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The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained horses Gris de Gris, Ashalanda, and Sweet Hearth head to the track Monday morning.

2009 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races
Workout Photos

Date: 12/08/2009

The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races will be run this Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse. As usual, horses from Europe, North America, and Australia ship in for the four Group 1 races, billed as the Turf World Championships, with the HK$20 million (about US$2.6 million) Hong Kong Cup the highlight of the afternoon, contested at 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles). December is usually a dry month in Hong Kong, but dark clouds and drizzle both days, including periods of rain Tuesday morning, rendered the turf course soft and the all-weather track sloppy. This affected workout plans for some of the connections. However, raceday is expected to be ideal, with the forecast calling for sun and temperatures in the mid 70's.

Results for the 2009 International Races

  • 2009 Workout photos from Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday - includes 18 more of the horses for the four big races

    Here are photos for 30 of the horse on the track at Sha Tin on Monday and Tuesday morning. Click the small photo to see a larger version.


    All Silent was out for a gallop Monday morning in preparation for the Sprint. Trainer Grahame Begg said, "He lost about 12 kilos on the flight over but regained all that very quickly on arriving. He's back to the weight he was when he left Sydney and has really thrived in the last 3 or 4 days. I watched him closely this morning and there's a real bounce in his step and his coat's glowing. He's been cleaning out the feed bin. In fact, we're giving him extra feed and he's demolishing that. He's a happy horse but he is the laziest trackworker you've ever seen."

    Apache Cat was out for some light work Tuesday in preparation for the Sprint. Trainer Greg Eurell said, "He looks great. We didn't do much with him this morning. He's settled in well, in fact I think he's settled in better than he did last year (when he finished 3rd)." He returns to Hong Kong off a fourth place effort in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington after winning the Schweppes Stakes at Mooney Valley. Regular pilot Damien Oliver will be in the saddle again.

    Ashlanda went out for a gallop in company with her stablemates on Monday in preparation for the Cup. The 3-year-old filly won the Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud and the Pride Stakes at Newmarket this year for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre and owner-breeder The Aga Khan. Regular rider Christophe Lemaire will be in the irons again on Sunday.

    Borderlescott galloped on Monday morning for trainer Robin Bastiman and will represent England in the Sprint. He comes off a close 6th in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp after winning the Nunthorpe Stakes.

    Buccellati galloped on the all-weather track on Monday for trainer Andrew Balding. He comes to the Hong Kong Vase off a third place finish in the Canadian International at Woodbine, and was sixth beaten just 2 lengths in this race last year. Balding said, "It would be nice to get a decent draw this year. If I can sort that out for him I can see him running an even bigger race this time." Regular rider William Buick will be aboard on Sunday.

    California Flag, winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, will go in the Hong Kong Sprint on Sunday. He went out for a gallop on Tuesday morning. Regular rider Joe Talamo will be in to ride for trainer Brian Koriner. Along with the Breeders' Cup, he also won the Green Flash at Del Mar and the Morvich at Santa Anita.

    Cannonball was a handful on Tuesday morning during his gallop in preparation for the Sprint. Declan Murphy, assistant to trainer Wesley Ward said, "He is very excitable. He was starting to play up coming off the track but I spoke to Wesley yesterday and he told me he would be worried if the horse wasn't that way. He has proved that he is adaptable with his performances so far this year in England and the States. He arrived here with a slight temperature but he's a tough horse and all is good with him now." He finished third in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last out and will have regular rider Ramon Dominguez on Sunday.

    Cirrus des Aigles went out for some light work on Tuesday. Jean-Jacques Poincelet, assistant to trainer Corine Barande-Barbe said of the Vase starter, "He's travelled very well and just needed a slow canter today. If the rain continues to fall, we could go over the turf tomorrow." He won his last two starts, the Prix du Prince d'Orange and the Prix du Conseil de Paris, both at Longchamp. Regular rider Franck Blondel will be aboard on Sunday.

    Collection went out for a gallop Monday morning for trainer John Moore. He goes in the Hong Kong Cup off a win in the Cup Trial, the major local prep for the race. Moore said, "Collection's run the other day again was exemplary. True, he got a good run through that race but when he was asked to lengthen he did just that and put two lengths on some very smart horses. Collection is going better than last season. He's put on body weight through the break and muscled up. He's a wiser horse now. He has a devastating turn of foot." Regular rider Darren Beadman will be aboard again.

    Confront galloped on the all-weather and schooled in the paddock Tuesday in preparation for the Mile. Stuart Messenger, assistant to trainer Sir Michael Stoute said, "He looks well but we didn't want to do much on the surface. He has travelled well anyway. He and Spanish Moon will work on the turf later in the week." He comes here off three straight wins, in the City of York Stakes at York, Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock, and the Joel Stakes at Newmarket. Regular rider Ryan Moore gets the call on Sunday.

    Daryakana went out for a gallop in company with her stablemates on Monday in preparation for the Vase. She is undefeated in 4 lifetime starts, including the Prix de Tourelles and the Prix de Royallieu. New jockey Christophe Lemaire will be aboard for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre.

    Duff went out for a routine gallop on Monday morning in preparation for the Mile. Terry Flynn, assistant to trainer Edward Lynam said, "He's travelled well and we're happy with him. The boss will be here Wednesday and we expect he'll work on the grass on Friday, maybe Saturday." The son of Spinning World won the Park Stakes at Doncaster and the Concorde Stakes at Tipperary, and will again have Fran Berry in the irons on Sunday.

