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Cirrus des Aigles on Wednesday morning

2014 Longines Hong Kong International Races
Workout Photos

Date: 12/12/2014

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). It was unusually chilly during training hours on Friday morning, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 50's.

Here are photos for 16 of the international horses out on on the track at Sha Tin on Thursday morning. Click the small photo to see a larger version.

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Archimedes worked at a half gallop on the turf under work rider Kazuo Fujiwara and clocked 28.2s final 400m. Hideaki Fujiwara said of his Cup entrant “I told the rider to drive him strongly and stretch his legs in the final part of the workout because he has had a long vacation since last time. Everything has gone as planned. Fingers crossed and I wish all the luck to my three horses.”
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Buffering galloped 1/2 mile on the turf in preparation for the Sprint. He was timed at 57.4 seconds (splits 31.8, 25.6). Trainer Robert Heathcote said: “Very happy with that. We didn't push him too hard, just wanted to see him get through it and he has. He's sound, that's the important thing.”
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Captain Cat galloped on the turf and breezed 1/4 mile down the lane in 23.5 seconds in preparation for the Mile. Trainer Roger Charlton said: “He’s done well out here, has travelled well and everything has gone as one would hope. It’s going to be very tough obviously against the local horses, but maybe it helps a bit that the favourite has been drawn widest of all on Sunday. Captain Cat is going to have to run a career best, but he will like the track and the fast ground which is what suits him, and he will be best suited by a strong pace in the race, which hopefully he will get.”
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Cirrus des Aigles galloped on Polytrack under exercise rider Zoe Gargoulaud. Trainer Corine Barande-Barbe said of her Cup entrant, “I think he’s always relished softer ground because it’s felt safer to him. On a firmer surface, he wants to be in control and make sure he’s got his footing right, to better feel the leg that hurt him at some stage earlier in his career. It’s not that he has got a special ability on softer ground, only that he looks for the safest option. As you can see by reading his form, he’s done amazing things on good ground. Besides, he has probably never been in a better condition in all the times he has come here and we have got the right draw. We all look forward to Sunday.”
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Criterion worked on the all-weather track and covered 800m in 57.8s (29.3, 28.5) in preparation for the Cup.
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Empoli worked 1/2 mile on the all-weather track under assistant trainer Dennis Schiergen in 54.5s (29.5, 25.0) before going through the starting gate. Peter Schiergen, trainer, said of his Vase entrant “Easy. No problem at all.”
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Farraaj worked 1/4 mile on the turf in 25.0 under jockey Andrea Azteni. Trainer Roger Varian said of the Cup contender “To my eye he looks better here than he did in Australia, he’s more relaxed here but brighter. I hope he can improve on his last run, but then again this will be tougher,” said Varian.  His jockey Atzeni concurred: “He’s very well in good form, I feel sure.”
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Gordon Lord Byron had an easy work on the all-weather under Wayne Lordan & clocked 29.8s final 400m in preparation for the Sprint. Wayne Lordan, jockey, said: “That last run at Ascot was so good as he was hating the deep ground and never really travelling, but he still managed to pick up for me, finish and win. This horse is as good as ever, make no mistake.”
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Hana's Goal cantered on the all-weather in preparation for the Mile. Shizuya Kato, work rider, said: “She was not in good form and was disappointing last time she raced, but she is getting better and better.”
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Red Cadeaux cantered on the Polytrack in preparation for the Vase. Trainer Ed Dunlop said: “Everything looks in good order with the horse. He’s on familiar territory here in Hong Kong, so he just settles in here and gets on with it. Gerald (Mosse) is happy to be drawn off the fence in gate 7, rather than down the inside, and he is the one making the decisions on the day. I hope there is pace in the race, as Red Cadeaux stays this trip and beyond, and so a crawl is not going to suit him, nor probably quite a few of the others as well.”
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Snow Dragon cantered on Polytrack. Assistant trainer Manaby Kumada said of his Sprint hope, “He is very relaxed and is working nicely. He is very fit and well.”
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Snow Sky worked 1/2 a mile on turf under jockey Ryan Moore in 53.3 (splits 29.6, 23.7) in preparation for the Vase.
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Sole Power galloped on Friday morning in preparation for the Sprint.
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Spalato, Singapore's representative in the Sprint, galloped on Friday morning.
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Trade Storm jogged on the Polytrack then galloped on the turf under exercise rider Laura Pike, quickening the final 1/4 in 27.1. Trainer David Simcock said of his Mile contender: “That’s exactly the pace I wanted her to go at, she gets it just right. I don’t like putting a jockey up on the horse before the race, the horse can get lit up and try to go too quick. So far as Sunday is concerned, with this horse you know what you’ll get. Wherever he finishes, if it’s in sixth or if he’s in the shake-up, he’ll have run his race and tried his best, he doesn’t disappoint you.”
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World Ace cantered on the turf under his exercise rider, and then schooled in the starting gate under jockey Zac Purton who gets the call in the Mile. Purton said, “I popped down and sat on him in the gates. Just a little barrier practice as he's been missing the start in his races. We had the handler up with him, this morning, in the stalls and we wanted him to get used to that. He was fine.”

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