Racing’s focus turns to Hong Kong at this time of the year and all eyes will be on Champion Sprinter Ivictory at Sha Tin this Sunday.
With the Hong Kong International Sprint Gr.1 less than a month away, Ivictory will attempt to get back on track in the Jockey Club Sprint Gr.2. Despite a lacklustre loss last time out in the Premier Bowl Gr.2, trainer John Size has elected to forge ahead with a ‘business as usual’ regime for the brilliant son of Vinery sire Mossman.
“There’s nothing wrong with him physically and mentally he’s happy,” Size said this week. “Last time, he had no option but to go forward from the draw and sit outside Hot King Prawn but it didn’t serve him well. The important thing is he came home sound. And there hasn’t been anything different in his training pattern since then.”
Ivictory (pictured between stablemates at trackwork) was sent back to the trials by stewards and was given the all-clear after a pleasing hit-out last Friday when third under a strong hold from Zac Purton. He remains second favourite ($4.20) for the International Sprint on December 9 behind Hot King Prawn ($3.60). Leading the Australian contingent in pre-post markets is Trapeze Artist ($9).
On Saturday, Testa Rossa mare Test the World (NZ) heads north for the Keith Noud Quality LR at Doomben following a first-up fifth at Randwick last month. Her last prep highlight was a second-up placing in the Gold Coast Silk Stocking LR.
The Vinery sire’s Kiwi filly Dreamtesta can jag a Group 1 placing in the NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton. She recovered from severe interference to be placed two starts back and was then far from disgraced when fifth in the Zacinto Stakes LR at her first outing over a mile.
Trainer David Hayes has nominated Testa Rossa stakes winner Ellicazoom for the Kevin Heffernan Stakes Gr.3 at Sandown and believes she’s much better than the last-start failure at Caulfield. “She will be suited coming back to 1300m,” he said. “The distance is ideal and we scratched her from a wet track last week to save her for this race.”
Back at Sha Tin this Sunday, Vinery legend More Than Ready is mob-handed with Happy Warrior (R1), Remarkable (R3), Eagle Way (R7) and Shanghai Master & Patch Baby (R9).
Eagle Way has put the writing on the wall with thirds over 1600m and 1800m since a spell and will appreciate an extra furlong in the Jockey Club Cup Gr.2 over 2000m.
He came from second-last in the Sha Tin Trophy weaving through the field in a performance that surprised trainer John Moore. “I told Matthew (Chadwick) to ride him quietly and for luck and he got to the line really strong I was an enormous run on that firm track.”
Eagle Way is currently priced at $8 in pre-post betting for the Hong Kong Vase Gr.1 on December 9.
More Than Ready’s next new black-type winner could come from an unlikely source when Lockroy runs in the Colonel Reeves Stakes Gr.3 at Ascot on Saturday. He can turn the tables on Dainty Tess after finishing second to the mare in the Prince Of Wales Stakes Gr.3 a fortnight ago.
The 8yo gelding won restricted sprints at Rosehill and Canterbury for Team Hawkes before transferring to Perth. “He has gone to a new level this time in and his work has been first-class,” trainer Chris Gangemi reported on Wednesday. “The drop down in weight to 55kg is another positive.”
Lockroy bungled the start and had difficulty getting clear near the home turn in the Prince Of Wales and meets Dainty Tess on 3.5kg better terms for being beaten a half-length. He holds a Group 1 entry for the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on December 1.
Magic Millions released its catalogue for the Gold Coast yearling sale this week and More Than Ready has 29 entered including 5 from Vinery.
His first 2yo winner of the season arrived last week at Doomben when Gala Miss was successful on debut for local trainer Kelly Schweida. She is eligible for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic as is Chris Waller’s unraced filly Still Single.
Purchased by Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay for $500,000 from the Vinery draft at the Gold Coast this year, she is by More Than Ready from Randwick stakes winner Single Style (Not A Single Doubt). “Still Single won a trial in Sydney and a jump out at Flemington and was going to run on Melbourne Cup day,” Brendan Lindsay revealed. “But she had a minor setback so we took the cautious option not to run.”
Jot that name in the black book – Still Single – the Lindsays reckon she could be special.