Hogan hopeful for Lord Byron
Last Updated: 03/05/14 12:11pm
Trainer Tom Hogan is keeping his fingers crossed Gordon Lord Byron can overcome a wide draw in the Champions Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The County Tipperary-based trainer has not been afraid to travel the globe with his stable star and his boldness was rewarded when Gordon Lord Byron scooped over £325,000 for winning the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill in Australia at the end of March, his third Group One triumph.
He was far from disgraced in the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick last month, finishing sixth over six furlongs, and he steps back up in distance in Hong Kong this weekend.
With leading local jockey Zac Purton booked for the ride, Hogan is confident of a bold show, with his stalls position in gate 13 of 14, his only concern.
Hogan said: "He seems in great form and hasn't lost an ounce of weight since he started on his travels.
"He's fit to run for his life and his jockey is riding out of his skin, but the draw has not been very favourable. Having said that, the favourite (Able Friend) is even wider than us, so we'll see how it plays out.
"The ground is going to be on the fast side of good, which is fine, and we're hoping for the best.
"We've already forgotten about what happened in Australia! We've come here to win."
While Hogan has not made any definite plans for his pride and joy beyond this weekend, it appears likely he will be heading home, with a trip to Royal Ascot on the agenda.
"He's entered in a race in Singapore and we'll discuss it after he runs on Sunday, but I'm 90 per cent sure he'll go back to Ireland," said the trainer.
"We've not had much luck at Royal Ascot the last couple of years with the ground and the draw and we'd be keen to have another crack at the (Diamond) Jubilee.
"Hopefully he might get a nice draw this year and we'll get good fast ground."