Group One racing again at Sha Tin on Sunday, this time with the Centenary Sprint Cup over the straight 1,000m and Eagle Regiment trying to make it three wins in a row in a race with big significance for Hong Kong’s sprint runners in Dubai.
Earlier in the season, Eagle Regiment finished third over 1,200m to bring optimism from jockey Olivier Doleuze that the gelding could convert to racing around a turn, but that didn’t happen on international day, with Eagle Regiment once again uncomfortable around the bend and finishing near last.
Sunday he returns to the straight, where he has 7 wins and 3 seconds in 11 attempts. Eagle Regiment was third in the straight Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan last year and, considering the horse’s limitations, trainer Manfred Man hopes to be invited again but is conscious that the horse must perform this weekend.
Amber Sky is developing a similar profile as a serious straight track talent over 1,000m but unable to stretch to 1,200m and a turn, so trainer Ricky Yiu is looking at Dubai as well if he can justify an invitation and he has engaged boom Brasilian Joao Moreira to get the job done.
And John Moore has three runners – Frederick Engels, Charles The Great and Straight Gold – with at least two likely Dubai visitors, though more likely for the 1,200m Golden Shaheen on tapeta.
Zac Purton has been watching his huge championship lead dissolve in recent weeks and Moreira’s four midweek wins cut it back to 17. Even worse, Purton starts a two-meeting careless riding suspension after Sunday, but has the rides to go out with a bang, booked for great chances in Suisse D’Or and Joy Together,
Supreme King and Why Why early and nice mounts later with Aerovelocity and Precision King.
By Nathan Mody