More Than Ready’s Group 1 Queensland Derby winner Eagle Way has bounced back from a debilitating illness to claim more black-type in Hong Kong.
Eagle Way swooped home under Zac Purton to defeat HK Derby aspirant The Golden Age in the January Cup Gr.3 on Wednesday evening.
The John Moore-trained gelding lumped 60.5kg in his first start at Happy Valley after finishing midfield in the Hong Kong Vase Gr.1 last month. “He had pneumonia before the Vase but I thought he ran very well considering how sick he was in the weeks prior to the big race,” Moore said. “He was down in class here and it’s fantastic to see him back in form again.
“It was a gamble bringing him to the smaller track sight unseen. But he likes some cushion in the ground and that was in his favour tonight.”
Moore watched the Happy Valley race from the Gold Coast where his son George bought a first-crop colt by Dissident for $525,000 on the opening day of the Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Dissident, a son of More Than Ready sire Sebring, was 2015 Australian Horse of the Year and his colt heading to Hong Kong is a half-brother to Prompt Response (Dane Ripper Stakes Gr.2) & Prompt Return (Maribyrnong Plate Gr.3).
Eagle Way (5g More Than Ready – Wedgetail Eagle by Lure) will now be set for the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) on February 25. He had opened his black-type account in Hong Kong last season winning the Queen Mother Memorial Cup Gr.3 at Sha Tin.
Moore had purchased Eagle Way for $200,000 on behalf of Siu Pak Kwan at the 2014 Inglis Easter yearling sale and placed him with Bryan Guy to win the 2016 Queensland Derby at his final start in Australia. The January Cup sent his earnings to HK7.86 million (AUD 1.28 million).
More Than Ready had fillies sell to Tony Gollan ($210,000) and Gai Waterhouse ($200,000) at the Magic Millions on Wednesday. The Vinery champion has a total of 42 yearlings catalogued and those Day 1 results will be well and truly eclipsed during the remaining sessions on the Gold Coast.