Alain Royer-Dupre sweet on Giofra ahead of Longines Hng Kong Cup
Last Updated: 05/12/12 10:25am
Giofra: Hong Kong hopeful
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre has warned punters not to discount his Falmouth Stakes winner Giofra in Sunday's Longines Hong Kong Cup.
Well beaten by her compatriot and weekend opponent Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay at the start of the season, the four-year-old went on to run in the Prix Jean Romanet after her Newmarket Group One success before rounding off the European season in the Prix de l'Opera.
Royer-Dupre believes those last two efforts can be ignored and said: "She might be slightly underrated in the Cup but I warn you, she is an exceptional filly.
"The only blip is her sixth place in the Prix Jean Romanet last summer at Deauville, but the course was not good there and she stumbled going out of the stalls, and then injured herself.
"Last time, she finished third in the Prix de l'Opera on a ground she did not like at all.
"But don't get it wrong, it takes a very good horse to beat the Brits in their backyard like she did in the Falmouth Stakes in July.
"Giofra has travelled very well to Hong Kong and I am expecting a very good performance from her on Sunday.
"The horse I fear the most in the Cup is Saonois. I don't think that his age is a problem.
"When they are that good, age does not matter, and he should like the way races are run here."
Tom Hogan's Gordon Lord Byron has adapted nicely to his surroundings in Sha Tin ahead of his step up in trip for the Hong Kong Mile.
Phenomenally progressive in sprints during the summer, winning a Listed race at York and taking second to Society Rock in the Haydock Sprint Cup, he most recently won the Group One Prix de la Foret at Longchamp.
After watching Gordon Lord Byron have an easy canter on the all-weather track, Hogan's son and assistant Andrew said: "He's in great form, he travelled over well and he's settled in really well so everything has gone great so far.
"The weather's suiting him, it feels like home!"