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Horses head from the track to the paddock at Sha Tin on Friday morning.

2016 Longines Hong Kong International Races
Workout Photos

Date: 12/09/2016

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$25 million (about US$3.2 million) Hong Kong Cup the highlight of the afternoon, contested at 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles). Conditions were excellent during training hours Wednesday, with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60's.

Here are photos for 9 of the international horses out on on the track at Sha Tin on Friday morning. Click the small photo to see a larger version.

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A Shin Hikari (Hong Kong Cup) walked down the homestretch and then schooled in the paddock, a day after working 3/4 in 1:15.60. Trainer Masanori Sakaguchi said: "Very good draw. Actually four to five was my ideal. He is in very good form and I am happy with his gallop this morning. The track looks better than last year. I think his big opponent will be the other Japanese horses. I just wish he could set the pace and lead the field until the finish. Tomorrow he will have a light canter and school in the paddock."
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Queens Ring (Cup) cantered on the turf under exercise rider Yusuke Yoshimoto and then schooled in the paddock. Trainer Keiji Yoshimura said: "She was very flexible and cantered nicely this morning. She stood still in the gate and was relaxed when she walked in the paddock for schooling. She will have to start from the gate in front of the grandstand, with a big crowd, in the Hong Kong Cup, but she will be able to handle it. Everything has gone well so far."
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Staphanos (Cup) schooled in the paddock Friday morning. On Thursday he worked 1/2 a mile in 50.80 seconds.
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Benzini (Hong Kong Vase) worked 3/4 in 1:22.00 under jockey Rosie Myers, who gets the call Sunday. Assistant trainer Harry Bull said: "We just gave him good work on turf today, but he's in great order. We're Kiwis and we're up for the crack we'll just look for a bit of luck in the race. We got a late call for this race but the Hong Kong Jockey Club has looked after us so well, me and my family are very grateful."
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Quechua (Vase) galloped on the turf under jockey Barend Voster. He breezed down the stretch and then schooled in the paddock. Vorster said, as he walked back to the quarantine stables: "That was perfect, just what we wanted him to do. He's where he should be and ready for Sunday."
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Smart Layer (Vase) had a quiet Friday morning of paddock schooling a day after working 5f in 1:13.50. Assistant trainer Kota Kato said: "The outside has no issue as there is some distance to the first corner. We will leave the strategy to jockey Yutaka Take." About her Thursday workout, "I did not push her too much this morning, but she had great speed and responded well. She has eaten up well and keeps good condition."
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Logotype (Hong Kong Mile) schooled in the paddock, a day after working 1/2 mile on dirt in 56.20 seconds. Trainer Tsuyoshi Tanaka said: "The two gate is a good draw for him. He gave a good response today when he galloped and moved very nicely. There are many unknown factors to be considered, but everything has gone well so far, which is a great thing for us."
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Neorealism (Mile) worked 1/2 a mile on turf in 55.10 seconds under jockey Ryan Moore. Trainer Noriyuki Hori said: "We sent him out for a light gallop this morning. This is his first time travelling abroad, so it has taken him a bit longer to adjust to his new surroundings. Since it is just two days before the race it wasn't a hard work, just a light tune up. We wanted Ryan to get a feel for the horse and to let the horse get used to the cheek-pieces that he will use on Sunday."
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Growl (Hong Kong Sprint) breezed one lap of the turf under exercise rider Fionn McSharry. Trainer Richard Fahey said: "We're here more in hope than confidence but Growl certainly looks really well. He's been fitted with cheekpieces on his last two starts which have both been terrific efforts so of course he will wear them again on Sunday."
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The empty grandstand at Sha Tin awaits the huge crowds on Sunday. Last year's Hong Kong Cup card set a new attendance record with 85,552 people.

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