Hong Kong stars prepare for Dubai World Cup night
Some of Hong Kong's biggest equine names are building up towards the Dubai World Cup meeting on March 29.
Last Updated: 16/03/14 1:43pm
Amber Sky impressed onlookers as he streaked down the Sha Tin straight in a 1000m turf trial as part of his preparations for his engagement in the Al Quoz Sprint on 29 March.
Following that display of easy speed, Dubai World Cup hopes Akeed Mofeed and Military Attack hit the turf track in company with Dubai Sheema Classic entrant Dominant and Dubai Duty Free contender Blazing Speed. Dubai Golden Shaheen hope Sterling City won his 1000m turf trial seven days prior.
Jockey Joao Moreira was pleased with Amber Sky's effort. The Ricky Yiu-trained contender leaves for Dubai on 22 March in company with Akeed Mofeed.
"Amber Sky's barrier trial was fantastic," said Moreira after the Exceed And Excel gelding had clocked 58.04s on the bridle. "He bolted in this morning. I just tried to do what the trainer asked me to do and took it easy with him. I just sat on top of him and was as quiet as I could be. He's just a classy horse and he gave me such a great feel this morning.
"He's a pretty quiet horse," continued the Brazilian when asked about the four-year-old's ability to handle the pressured atmosphere at Meydan on World Cup night. "He's done nothing wrong so far and from what I've been told by the trainer, they're doing a great job to make sure he's settled and goes to the races very relaxed. I know that there's a bit of noise when it comes to the fireworks on World Cup night but I'm quite confident that he's going to handle that no problem."
Moreira also piloted last year's Audemars Piguet QEII Cup and SIA Cup hero Military Attack in his trial. The John Moore-trained six-year-old passed the post untroubled in fourth, two and a half lengths behind the Tony Cruz-trained Blazing Speed.
"Military Attack gave me such a great feel this morning and I just did what the trainer asked and took it easy with him," said Moreira of the recent Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup victor. "I didn't really push him out, I just keep it for the races. He's doing well and I'm very happy with him."
Military Attack's stablemate Same World, the only triallist not boarding a plane to Dubai, tracked Blazing Speed with the Richard Gibson-trained Longines Hong Kong Cup hero Akeed Mofeed pulling quite hard in third.
"He came out good and I took him back, and he was following Same World," said Akeed Mofeed's jockey, Douglas Whyte. "He didn't spit the bit, it took me a long time to get him settled - he was a bit fired up. Having said all that, he was full of himself at the line and he hit the line with a lot of purpose. The horse himself feels great, he feels terrific and he's thriving in his work, I just hope that that trial knocks a little bit of wind out of his sails and he goes there (to Dubai) more composed."
Hong Kong Vase winner Dominant had an easy time of it under Neil Callan as he cruised through to finish fifth of the five, three and a half lengths off Blazing Speed, who clocked 1m 40.71s.
Blazing Speed and the Derek Cruz-trained Joy And Fun (Al Quoz Sprint) will depart Hong Kong on 19 March, while the Moore-trained trio will leave on 21 March.