Next Sunday Sha Tin Racecourse will host the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races. Among the many international entries are a number from Ireland, with both champion flat trainer Aidan O’Brien and champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins represented.
Horses have been arriving in Hong Kong over the past few days and Monday saw many of them doing some track work.
The well-travelled and soon to retire Highland Reel, who is making his third appearance in the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase, led his Ballydoyle companions on to the all-weather track and the experienced colt lead a jog and canter. The 2015 Vase winner and last year’s runner-up was on his toes and a little warm as he reacquainted himself with fairly familiar surroundings. Pat Keating stated that all the Ballydoyle horses travelled well to Hong Kong and admitted that they all looked well.
Willie Mullins’ Max Dynamite, who is also entered in the Vase, cantered twice around the all-weather track on Monday, with Mullins’ assistant, David Casey, in the saddle. The former National Hunt jockey admitted that his mount was in great order and feeling good in himself. The Rich Ricci-owned runner travelled well from Melbourne where he ran third in the Emirates Melbourne Cup in November.
On Sunday Max Dynamite will be ridden for the first time by Glyn Schofield who believes he is in with a good chance of winning the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase based on his Melbourne Cup effort. The horse’s rider in Melbourne last month, Zac Purton, opted to ride Gold Mount instead next weekend.
Intended LONGINES Hong Kong Cup runners Deauville and War Decree were both out on the racecourse as part of Aidan O’Brien contingent. The former jogged and cantered a circuit of the all-weather track with stable companions.
Lancaster Bomber and Roly Poly, both entered in the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, jogged and cantered on the all-weather track. Lancaster Bomber, the Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up had Séamie Heffernan on board today and he looked relaxed as he saw the Sha Tin racetrack for the first time.