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2014 Longines Hong Kong International Races
Workout Photos

Date: 12/10/2014

The Longines Hong Kong International Races will be run this Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse. As usual, horses from Europe, Asia, 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). Conditions were excellent, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 60's.

Here are photos for 21 of the international horses out on on the track at Sha Tin on Thursday morning. Click the small photo to see a larger version.

horse racing
Archimedes worked half a mile on turf in 51.1 seconds (splits of 28.9 and 22.22) and schooled in the paddock in preparation for the Cup. Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said: "I instructed the rider to get a feel of the turf and see how the horse performs on it.  That is the most important thing for today's gallop.  Actually he was selected for the QEII Cup here in April, but at that time he was tired and needed a break so we decided to skip that race, so (the Hong Kong Cup) has been the big target for him for some time. So far everything is under control. There is only one thing left that we have to clear and that is tomorrow's draw.  We need an inside draw, so all we can do now is trust that we will get some luck tomorrow."
horse racing
Captain Cat worked 3/4 on the turf in 1:21.0 (splits 30.4, 27.2, 23.4) in preparation for the Mile.
horse racing
Cirrus des Aigles worked half a mile on the Polytrack in 50.1 seconds (splits 25.5 and 24.6) in preparation for the Cup. Trainer Corine Barande-Barbe said, "He seems to be right mentally. I hope he's also right in his heart. I feel he's getting better and better; Perhaps he reaches his peak when he's 15!"
horse racing
Criterion jogged on the Polytrack in preparation for the Cup. Trainer David Hayes said: "He's a very good mover, pretty classy. I won't work him too hard this week. I'll trust him as you should do with a good horse. He had two solid runs in the space of seven days, in the Cox Plate and the Mackinnon Stakes so he came here fit. I'm quietly confident he'll acquit himself well. He's a Derby winner, going right handed at home, and his recent form's probably better than it looks. He didn't have much luck in the Cox Plate and was only a length and a half off them and the really firm track was against him in the Mackinnon at Flemington."
horse racing
Curren Mirotic worked a quarter mile on Polytrack in 26.4 seconds in preparation for the Vase. Assistant trainer Yosuke Takasaka said, "This is the first time he has travelled and he was a bit tired after he arrived, but now he has recovered and his condition is improving. He is behaving like he does at home at the stable here, which means he's in good form. He will gallop on turf tomorrow." 
horse racing
Empoli cantered on the Polytrack on Wednesday morning. He comes to the Vase off a win in the Preis von Europa (G1) in Germany.
horse racing
Fiero galloped on Polytrack in preparation for the Mile. Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said, "Among the three horses from our stable, he is the one to keep an eye on his condition, because there was only a week after his last race before his departure. He is a very talented horse by Deep Impact. Even after the tough race in the Mile Championship (G1) last time, I have not been worried about his condition. This is the biggest target for him this year."
horse racing
Flintshure worked 3/4 on the turf in 1:26.3 quickening through the lane (splits 30.4, 33.6, 22.3) under exercise rider Annelie Ackerman, and then schooled in the paddock. Assistant trainer Richard Lambert said of his Vase entrant, "He was beautiful this morning and we are all very pleased. The ground here is fast and he just loves it. The inner side of the course is a little bit better as it is all new. This is the kind of ground you'd want for him; he just thrives on it. We put him on the turf so that he'd get a feel for the course. When he got into the straight, he just went on his own, according to Annelie, who is all smiles. We then took him to the parade ring, as usual when we send horses over here. We like them to get accustomed to the place, not to be surprised on the big day, even though I suspect there will be many more people to watch on Sunday. There won't be much more to do now. He's done what he was supposed to do."
horse racing
Gordon Lord Byron galloped on Polytrack in preparation for the Sprint. Assistant trainer Eddie Power said, "He seems happy. He's had a similar enough prep to last year and he's held his condition well since arriving. He'll do a piece of work on the grass on Thursday and possibly go again on Saturday. All good. No complaints with him. His trainer (Tom Hogan) will be here on Thursday morning and I expect his jockey (Wayne Lordan) will have a sit on him on Saturday. He's travelled well, and everything is in good order with the horse. He's run well here twice in the Mile, but I think the Sprint is his race."
horse racing