    Eagle Mountain, defending champion in the Hong Kong Cup, went out for a timed work Tuesday on the turf under jockey Kevin Shea, with his final quarter mile clocked in 22.8 seconds. Shea said, "He's getting there - slowly." He has only raced once since that win, a distant 9th in the Hong Kong Mile Trial for trainer Mike de Kock and owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum.

    Egyptian Ra, third in the Hong Kong Mile last year, is back and went out for a gallop on Tuesday morning. Trainer Tony Cruz said, "I thought he did well to run fifth in the Mile Trial last time, because as everyone knows he wasn't right in the barrier trial before. It's not easy as he's an 8-year-old now. (Jockey) Felix Coetzee knows him best and I'm hopeful he can pick up a check." Before the Mile Trial he won the National Day Handicap and was second in the Champions Mile.

    Eyshal is a late entrant into the Hong Kong Cup, drawing in after several early invitees scratched. He comes to the race off an 8th place finish in the Cup Trial, and is winless since the Centenary Vase in February for trainer John Moore and owner David Boehm.

    Gris de Gris galloped twice around the all-weather track Monday morning. Jean-Michel Roux, assistant to trainer Alain de Royer Dupre said, "We don't want them to do too much for their first show on the track. It is more an occasion to stretch their legs a bit and let them find their bearings. They will come back tomorrow morning for a canter but shouldn't really work until Wednesday or Thursday." Gris de Gris won the Grand Prix de Marseille last out, and gets new jockey Christophe Lemaire in the Mile.

    Happy Zero was out for some light work Tuesday morning. The John Moore-trained son of Danzero comes to the Hong Kong Mile off three straight wins, in an overnight handicap, the Sha Tin Sprint Trophy, and the Sprint Trial, the major local prep for this race. Regular rider Darren Beadman gets the call on Sunday.

    Kasbah Bliss went out on the all-weather track on Monday morning in preparation for the Hong Kong Vase. Jonathan Fogarty, assistant to trainer Francois Doumen said, "He has travelled well and that's half the battle. I know the Hong Kong people have not seen too many former National Hunt horses turn up for this meeting but you'd have to respect the trainer's record here." He comes off a close second in the Prix du Cadran after winning the Prix Gladiateur, and will get regular rider Thierry Thulliez on Sunday.

    Laurel Guerreiro goes in the Sprint for trainer Mitsugu Kon off a nose win in the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama last out. He galloped once around the all-weather track on Monday under exercise rider Mitsuo Uegomori.

    Presvis galloped Monday morning in preparation for the Cup, off two straight runner-up finishes in the Singapore Airlines International at Kranji and the Churchill at Lingfield after winning the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in April. Charlie Henson, assistant to trainer Luca Cumani said, "Everything is fine with him. He worked nicely last Thursday back at home in Newmarket, he's travelled well, and he's such a relaxed horse. Nothing seems to bother him." Kieren Fallon gets the call on Sunday.

    Queen Spumante cantered on the turf Tuesday in preparation for the Cup under jockey Hiroyasu Tanaka. He said, "I was told to give her a hack canter today and she did it pretty well. It confirmed her well-being. This is my first time at Sha Tin and it is a beautiful track." She comes to Hong Kong off a gate-to-wire win in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto.

    Racing To Win went out for a gallop in preparation for the Mile. The John O'Shea trainee comes to Hong Kong off a fourth place finish in the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. Regular rider Hugh Bowman will be in the irons again on Sunday.

    Sacred Kingdom galloped on the all-weather track under jockey Brett Prebble on Tuesday. Trainer Ricky Yiu said, "It was his last serious piece of work before Sunday and I was very happy with it. So was Brett. We both think he's where he was just before he won the KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore back in May. He pulled up well, his feet are in good shape and, to be honest, the only danger to the horse is himself! I know it's a very strong race this year, but he has a really good chance with the improvement we are expecting of him from the Sprint Trial."

    Scenic Blast galloped on Tuesday morning with trainer Danny Morton aboard. Morton said of his Sprint starter, "All good, I'm happy with him." He won the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington and then the King's Stand at Royal Ascot but has disappointed since, finishing 10th in the July Cup and 16th in the Sprinters Stakes. Regular rider Steven Arnold gets the call on Sunday.

    Spanish Moon cantered on Tuesday in preparation for the Vase. Stuart Messenger, assistant to trainer Sir Michael Stoute said, It was horrible out there this morning and we did the bare minimum, just a canter. But he is well and has had a good trip over here. Spanish Moon is an experienced traveler anyway, so no worries on that score." The Juddmonte Farms homebred exits a fourth place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf last out, after winning both the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and the Prix Foy. Ryan Moore will be in the irons.

    Starlish galloped on the all-weather track on Monday and will go in the Hong Kong Cup on Sunday. Bruno Kogue, assistant to trainer Elie Lellouche said, "We travelled straight from Amsterdam and it went pretty smoothly. He needed a bit of a stroll today to settle down. His regular morning rider Yohann Bourgois knows him well. Starlish is usually pretty laid back. He'd never do more than we ask him to do." He won the Prix Andre Baboin last out and will have regular jockey Anthony Crastus aboard.

    Total Gallery went out for a gallop on the all-weather track Monday morning under Sarah Moore, assistant and wife of trainer Stan Moore. Groom Nicola Studart said of the Prix de l'Abbaye winner, "We are very happy with him. He came out of his box surprisingly fresh this morning." Regular rider John Murtagh gets the call in the Sprint on Sunday.

    Youmzain went out for an easy gallop on Tuesday in preparation for the Hong Kong Vase. Exercise rider Lesley White said, "He is very well, absolutely fine, but there is no point in doing anything much in this dreadful weather." He finished second behind Sea the Stars in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last out. Regular rider Kieren Fallon will be aboard again for trainer Mick Channon.

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