The Fugue leads strong European raid on Hong Kong prizes
European hopes in the Hong Kong Vase were dealt a double blow on the eve of the race with the news that both Dandino and Galileo Rock will miss the race due to minor injuries. Galileo Rock, placed in three classics this season, has picked up a soft tissue injury to his near fore.
Dandino has incurred a similar injury to his off fore and will now return to Newmarket before being prepared for the Dubai World Cup Carnival. The Melbourne Cup form is strongly represented with the second, third and fourth home all taking part.
Luca Cumani’s Mount Athos could emerge as the biggest threat to The Fugue as he had to overcome a wide draw at Flemington. He is now 13-2 second favourite ahead of the popular veteran Red Cadeaux at 7-1.
No European-trained horse has ever won the Hong Kong Sprint and Nunthorpe Stakes winner Jwala appears to have been given an impossible task from the outside stall. The Irish raiders Sole Power and Slade Power have fared better but will have to be at their best to defeat last year’s winner Lord Kanaloa.
French hopes rest with the brilliant mare Moonlight Cloud in the Hong Kong Mile. Trainer Freddie Head hopes that the six-time Group 1 winner will be kept in training for one more season and a victory here would certainly make that a real possibility.
Head believes that the biggest danger will come from Sky Lantern who will be bidding to give Richard Hannon a final Group 1 success before handing his training licence over to his son in January. The grey won the 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes to establish herself as the best filly of her generation.
Cirrus Des Aigles lines up in the Hong Kong Cup following his excellent run in the Champion Stakes at Ascot behind Farhh. There are concerns that the going may be on the fast side for the seven-year-old and Military Attack is the current market leader at 100-30.
The European challenge is completed by Jeremy Noseda’s Grandeur and Andrew Balding’s Side Glance. Both are reported in good form and are attractively priced at 22-1 and 25-1 respectively.