Tag Archives: Hong Kong Vase

Hong Kong Vase (Group 1) An Irish View

Eryiza on her way in after winning the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown in August

Hong Kong’s International day takes place on Sunday with four Group 1’s featuring across the Sha Tin card.

There’s a strong Irish presence in the first, The Hong Kong Vase over 12f. Rostropovich, Eryiza and Latrobe will break from the gate with the green white and orange tricolour tucked underneath the saddlecloth.

Jockey bookings suggest that it will be waived only should Aidan O’Brien’s Rostropovich win with Wayne Lordan in the plate as Joseph O’Brien has gone with a new partner for Latrobe, Australian James McDonald.

Dermot Weld has teamed Eryiza with Christophe-Patrice Lemaire who’ll be reunited with the silks of the Aga Khan, a retainer he held in his native France in 2015 before going to ride in Japan full-time.

Rostropovich after winning The Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown in September

Latrobe, just touched off in the Mackinnon Stakes last time out on the final day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival is arguably the form horse of the three.

He won the Irish Derby over 12f a ½L from Rostropvich in the summer, the initial reaction, a media view, was that he was a Leger horse in the making. Joseph slept on it and decided he was worth a crack at the International at York over 10f, he didn’t see him just as a stayer but rather a top class middle distance animal. It didn’t work out on the Knavesmire where he got a little unbalanced and tapped for toe turning round the bend and when his chance was gone he was eased down to finish second last.

He did step up to the 14f trip for the Irish Leger running on well when second to his father’s horse Flag Of Honour and it must have been tempting to try to follow-up Rekindling’s Melbourne Cup success of the previous year. Instead Joseph opted for the Mackinnon Stakes over 10f. He travelled beautifully in behind but had to come wide to make his challenge, he nearly got up but ran out of track on a trip shorter than ideal. This step back up to a mile and a half here will suit. 

Rostropovich was given a stiff task after the Irish Derby when sent to Ascot for the summer showpiece, The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Over the same trip as the Irish Derby he led off a strong pace fading in the last quarter to be beaten 13½L. He was dropped in class over Irish Champions Weekend for a cosy win the G3 Kilternan Stakes from stablemate Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Next up he was thrown back in at the deep end, sent down under to take on Winx in the Cox Plate, drawn widest of all he couldn’t get any cover and ended up in a battle too early for the lead. In the end the 10f trip proved too sharp, Ryan Moore easing him down in the final furlong with an eye on his next target the Melbourne Cup where he ran a cracker to finish fifth over a trip too far for him. 

Dermot Weld is known to hatch the odd plan, two Melbourne Cups, a Belmont Stakes, throw in the Epsom Derby and you get the idea. His patience is well documented and Eziyra is another example of that. Her seasonal debut came in August at Leopardstown where she was given a hands and heels ride to come from the back to win the G3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown over 12f.

Two weeks later she was at York for the Yorkshire Oaks running third to Sea Of Class and Coronet, form which was given a significant boost by Sea Of Class’s brilliant run in the Arc. Like Rostropovich she was dropped in class and given a confidence booster with a win in the G2 Blandford Stakes over Irish Champions Weekend.

She then went to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf where under Frankie Dettori she broke from stall fourteen, the widest gate of all, far from ideal around an American tight turn inner track. Frankie insured she broke well shuffling her across into a good position, in the pack off the rail, the problem was they’d slowed to a crawl and she’d already been given her head and so was running far too free. On the face of it she didn’t do well managing a lowly sixth however the five in front of her were all G1 winners.  

Latrobe is improving and well drawn in six, Rostropovich has preformed well over trips either inadequate or too far on his last two runs however drawn eleven isn’t ideal.

It is Eziyra who stands out the most with a good draw in gate eight. Hopefully the rain stays away, she’s a beautiful mover with a lovely action, a top of the ground filly. If she relaxes in the hands of Christophe-Patrice Lemaire she could make a bold show, the tricolour might be produced, blue white and red.

