March 4, 2024

Sprint hopefuls out in force Friday

Last updated: 12/10/04 6:11 PM


Sprint hopefuls out in force Friday

PIVOTAL POINT (Pivotal) clocked the fastest time of Friday morning
under jockey Seb Sanders in advance of Sunday’s Hong Kong Sprint (HK-G1). The
five-year-old bay finished his last quarter in :21.5.

“He was never out of second gear,” Sanders said. “He felt really good.”

“Seb was very pleased and so am I,” trainer Peter Makin added. “The horse is
very well and I am pleased to be drawn (post) 1 on Sunday, especially alongside CALSTONE LIGHT O (Warning [GB]). I understand that the Japanese plan
is to jump quickly and run smoothly in the lead. This will suit us as Pivotal
Point will like to lie in his slipstream and get a good fast tow from (Calstone
Light O).”

ROYAL MILLENNIUM (Royal Academy) had a blow on the grass with his regular
exercise rider, Steve Sweet. The multiple Group 3-winning bay strode out
perfectly happily.

“He seems perfectly happy and his trainer (Mick Channon) was quite satisfied
with his middle draw (8),” traveling head lad Andy Larkin said. “We can choose
which side the speediest will be.”

Some track work watchers were surprised at the style of work produced by THE
TATLING (Perugino). Veteran trainer Milton Bradley, who is a master trainer of
sprinters in the United Kingdom, has been very individual in the preparation of
his charge this week. Friday was the first morning The Tatling had been out on
the track away from the trotting ring.

“I’ve learned to do my own thing,” Bradley said. “I got drawn into what
everyone else was doing with their horses last year and I behaved like a farmer
— you know, when one starts cutting his hay the others follow suit, even it
looks like it’s going to rain!”

Bradley feels he learned a lot from his experience here in Hong Kong last
year.

“My horse arrived in Hong Kong fit, he has just needed to be kept fresh this
week and today’s blow out was perfect, he flew, I was really pleased with what I
saw.”

Bradley’s theory is very much that the race is when the horses should
impress, not in their work.

“We’re running in the afternoon for money and in the morning for nothing! My
father always said ‘short and sharp, long and slow.’ With a sprinter you need to
get the horse to jump and run to make him sharp. I don’t want them to jump off,
hack and slowly quicken, that’s not what he’s got to do on Sunday. I want him to
jump out and be traveling.

“Today we took him to the Sprint start, jumped off and flew for four hundred
meters,” Bradley added. “It took a while to pull up but he finished thinking ‘Oooh,
I could do more.'”

Liz Batchelor rode The Tatling this morning as she did in the build up to
Royal Ascot and reported him spot on and as good as he was before his victory in
the King’s Stand S. (Eng-G2), when he beat fellow Hong Kong Sprint runner, CAPE
OF GOOD HOPE (Inchinor [GB]).

Japanese runner SUNNINGDALE (Warning [GB]), third in the JBC Sprint (Jpn-G1)
in his last start, was just walking in the trotting ring with his horse rug and
transport bandages on, and went to the new paddock to familiarize it.

“He is ready for Sunday. He has eaten up very well and is in good form. I am
very pleased. His draw in 4 is a good position. He will stalk the leaders”

Japan’s other Hong Kong Sprint raider, Calstone Light O, cantered and was in
good form, according to trainer Hiroyuki Oneda.

“We have done all we can do for Sunday,” Oneda said. “I hope he can jump up
from the start sharply and lead the race on the rail.”