Racing News  

Moore eyes Premier glory with Helene duo


John Moore has had another fruitful season, winning three Group 1 (international and local) contests thanks to Werther and Designs On Rome. But the man well known as the ‘Cup Race Master’ is still hungry for more big race success and makes no secret that he is looking forward to seeing his ‘Helene’ duo – Helene Paragon and Helene Happy Star – step out in the HKG3 Premier Plate (1800m) on Sunday, 19 June at Sha Tin.

The Premier Plate is one of two Group races on Sunday’s exciting 11-race card – the last two of the 2015/2016 season. Last year Harbour Master gave Moore his second success in the last five editions and should Helene Paragon or Helene Happy Star win on Sunday, Moore would become the first trainer to land back-to-back wins in the local Group Three event.

Helene Paragon has won twice in Class 2 this term and ran a creditable fifth in the HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) back in March. Though the Polan colt ran disappointingly when 10th behind stablemate Rapper Dragon in the HKG3 Lion Rock Trophy (1600m) last time, Moore reckons the horse can be forgiven his defeat in that race.

“The pace didn’t suit last time, and he got trapped very wide without cover, so he tended to overrun and for that reason he didn’t kick in the straight,” Moore said. “It was quiet disappointing but with Joao (Moreira) back in the saddle he can perform his best. Joao has won on him twice this season and I believe the horse is still very well-rated, and as such I feel he has big chance.

“I am really looking forward to Helene Paragon running a big race this Sunday,” he continued, “and if everything goes well then he will have one more race this term, the Sha Tin Mile Trophy at the Season Finale meeting next month.”

Moore also had positive words for his talented stayer, Helene Happy Star, dropping down in trip after running a close fifth in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup.

“Don’t forget Helene Happy Star,” he said. “Though he’s stepping back in trip from 2400m to 1800m, he’s been a very fit horse. If he can sit handily in the box seat from this draw (gate 4), he also has a chance. Of course he has to carry a big weight this time but I don’t see it as a strong race, and therefore I am upbeat of the chance of both my horses.”

Moore is also well represented in the day’s other feature, the HKG3 Premier Cup (1400m). The trainer has a remarkable record in this event, winning five times since the race was first held in 2005. Last year he claimed the winner’s prize with Secret Sham and this year he relies on Dashing Fellow, Rewarding Hero and Frederick Engels, with the first-named his prime pick.

Moore said: “Dashing Fellow was not beaten far last time and he would be better for that run. Since then I’ve freshened him up, and with the benefit of a light weight (113lbs) this time, he looks the one to beat.” Dashing Fellow has won six races in Hong Kong so far in his career, all over 1400m.

“Rewarding Hero is still in good form but as a seven-year-old horse his athletic ability will not be as good as before. But with a good draw (gate 3) this time he can finish close and can be a place chance,” Moore added.

The day’s exciting 11-race card kicks off at 12.30pm with the Ruby Handicap (Class 4 1000m). The Premier Plate is race three, off-time 1.30pm, while the Premier Cup is race eight on the card, off-time 4.05pm.


Helene Paragon lands a Class Two 1400m handicap in style earlier this season with Joao Moreira on board.
Photo 1:
Helene Paragon lands a Class Two 1400m handicap in style earlier this season with Joao Moreira on board.



Copyright © 2000-2024 The Hong Kong Jockey Club. All rights reserved.