Grand Prix Boss galloped on the Polytrack in preparation for the Mile. Assistant trainer Yasuhiro Shibuta said: "He is in good condition and that gives me a lot of confidence.  He has got through everything in good order. He was almost 100% fit last week, and we just need to maintain his condition until Sunday.  Tomorrow he will gallop on the turf and we will try to keep him nice and relaxed, we don't want him feeling any tension."
horse racing
Hana's Goal worked 1/2 a mile in 50.6 (splits 28.7, 21.9) in preparation for the Mile. Exercise rider Shizyua Kato said, "Her condition is really improving. Her mood is great. She will just have easy work tomorrow."
horse racing
Little Gerda worked 1/2 mile on turf in 52.6 (splits 29.6, 23.0) under jockey Mirco Demuro in preparation for the Sprint. Demuro said, "I'm happy with her gallop today.  She likes turf.  She is very quiet and relaxed.  The outside track on the turf was slightly rough so I tried to guide her a little bit to the inner course. I like her so much."
horse racing
Parish Hall worked 3/4 on turf in 1:31.9 (splits 33.4, 31.4, 27.1) for trainer Jim Bolger in preparation for the Vase. Jockey Kevin Manning gets the call on Sunday.
horse racing
Red Cadeaux worked 3/4 on turf in 1:31.9 (splits 32.6, 32.8, 25.9) in preparation for the Vase. Assistant trainer Robin Trevor-Jones said, "He's doing great, same as ever. He knows this place well and he's happy. He won't do much more now before Sunday."
horse racing
Snow Dragon worked 3/4 on turf in 1:31.8 (splits 34.3, 32.2, 25.3) under jockey Takuyo Ono in preparation for the sprint. Ono said, "He was very relaxed and moved easily, and he answered me well in the gallop.  Everything has gone well and smooth so far. I think the surface is fine for him."
horse racing
Snow Sky galloped on the Polytrack in preparation for the Vase. Groom Sarah Denniff said, "We are familiarising him with Sha Tin and he just lobbed over 4f today. Generally we are very happy with him. His appetite has been good and he only lost 6 lb coming to Hong Kong - he could lose that going racing back home! Being here is a good learning curve for him as he is still a bit of a baby."
horse racing
Sole Power cantered on the Polytrack in preparation for the Sprint. Trainer Eddie Lynam said, "Sole Power lost a little more weight on the flight over than we would have liked but I'm happy enough with him. I'd say we're hopeful about Sunday's race. The draw will be important and he's a come from behind sprinter so we'd like to see a good even pace. He's had his best ever year. He's rarely let us down, he had a great summer in England and we're so proud of the horse especially after he was named Irish Horse of the Year. The race looks to be more open this year without Lord Kanaloa and Sole Power will be there doing his best. I have watched the trial race and it's hard to work that race out, there were a number of hard luck stories, I think, and I don't rule out the other Irish horse (Gordon Lord Byron) either. There are a lot of horses with chances"
horse racing
Spalato worked 1/2 mile on Polytrack in 53.5 (splits 30.7, 22.8) in preparation for the Sprint. Assistant trainer Dave Shepherd said, "He had a few problems after his first run here but he seems to be over them now. Racing the opposite direction for the first time, we think he just tweaked a few muscles behind. It's handy we've had the extra time here for him to get over those few issues."
horse racing
Straight Girl breezed on the turf getting the final quarter in 27.5. Hideaki Fujiwara, the trainer, said of the Sprint entrant "This is her first experience overseas, so we were more sensitive than she was. She did not lose weight a lot from the flight and travelled better than expected. She has settled physically. More than anything, our staff who have some experience of Hong Kong have taken care of her really well. She's had a break since the Sprinters Stakes (G1) but she is a mare and always runs to the best form, so the two-month layoff is not her issue."
horse racing
Trade Storm cantered on the Polytrack and schooled in the paddock under exercise rider Laura Pike. Assistant trainer Ian Russell said, "We're just keeping him ticking over, but Laura's happy with him  and says he's very well. He's done plenty of travelling this year, he's very professional, and he's tough, a seasoned campaigner now. He's a very laid back horse and touch wood we've had no problems with him here. David (Simcock) arrives tomorrow and the horse is likely to work on the turf tomorrow and Friday. He's been a great asset to our yard and hopefully he can run well again as he did in Canada and at the Breeders Cup."
horse racing
World Ace worked 3/4 on turf in 1:23.8 (splits 30.9, 29.9, 23.0). Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said of his Mile entrant, "I instructed the rider to drive him strongly in the stretch.  He galloped very well and I am very satisfied.  His breathing was good and he is in good condition ahead of Sunday's race – we just need to maintain that.  In his last race (Mile Championship), the sluggish start was everything.  He never settled during the race after that and didn't have a hard race, so he recovered quickly. I think if he had started better that day he would have won the race."

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