BLAZING SPEED – HK
Cantered on the small, inner all-weather track.
Trainer Tony Cruz said: “I’m very happy with his lead-up into this race, he was a good fifth at the mile and he needs the 2000m badly. I believe he’s in top condition for the race. He’s an honest horse, he always seems to run his race.”
DICTON – FR
There was a slight increase in the intensity this morning as the Gianluca Bietolini-trained four-year-old built up to a three-quarter pace gallop on the all-weather track
Gianluca Bietolini arrives in Hong Kong tomorrow and his assistant Laura Dell'Elce, said: “He's a happy horse. We're pleased with how he's settled in here.”
NEOREALISM – JPN
The Noriyuki Hori-trained six-year-old warmed-up in the trotting ring before an easy canter on the all-weather track under the regular work rider Shinjiro Kaneko.
Kaneko said: “After the experience of travelling to Hong Kong a few months ago, he has travelled over well this time. He is very relaxed but very fresh and moved nicely. He was a bit keen last time he was here, but he seems to be familiar with the place now. He is in good form. We will make a final decision about when he will gallop on turf depending on his condition and the surface of the track.”
Jockey Joao Moreira said: “He did not perform well last December, but he has beaten really good horses back in Japan. If he brings that kind of top form here, he will definitely be able to be competitive. I know it will be a tough race with some good horses in the field, but if he brings his best, he has a really good chance. Honestly I have not spoken to the stable staff yet, but I will ask them how he has settled in and how he has been doing at the stable. So far no one has said any bad news. The main danger, I think, will be Werther.”
THE UNITED STATES – AUS
Remained in the quarantine stable for the second straight day as planned.
Part-owner Nick Williams said: “I am still in Melbourne but our staff tell me he has settled in well. He’s travelled well, he has put back on some of the weight that he lost on the flight. Apparently he’s bright and well, he’s been eating and drinking as per normal so he’s travelled as well as can be hoped for. Our trainer Robert Hickmott will be up there soon and he will decide what he does and when he has a gallop on the turf with Brett (Prebble) aboard, maybe Friday. The horse is very fit, he had his final major gallop for the race on Saturday and he’ll just stretch his legs between now and the race. Our horses do a lot of walking, they tend to walk for three hours a day, so that’s the majority of what he will do between now and the race.”
PAKISTAN STAR – HK
Cantered on small, inner all-weather track.
Trainer Tony Cruz said: “He’s fine. His trackwork has been good and the lead-up to this race has gone well, I’m very happy with him. I just hope he gets a better draw than last time; at least it’s a small field this time, which should help him. If he can get an inside draw and be travelling around midfield I’ll be happy. Last time he had to give Rapper Dragon too much of a start, he made up a lot of lengths that day.”