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Australian Mile entrant Racing To Win samples the turf course at Sha Tin on Friday morning

2009 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races
Workout Photos

Date: 12/11/2009

The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races go on Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse, with the entrants sent out to the turf course and all-weather track for some final gallops before the "Turf World Championships". In contrast to Monday and Tuesday mornings when rainshowers downgraded the course to soft and the all-weather to sloppy, the weather cooperated the rest of the week, with no rain and some clouds, and this should continue to raceday, with sunny skies and the temperature in the low 70's expected, with the turf good to firm.

Results for the 2009 International Races

  • 2009 Workout photos from Monday and Tuesday - includes 30 more of the horses for the four big races

    Here are photos for 18 more of the horses on the track at Sha Tin on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, mostly all new from the Monday and Tuesday workout photos. Click the small photo to see a larger version.

    Alexandros walks back with trainer Saeed bin Suroor after galloping on the turf in preparation for the Mile. Bin Suroor said, "He had a nice gallop. He did his serious work last week in Dubai and we are happy with him. His best run was in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes and we believe he can run to that form." Frankie Dettori will be in the irons on Sunday.

    Black Mamba galloped on Wednesday morning with Joe Talamo up. Ian Jory, assistant to trainer John Sadler said of the Vase entrant, "She arrived with a temperature and that's not ideal but she's been improving 100 per cent each of the last few days but, to be honest, we're playing catch-up." Olivier Doleuze has the mount Sunday.

    California Flag heads out to the track as trainer Mike de Kock checks him out on Friday morning. The Breeders' Cup Sprint winner galloped with regular jockey Joe Talamo aboard. Trainer Brian Koriner said of the Sprint contender, "The horse has been great this week. He is not tucked up which is a really good sign for this horse. I'd love him to have been just a little more relaxed as he has been a bit hyped-up every morning, but maybe that's just because he's feeling good. Everybody expects he might go too hard on the speed but he can come back to the rider. He's just a naturally fast horse."

    Eagle Mountain will try to repeat as the Hong Kong Cup winner but has to do it off of just 1 prep race, the Mile Trial on November 22 where he finished 9th beaten 10 lengths, coming off a 10 month layoff due to a suspensory injury. Regular rider Kevin Shea will be in the irons again aboard the son of Rock of Gibraltar for trainer Mike de Kock and owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum.

    Ferneley cantered on the turf Friday morning in preparation for the Mile. Trainer Ben Cecil said, "I worked him right-handed at Santa Anita after they closed the track and I have every reason to believe that he'll be better going this way. He has the right temperament to travel and I'm prepared to overlook his run in the Breeders' Cup Mile when he struck severe interference. Right-handed suits him despite his limited experience." New jockey Kieren Fallon will be in the irons on Sunday.

    Green Birdie, entered in the Sprint, went out for some light work. Trainer Caspar Fownes said, "He's in great shape now. He'll have been off for about nine months since his last run with all sorts of problems to his off-fore, but he's come back really well. I honestly think he can run a very good race if he gets a decent gate. It's a seriously competitive field, I know, a really big test, but he goes well fresh, it won't surprise me if he can get some prize money. Remember, he was second in this race last year so he's a class act." Olivier Doleuze gets the call on Sunday.

    Inspiration, who won the Sprint last year at 33-1, galloped as he prepares to defend his title on Sunday. Jockey James Winks gets the call. Trainer John Moore said, "He over-raced in the Sprint Trial and we found blood down the trachea but that's been cleaned up. He passed his veterinary examination Monday morning. He's coming good."

    Jackpot Delight put in some light work in preparation for the Vase. He was last of 13 in the Vase last year and is back to try again off a 9th place showing in the Cup Trial. He is winless since the Sha Tin Mile Trophy in July. Jockey James Winks will be in the irons for trainer Caspar Fownes.

    Jamesina galloped on the all-weather track in preparation for the Cup. Trainer David Ferraris said, "He's working really well. I know he'll be a big price but I think he can pick up some prize-money. The trip is no problem. He was finishing faster than anything in the Cup Trial and if that had been over 2400 meters, who knows where he would have finished. He will be ridden quietly in the Vase, he's best that way, and let's hope the pace isn't a crawl."

    Mr. Medici galloped on Wednesday morning in preparation for the Cup. He comes off a close third place finish in the Cup Trial and is winless since the Queen Mother Handicap in May. New jockey Frankie Dettori gets the call for trainer Peter Ho and owner Allen Shi Lop Tak.

    Pressing cantered on the all-weather track in preparation for the Mile. Joanne Banks, assistant to trainer Michael Jarvis said, "He's very happy out here. He hasn't left an oat. Nearly every time I have travelled with him he has won. He has won eight Group races abroad for me and the only time he's been beaten apart was in Italy last time when the ground got the better of him. I hope I'm a good omen for him again." Neil Callan will be in the irons for the Mile.

    Scenic Blast jogged on the turf. Trainer Danny Morton said of his Sprint contender, "He had an easy morning after a good hit-out yesterday. He needed a strong gallop and he came through it well. He's really relaxed now with plenty of company in quarantine. He fretted a bit in the first few days here but in the last week and a half he has really come on. This is a lot stronger field than the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. There are some serious sprinters here but I still think he can win." Jockey Steven Arnold gets the call on Sunday.

    Sight Winner worked over the all-weather Thursday morning in preparation for the Mile. The Champions Mile winner was a close second in the Mile Trial last out. Regular rider Douglas Whyte gets the call for trainer John Size and owner Tam Wing Kun.

    Special Days, a local entrant in the Cup, galloped over the all-weather on both Wednesday and Thursday. He comes to the big race off an 8th place effort in the Mile Trial, and is winless since a handicap race back in March.

    Vision d'Etat went out for some light work in preparation for the Cup. Trainer Eric Libaud said, "He's maturing with every run and is more laid back now that he used to be. He's more of a 'Zen' horse now. On his own, he doesn't show that much but the work has been made earlier with his sparring partner, Le Roumois, who won at Deauville yesterday. Vision d'Etat is mentally very well, which is the most important thing in this kind of challenge." Olivier Peslier will be in the irons on Sunday.

    Viva Pataca will try the Vase his year after finishing fourth in the Cup last year. Trainer John Moore said, "He was a victim of circumstances last time out (Cup Trial). He just got too far out of his ground and the race panned out to be a bit on the tough side for him. He's trained very well since. I believe he's cherry ripe for the weekend. He's eight in January but there's still bit of spunk left in him!" Regular rider Darren Beadman gets the call on Sunday.

    War Artist cantered on the turf course. Trainer James Eustace said of his Sprint entrant, "Everything has gone well with him. He's in good form and he looks up for it. It's a tough race but he'll have his chance." Olivier Peslier will be in the irons.

    Youmzain continued to work well over the turf in preparation for the Vase. Trainer Mick Channon said, "He was a bit sweaty on this first couple of days here but that was more his freshness and just acclimatizing rather than anything to be worried about. He went well this morning and I am really pleased with him. I just hope they don't slow the speed up too much going into the back straight." Regular rider Kieren Fallon gets the call again on Sunday.

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