Meteor and Magic Legend headlined the card.
Magic Legend (126lb) entered the Class 2 Duddell Handicap (1200m) unbeaten from two attempts at the straight 1000m at Sha Tin. He had won around a bend in Australia, where he was named Hostwin Legend, but the three-year-old had proven erratic in his two previous victories. The addition of a crossed nose band to his gear appeared to help his cause, though, as he led comfortably and fought on strongly in the straight to win by three-quarters of a length under Douglas Whyte.
Hong Kong’s three-horse contingent failed to impact this year’s Dubai World Cup meeting, failing to make the frame in Meydan’s two big sprints on a wet and blustery night (Saturday, 25 March) in the desert.
That left Hong Kong’s champion jockey Joao Moreira to provide followers of the city’s racing scene with something to cheer, thanks to a winning ride atop Japan’s Vivlos in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m).
A week after claiming a record sixth BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) with Rapper Dragon, trainer John Moore already has his sights set on the 2018 edition of the blue riband as he debuts Australian import Rocketeer in the Class 2 Lusitano Challenge Cup Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 March).
“We are always looking forward and Rocketeer is the first of a number of prospects for next year,” Moore said hours after Rapper Dragon’s Derby win last Sunday (19 March), before jetting out to Dubai where he saddles up Not Listenin’tome in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m, dirt) on Saturday (25 March). “He was one horse we quickly identified, I saw him at Flemington over the spring and he just looked so new, I thought about how good he would be physically when he grew a little more. He’s a big, powerful horse and I can’t wait to see what he does.”
Joao Moreira was in demand at Meydan this morning.
Hong Kong’s champion jockey had a 5am start to work two of his five Dubai World Cup meeting mounts, the Japanese pair Gold Dream and Vivlos, before whisking off to watch race videos with connections; four hours later, the Brazilian was sitting before a rare full-house of attentive media in the racecourse press conference room.
Hong Kong racing is synonymous with turf – dirt contests at Sha Tin being confined largely to the lower grades – yet in recent times the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan has afforded some of the city’s high-class sprinters a chance to showcase their off-turf potential on the international stage.
John Size is a remarkable racehorse trainer, his achievements attest to that. In 2001, the Australian arrived in Hong Kong from Sydney and shook the tough circuit to its core, winning the premiership in his debut season – a feat unprecedented in Hong Kong’s ultra-competitive modern era.
His patient, no-nonsense approach has seen him add seven more titles since then, his latest last year, and he currently leads the premiership with 62 wins, 13 clear of his nearest pursuer. In February, he became only the third handler to notch 1000 wins in Hong Kong; he has Group 1s in the bag and he has nurtured local champions; and he has done it his way, more so, perhaps, than any other trainer of recent times. “Mould-breaker” is a term often applied.
Rider Joao Moreira and trainer Caspar Fownes are set to do battle in Dubai on Saturday night (25 March), but they geared up for the weekend’s desert meeting by combining to plunder the Class 1 Happy Valley Vase (1800m) with Marvel Hero at the city track on Wednesday night (22 March).
Marvel Hero (115lb) lowered a 12-year track record for the 1800m, held by John Moore-trained Art Trader since November 2005, when he stopped the clock at 1m 48.05s in his four and a half length victory in the Happy Valley Vase. David Ferraris-trained Dynamism (113lb) and Danny Shum’s Circuit Land (130lb) filled the minor placings.
三匹香港賽駒，於週六 (3月25日) 征戰杜拜世界盃賽馬日，但在受天雨影響的場地上，三駒在當晚兩場重要的短途大賽中均無功而還，未能跑入前列。