Recommendation: Eziyra 16/1 ew

The Pattern Racing World Championships 2018

You can follow the story of the G1 Pattern Race year by clicking on the links below. There you’ll find how the 299 G1’s already run this year have panned out in championship format.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

Advertisements

Hong Kong Vase & Mile (G1)

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Aidan sends Highland Reel and Cougar Mountain east to Hong Kong in a bid to cap an outstanding season. His lead in the Pattern Racing Trainers World Championships is unassailable but more of that in a later blog. His work isn’t finished yet for the year.

In the Vase Highland Reel will go off a short price favourite on a return to the course where he announced himself on the world stage last year when he beat Flintshire here. Since he’s won the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes the highlight of the middle distance summer in Europe and then went on to run second to Found in the Arc. He then confirmed his superiority over Flintshire in the Breeders Cup Turf where the opposition jockeys didn’t show him the respect he deserves. He showed them though.

Cougar Mountain in the per parade ring at Leopardstown

Cougar Mountain in the per parade ring at Leopardstown

In the mile Aidan also send an old favourite in Cougar Mountain. He’s always been capable and every now and again he’s shown himself more than that. This course and ground could well bring out the best in him. He won the G2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket over 7f and then ran well at Santa Anita when 8th beaten 4 1/2 L in the Breeders Cup Mile. He’s a big price for this, 64/1 on the Sha Tin tote but he’s well drawn in 7 and he may well belie those odds and with Donnacha aboard he could run into a place and if the opposition show the same respect Highland Reel was shown in Santa Anita it might well be just better than that.

 

Recommendation: Highland Reel 1/1 win

                                        Cougar Mountain PMU E/W

Hong Kong International Races (Group 1)

A cracking card to finish off the season.

The internationals are favoured in the Vase with Flintshire back to defend his crown. He come’s here in the form of his life having run second to Treve in the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud in June, winning the Sword Dancer at Saratoga in August and running second to Golden Horn in the Arc in October.

Cannock Chase, Highland Reel, Daryian, Ming Dynasty and Cirrus Des Aigles also travel from Europe with Preferment making his way from Australia.

Michael Stoute’s Cannock Chase won the Canadian International last time out at Woodbine in the hands of Ryan Moore who this time is claimed by Aidan O’Brien to ride Highland Reel, winner of the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in the summer. Last time out the Irish horse ran third in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley where he had Preferment in behind in ninth. Previously Chris Waller’s charge was a winner of the Turnbull Stakes.

Daryian for Alain Du Royer-Dupre won the Prix Eugene Adam at Massion Lafitte and was second to New Bay in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville in August. The Qatar Racing owned three-year old Ming Dynasty’s will be having only his sixth run of his life (beaten only the once) and comes here on the back of  a win in the Prix Du Conseil at Chantilly on very soft ground in October while the veteran Cirrus Des Aigles will be having his sixty-seventh start and comes to Hong Kong for the sixth time.

Wouldn’t you love to see him win it. His magic day’s may be behind him but let’s not forget he won the Prix Ganay in May beating Al Kazeem and if you go back to June 14 you’ll find he had 2 L to spare over Flintshire in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. Age may have caught up with him but his class means he’s still capable of causing an upset and at the prices he’s the each way value.

In the sprint there’s a similar case to be made for Sole Power, now the elder lemon, who arguably had his best run ever when running second behind Lord Kanaloa here two years ago.

In the Mile Ryan Moore will renew his partnership with the Japanese colt Maurice on whom he won the Mile Championship at Koyto. They’ll have to overcome local favourite Able Friend beaten in his prep here a couple of weeks ago however Esoterique may provide Andre Fabre who turned seventy this week a belated birthday present.

In the Cup Free Eagle returning to 10F is the choice.

It may prove better value to take local prices so put PMU on your docket.

Recommendation:

The Vase : Cirrus Des Aigles e w (PMU)

The Sprint : Sole Power e w (PMU)

The Mile : Esoterique e w (PMU)

The Cup : Free Eagle win (PMU)