LONGINES Hong Kong International Races – Friday Track Notes

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup
Cantered on the all-weather track and went to the paddock ring for schooling.
Trainer Mitsuru Hashida flew into Hong Kong yesterday and said this morning: “She looks very well. Christophe Lemaire (jockey) also said she felt good after the gallop. When she travelled to Dubai, I thought she was pretty fit and in good form, but looking back, she has improved quite a lot since then. Of course she can handle a firm track like at home, but more rain would be very welcome. Thinking about the small field and the course at Sha Tin, she can race close to the speed but she doesn’t need to – she runs her race.”
Warmed up in the Quarantine Stable and schooled in the starting gate.
Assistant Trainer Kazuo Fujiwara said: “Today we schooled him in the gate and he did it very well. He is in very good order.”
Did some light work on the all-weather track prior to a parade ring school.
Trainer Ed Walker said: “He’s in good shape and he’s a much more relaxed horse than he used to be which will help him get home over the 2000m.
“If he relaxes he is, definitely (a 2000m horse). James (Doyle) got him to switch off really well when second at the trip in Germany. He’s a much more settled horse since we gelded him.”
Warmed up in the Quarantine Stable, cantered a lap and a half around the all-weather track and then schooled in the starting gate.
Assistant Trainer Keiichi Asami: “His condition hasn’t changed. He is doing well.”
Today’s photos
LONGINES Hong Kong Mile
On his toes again and put in several spins before consenting to go for another routine canter on the all-weather track.
Trainer Andrew Balding is being represented here by his wife Anna-Lisa, and she was happy enough with what she saw: “That’s him, he’s like that. Also you’ve got to remember that he trains at home in a very different environment. This is all foreign to him with so many horses around so we’re not concerned that he wants to play up a little when he goes on to the track. That’s just him and, in fact, we’d be more concerned if he didn’t.
“But he’s in good form and I hope he’ll run up to his best. He’s well and just had a good stretch of the legs this morning. This race has been a long term aim this year and he’s in good order.”
Continued the now-familiar routine of leading stablemate Waldgeist (Vase) in a steady canter round two laps of the all-weather. 
Godolphin’s Lisa-Jane Graffard said: “He is very relaxed and happy. Sometimes a trip does a horse good and mentally he seems to be in a good place. He has in the past been a horse that can get easily wound up at the races, though he is always calm at home.
“It depends on how fast they run away from him in the first couple of hundred metres. I think they’ll go pretty hard, which will probably take him a little bit by surprise.
I think the ideal would be for Mickael Barzalona to slot him into a good position not too far off the lead. But it will be up to the trainer and the jockey to decide.”
Warmed up in Quarantine, cantered a lap and a half on the all-weather track, then schooled in the paddock and the starting gate.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi: “He can tell that it is about time for him to race. I’ve got him right where I want him so hopefully he’ll stay this way through race day.”
Went out on the turf for the first time this week and covered a lap of the track with regular rider Alex Badri on board, following this with a school in the paddock.
Her trainer William Haggas was at Sha Tin to give instructions to her rider prior to her exercise on Friday morning, and was happy with what he saw. “To me she looks better in her coat than she did at the Breeders’ Cup,” he said. “She likes to travel and she’s fit and well. She didn’t do too much today, but then I didn’t want her to do more than the minimum.”
“When I had this race under consideration for her I discussed plans with her owners, the Jacksons, who live in Pennsylvania in the USA, and they were keen to give it a go. They are both in their eighties, and got into Hong Kong last night, which is great. I’d love her to stay in training and get them over to Royal Ascot next year. Why not! Her last two runs have been her best.”
Schooled at the paddock and at the starting gate.
Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said: “The turf track at Sha Tin is harder than ever, so hopefully it will rain more.  He is in very in good form, and of course I have all the numerical data on him, and that all says that he is pretty fit. He has a great coat and good muscle definition, and his breathing was good after his gallop. We have not requested to have a stall handler, but Comin’ Through is drawn next to him and will have a stall handler, so this morning, he stayed at the gate to get familiar with the stall handler standing next to him.”
Warmed up in Quarantine, cantered a lap and a half on the all-weather track, then schooled in the paddock.
Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi: “She has really relaxed into her surroundings. She schooled well in both the paddock and starting gate. She has no gate issues but since we will be using a stalls handler for this race we wanted to school her just to be safe.”
Today’s photos
LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint
Warmed up in the paddock ring before going to the parade ring and the starting gate for schooling.
Work rider Yoshinori Unoki said: “His mood is good and he is relaxed. He has eaten up well and moved nicely after his work yesterday.”
Cantered a lap and a half on the all-weather track.
Trainer Stephen Gray said: “He’s put on a little weight and done very well through the week. We’ll take him for a stroll up to the parade ring again this morning just to keep him focused.”
Cantered a circuit on the all-weather under usual work rider Ryan Holley.
Trainer David Elsworth said: “We’re realistic but he’s in good shape. Maybe we’re kidding ourselves that we’ve got a chance but he’s got a respectable draw and we’ve got Gerald Mosse on our side on Sunday.
“Ryan Moore told me not to bother to come. Let’s hope he’s wrong!”
Today’s photos
LONGINES Hong Kong Vase
Walked at the Quarantine Stable.
Travelling head lad Hiroya Kitazoe said: “I am happy with her soundness. I hope she will keep her good condition into Sunday.”
Continued his preparation with some light work on the all-weather track.
Trainer Joseph O’Brien said: “I’ve just arrived but my assistant Mark (Power) has been very pleased with him all week, but I guess we’ve got to improve to win a race like this.”
Warmed up in Quarantine, cantered two laps on the all-weather track, then schooled in the paddock then the gate.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi: “We gave her a nice long canter today. She has been eating up really well lately. I’m very pleased with how she has come together this week.”
Had a routine canter on the all-weather with regular rider Natasha Eaton on board
His trainer Charlie Fellowes said, “He galloped yesterday, so I didn’t want him to do much this morning. He was keen today, and Natasha has done well to keep the lid on him out there.”
Stretched his legs on the all-weather following his turf work yesterday.
Aidan O’Brien’s assistant Pat Keating said, “Nothing really to add, everything is good with him.”
Cantered on the all-weather, and followed this with a school in the paddock under work rider Shaun Graham.
Trainer Sylvester Kirk’s representative Philip Mitchell said “He’s looking great, and everything’s good with the horse. Everything is going nicely towards Sunday, he’s got a good draw, and all he really needs is a bit of racing luck.”
Just walked in the quarantine station.
Assistant to Sir Michael Stoute, Sarah Denniff said: “The horse worked yesterday and it is standard practice for us to walk the horse the next day. No problems to report.”
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