Vinery sires are spoiled for choice during this Sunday’s International meeting in Hong Kong with More Than Ready, Casino Prince, Mossman and Pluck all represented at Sha Tin.
Eagle Way (More Than Ready) has been entered for the Hong Kong Vase Gr.1 and has opened at $11 in a wide-open field. Widely-travelled Galileo colt Waldgeist is the $5 favourite following unplaced runs behind Enable in the Arc de Triomphe and Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The Australian-bred stayer has pleased trainer John Moore since his last-start victory in the Jockey Club Cup Gr.2. “We’ve been keeping Eagle Way ticking over and everything is in order following his gallop in Thursday morning. He’s a very fit horse and I’m sure he’s going to run a big race, even against horses with better form. Home-town advantage can gain him a length or two.”
Eagle Way (pictured) clocked 1.25.5s over 1200m on the all-weather track coming home the last 400m in 25.3s.
Vinery is double-handed in the Hong Kong Sprint with Ivictory (Mossman) and Lim’s Cruiser (Casino Prince).
Ivictory was voted Hong Kong’s Champion Sprinter last season but has disappointed in his last two starts for trainer John Size. Nevertheless, bookmakers are keeping him safe at $9.50. Size has four of the 12 starters including pre-post favourite Hot King Prawn.
The Mossman sprinter is from the immediate family of Yippyio (Queensland Derby Gr.1) and Iglesia (Silver Slipper Stakes Gr.2) and was purchased by Hong Kong agent David Price for $80,000 at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
Lim’s Cruiser is one of the outsiders at $26, however, Singapore trainer Stephen Gray said they haven’t turned up just to eat the noodles. “He’s settled in well. The trip was only eight hours so we’ve been able to keep to a routine. We’re proud to be here and it’s good for Singapore.
“He’s probably the best sprinter in Singapore since Rocket Man. Some cut in the ground would help him. He’s a sit and run home horse who also loves a good speed.”
More Than Ready has three other winning chances in the support races on Sunday. Happy Warrior (R1) has been knocking on the door with fourths in his first two starts this season for Moore. He will appreciate the step up to 1400m.
Remarkable (R3) hit a purple-patch for Size and Joe Moreira winning three from four starts earlier this year. The Magic Man is back aboard on Sunday.
Fortune Booth (R9) will be having his first start for Moore and will be steaming home under Zac Purton. Jade Theatre (Pluck) is also a chance is the dame race if he reproduces the form that engineered a three-length victory at Happy Valley in October.
In New Zealand, Testa Rossa sprinter Enzo’s Lad continues a campaign for back-to-back victories in the Telegraph Hcp Gr.1 when he runs in the Skelton Brothers Hcp (1200m) at Riccarton on Friday. He won this year’s Telegraph Hcp in January clocking 1.08.30s for 1200m at Trentham.
Meanwile, back on home soil, Casino Prince has Cantbuybetter contesting the Listed Brisbane Hcp at Doomben against More Than Ready Vinery graduate Ready for Danger. In the next race (R8) another More Than Ready Vinery graduate, Cellargirl, goes up against Testa Rossa filly Test The World.
Testa Rossa mare Enticing Star has been spelled following her game second to Voodoo Lad in the Winterbottom Stakes Gr.1 at Ascot last weekend. Owner Bob Peters will let the dust settle before making a decision on interstate assignments next year. “She knew she had a run and will tell me when she’s ready to return to training. It was disappointing not to win but the winner had Group 1 seconds to his credit in the Eastern States. That makes me think she might be up to them over there.”
Peters will have another strong line-up at Ascot this Saturday including More Than Ready filly Sally’s Realm in the Jungle Dawn Classic LR. He sourced her through Belmont Bloodstock agent Damon Gabbedy (FBAA) for $320,000 at the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
Bred and sold by Vinery, she is from Sally’s World (Agnes World), a winning half-sister to VRC Standish Hcp-Gr.3 winner Publishing (Testa Rossa). Second dam Sally Magic was runner-up to Testa Rossa in the 1999 Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
More Than Ready’s 2yo filly Steady Earner is also in the mix to open her black-type account on Saturday in the Buffalo Man Stakes LR at Gulfstream Park.
Steady Earner won a Gulfstream Park juvenile on debut in March and resumed with an encouraging fourth in the Armed Services Stakes LR at the Florida circuit in September. Her dam Arch Support (Arch) was Group 3 placed at Belmont and second-dam Two Ninety Jones (Sir Harry Lewis) won a stakes race at Santa Anita.