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Hong Kong’s Dubai raiders prep

An absolutely regal contingent is expected to head from Hong Kong to Dubai, infiltrating the Dubai World Cup meeting with all sorts of Asian racing class. Five of the eight runners expected to show had barrier trials at Sha Tin on Tuesday, and the video reveals some may have gone better than others. Watch the barrier trials from the HKJC (Trial #1 has Amber Sky, Trial #2 has Dominant, Akeed Mofeed, Military Attack, Blazing Speed)

11 March 2014 – EDITED PRESS RELEASE – Hong Kong Jockey Club

After Rich Tapestry’s victory at Meydan last Saturday, thoughts are turning increasingly towards the Dubai World Cup meeting and five of Hong Kong’s intended eight raiders strode out in barrier trials at ShaTin this morning (Tuesday, 11 March).  Amber Sky impressed onlookers as he streaked down the Sha Tin straight in a 1000m turf trial as part of his preparations for his engagement in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m – turf) on 29 March.

Following that display of easy speed, G1 Dubai World Cup (2000m –Tapeta) hopes Akeed Mofeed and Military Attack hit the turf track in company with G1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2410m – turf) entrant Dominant and Dubai Duty Free (1800m – turf) contender Blazing Speed. Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m – Tapeta) hope Sterling City won his 1000m turf trial seven days prior.

Jockey Joao Moreira was pleased with Amber Sky’s effort. The Ricky Yiu-trained contender leaves for Dubai on 22 March in company with Akeed Mofeed.

“Amber Sky’s barrier trial was fantastic,” said Moreira after the Exceed And Excel gelding had clocked 58.04s on the bridle. “He bolted in this morning. I just tried to do what the trainer asked me to do and took it easy with him. I just sat on top of him and was as quiet as I could be. He’s just a classy horse and he gave me such a great feel this morning.

“He’s a pretty quiet horse,” continued the Brazilian when asked about the four-year-old’s ability to handle the pressured atmosphere at Meydan on World Cup night. “He’s done nothing wrong so far and from what I’ve been told by the trainer, they’re doing a great job to make sure he’s settled and goes to the races very relaxed. I know that there’s a bit of noise when it comes to the fireworks on World Cup night but I’m quite confident that he’s going to handle that no problem.”

Moreira also piloted last year’s G1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup and G1 SIA Cup hero Military Attack in his trial. The John Moore-trained six-year-old passed the post untroubled in fourth, two and a half lengths behind the Tony Cruz-trained Blazing Speed.

“Military Attack gave me such a great feel this morning and I just did what the trainer asked and took it easy with him,” said Moreira of the recent HKG1 Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup victor. “I didn’t really push him out, I just keep it for the races. He’s doing well and I’m very happy with him.”

Military Attack’s stablemate Same World, the only triallist not boarding a plane to Dubai, tracked Blazing Speed with the Richard Gibson-trained G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup hero Akeed Mofeed pulling quite hard in third.

“He came out good and I took him back, and he was following Same World,” said Akeed Mofeed’s jockey, Douglas Whyte. “He didn’t spit the bit, it took me a long time to get him settled – he was a bit fired up. Having said all that, he was full of himself at the line and he hit the line with a lot of purpose. The horse himself feels great, he feels terrific and he’s thriving in his work, I just hope that that trial knocks a little bit of wind out of his sails and he goes there (to Dubai) more composed.”

G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) winner Dominant had an easy time of it under Neil Callan as he cruised through to finish fifth of the five, three and a half lengths off Blazing Speed, who clocked 1m 40.71s.

Blazing Speed and the Derek Cruz-trained Joy And Fun (Al Quoz Sprint) will depart Hong Kong on 19 March, while the Moore-trained trio will leave on 21 March.

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