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Able Friend obliterates star sprinters in HKG2 Premier Bowl

25/10/2015

“Sprinters beware!” had been John Moore’s clarion leading into this afternoon’s HKG2 Premier Bowl (Handicap) and those words rang loud and clear as Hong Kong’s crack miler Able Friend scorched late and fast to boss Hong Kong’s speed specialists in the 1200m feature.

“He just obliterated our better horses today,” said Moore after the Shamardal gelding had swept from last to first within 300 metres of Sha Tin’s home straight. Not even top-weight of 133lb could anchor the champion’s surge.

As the 14 runners swung around the final turn most eyes in the crowd of 26,609 were fixed on Able Friend’s stablemate Not Listenin’tome whose forward momentum was propelling him past the front-running Amber Sky. Neil Callan’s mount edged ahead at 300m just as Karis Teetan shifted last-placed Able Friend out from behind runners to find daylight on the widest strip.

In a frenetic climax the lead switched again with 200m to race. Not Listenin’tome, locked in close quarters conflict with last season’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint runner-up Peniaphobia, wilted approaching the final furlong as miler-turned sprinter Gold-Fun powered by. The new leader appeared destined for victory under Douglas Whyte but as was the case in his mile days, a familiar foe was on hand to deny him glory. Able Friend surged to success in a final split of 22.15s, stealing the prize in the final strides by half a length.

“I could feel what he had,” said Teetan, in the saddle due to regular partner Moreira’s prior commitment to ride Peniaphobia. “Turning for home I got a little bit held-up by the horse on my outside but I knew what I had underneath me. When I showed him the daylight that last 100m I could feel him just changing gears. He was letting down like a super horse!”

Moreira will be back on board when Able Friend lines up next start in the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile on 21 November.

“Joao is already booked for his next start and then on to the Hong Kong Mile in December,” said Moore, who added in jest, “we just might have to run him in the Hong Kong Sprint first and then back him up in the Mile a race later!”

Able Friend had been fourth in this contest last season off the back of a setback and while Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year had suffered another niggle ahead of this year’s seasonal debut the issue was not as severe.

“I said to all the press that it was a different soundness issue last season to this season and we got it right,” said Moore. “We got his hind quarter problems fixed up pretty quickly this time. I was able to get a lot more work into him this time and I maintained very good weight with him.

“He was very exciting to say the least. Of course there’s better to come from some of those other sprinters in the race but from Able Friend’s point of view it is first-up for the season coming back from Europe. Winning so facile like that just shows the world that he is an out and out champion. He may not be able to travel but boy, here in Hong Kong, let the people come and take us on in the Mile coming up.”

Moore was adamant post-race that there is better to come from his star who is aiming for back-to-back wins in December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.

“I know I can have him very fit on international day because, judging from that, he doesn’t need too much more work for the mile on the 21st November. I did spend a lot of time trying to get him in a position where he did have a chance of winning this race today. All in all it is very exciting,” he said.

Peniaphobia kept on for third-place under Moreira while the winner’s stablemate Charles The Great took fourth. Champion Sprinter and last year’s LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint winner Areovelocity faded to finish last of the 14 runners.

Photo 1, 2, 3<br>
Able Friend (No.1), ridden by Karis Teetan and trained by John Moore, scores in the Premier Bowl (HKG2 �V 1200M). Gold-Fun (No.2) and Peniaphobia (No. 5) finished second and third respectively.
Photo 1:
Photo 1, 2, 3
Able Friend (No.1), ridden by Karis Teetan and trained by John Moore, scores in the Premier Bowl (HKG2 �V 1200M). Gold-Fun (No.2) and Peniaphobia (No. 5) finished second and third respectively.


Photo 2


Photo 3

The connections of Able Friend celebrate their victory in the Premier Bowl.
Photo 4:
The connections of Able Friend celebrate their victory in the Premier Bowl.

Photo 5, 6, 7<br>
Mr Stephen Ip Shu Kwan (front row, first from right), a Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the Premier Bowl Trophy and silver dishes to Dr & Mrs Cornel Li Fook Kwan, owner of Able Friend, trainer John Moore and jockey Karis Teetan.
Photo 5:
Photo 5, 6, 7
Mr Stephen Ip Shu Kwan (front row, first from right), a Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the Premier Bowl Trophy and silver dishes to Dr & Mrs Cornel Li Fook Kwan, owner of Able Friend, trainer John Moore and jockey Karis Teetan.


Photo 6


Photo 7

Able Friend��s connections, Stewards and Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club pose for a group photo at the Premier Bowl trophy presentation ceremony.
Photo 8:
Able Friend��s connections, Stewards and Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club pose for a group photo at the Premier Bowl trophy presentation ceremony.

 

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