April 24, 2024

Hong Kong runners work Wednesday

Last updated: 12/8/04 8:09 PM

Multiple stakes winner BATTLE WON (Honour and Glory) galloped an easy
half-mile in preparation for Sunday’s Hong Kong Sprint (HK-G1) beneath jockey
Kieren Fallon, who has been engaged to ride the colt for trainer Chuck Simon.

“He felt great,” Fallon said. “I never moved on him. I just let him breeze
along and he really stretched out well.”

The four-year-old colt did no more than two-minute lick, but was given an
official clocking of :59.5 for the half-mile. His final 400 meters were covered
in :26.4.

VAR (Forest Wildcat), who won the October 3 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp
(Fr-G1) in his most recent effort, has settled in nicely before his run in the
Sprint, trainer Clive Brittain reported.

“I am thrilled with Var,” Brittain said. “He is very settled, which is a
relief, as I was worried before we came how he would cope coming back to
training. His win in the Abbaye was very impressive. The time he clocked was :55
from a bad draw.”

Frankie Dettori rides Var on Sunday.

Multiple Group 1 hero YELL (Anabaa) caught the eye in the final stages of his
800-meter move Wednesday morning over the turf, zipping the final two furlongs
in a snappy :21.3.

“He just needed that to clean him up,” trainer John Hawkes said. “He was
lovely and balanced in his work, head down, fluent and focused. He looks
terrific and everything seems to be in order.”

Prior to his success in the International Jockeys’ Championship, Christophe
Soumillon was on hand to put Prix de Diane Hermes (Fr-G1) winner LATICE
(Inchinor [GB]) through her paces as she worked over the Sha Tin turf course in
company with fellow Hong Kong Cup (HK-G1) hopeful TOUCH OF LAND (Fr) (Lando
[Ger]) and defending Hong Kong Vase (HK-G1) champion VALLEE ENCHANTEE (Peintre
Celebre) on Wednesday. Since running her record to four-for-four in the French
Oaks, Latice was eighth, beaten less than two lengths, in the September 12 Prix
Vermeille (Fr-G1) and was most recently a respectable seventh in the Prix de
l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) on October 3.

“She feels good,” Soumillon said. “She was unlucky in the Arc, had no run and
should have been a lot closer. I think she will be on Sunday.”

FIELDS OF OMAGH (Rubiton) upset the Cox Plate (Aus-G1) at odds of 17-1 in
2003, but went off form thereafter, turning in a last-of-18 finish in a boggy
renewal of the Japan Cup (Jpn-G1) prior to an 11th-place effort in the
2400-meter Hong Kong Vase. But judging by the way the seven-year-old has trained
in his lead-up to this year’s Hong Kong Cup, the results could be much different
this time around. Runner-up while defending his title in the Cox Plate on
October 23, the gelding had an easy Wednesday morning after breezing 800 meters
over the all-weather surface Tuesday in :48.1, with a final quarter mile in

“I couldn’t believe he went as quick as the official times showed,” trainer
Tony McEvoy said. “If he runs up to that work on Sunday, he’s going to be right
in the thick of it.”

Danny Nikolic, who rode Fields of Omagh in this year’s Cox Plate, has a
return call.

ALEXANDER GOLDRUN (Gold Away [Ire]), unraced since her one-length victory in
the Prix de l’Opera (Fr-G1) on the Arc undercard, received her final preparation
for Sunday when clocking :22.1 for her final
400 meters. Trainer Jim Bolger was every pleased.

“That went perfectly, just what I wanted,” he explained. “She’s in good form
and it’s possible she’s improved since her last run.”

The three fastest works among Hong Kong Mile (HK-G1) hopefuls were
posted by Hong Kong-based horses, who have won the last two runnings of the

GRAND ZULU (Grand Lodge), who defeated subsequent Melbourne Cup (Aus-G1)
winner Makybe Diva (Desert King) in the Tancred S. (Aus-G1) last April, breezed
his final two furlongs over the all-weather in :24.5 for trainer John Size, who
sent out Electronic Unicorn (Housebuster) to consecutive runner-up finishes in
the Mile in 2001 and 2002. Also drilling over the artificial surface were recent
import ORIENTAL MAGIC (Desert Prince [Ire]), formerly known as Kalaman, who went
his final 400 meters in :22.4; and International Mile Trial (HK-G2) hero THE
DUKE (Danehill), who worked in :23.2.

Third as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite in last year’s Hong Kong Vase, Saeed
Manana’s WARRSAN (Caerleon) enters Sunday’s event on the heels of a next-to-last
place finish in the November 28 Japan Cup (Jpn-G1), but “has done exceptionally
well” since arriving in Hong Kong, according to Brittain.

“His weight is pretty good and he has eaten well,” said the 70-year-old
conditioner, who won the Vase when it was a Group 2 in 1996 and 1997 with
Warrsan’s half-brother Luso (GB).

As for the disappointing run in Tokyo, Brittain said, “I am putting it down
to a very unfavorable wide draw. He was never able to settle into a nice
position or get into a rhythm in the race.”

Warrsan will be ridden on Sunday by Seb Sanders.