A busy work morning saw the Michael Chang-trained Dibayani in early action on the turf track as he galloped 800m down the backstretch. John Moore’s four big-race contenders (Designs On Rome, Military Attack, Dominant and Same World) had been pencilled in for turf gallops but switched to the all-weather track.
With the locals back in their stables, it was the turn of the international contingent to stride out on the turf with South Africa’s Vercingetorix under Anthony Delpech and Sanshaawes in the hands of Olivier Doleuze going through their paces followed in succession by the Japanese raiders Uncoiled and the Yuichi Fukunaga-partnered Epiphaneia.
Vercingetorix, Sanshaawes and Epiphaneia each took a walk around the covered Sha Tin parade ring in preparation for Sunday.
Dibayani – HK
Went 800m on turf in company with Class 3 racer Geronimo Meadow and clocked 55.9s (29.6, 26.3)
Trainer Michael Chang said of the HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby third: "He worked half a mile from the 1800m start on the turf. I was going to put him on the all-weather but today, with the rain we’ve had, I decided to send him on the grass. I’m very happy with what he did this morning; he’s in good form; he’s 100 percent. This is his first time against older horses in an international Group 1, so we will just have to wait and see what he can do. They are all good, it’s a very strong race. He’s consistent, he has the right attitude, he’s in good form – I’m sure he will run a good race. If all goes well, if he pulls up okay after the race, we will go for the Champions & Chater Cup (HKG1 2400m) here next month.”
Designs On Rome – HK
Worked 1200m on the all-weather track in company with Class 4 galloper Thanksgiving and closed off to clock a time of 1m 22.4s (29.2, 27.7, 25.5)
Trainer John Moore said of the HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby winner: "Designs On Rome is always laid back and he went well enough this morning – I made things easy for him. He’s an off and on horse, the way he runs. I’m really pleased with him going into the race and his riding boy, who rides him every morning, is happy enough with him today, he has a big smile on his face. The horse is right on target”.
Dominant – HK
Worked 1200m on the all-weather track with Same World in a time of 1m 23s (31.3, 28.1, 23.6)
Trainer John Moore said of the G1 Hong Kong Vase hero: "He galloped with Same World and the jockey said he was good as gold. We know it’s a little on the short side – this is one of his targets but his aim is the Champions & Chater Cup over the 2400m. There will hopefully be a good pace on.”
Epiphaneia – JPN
Galloped 800m on turf under Yuichi Fukunaga in 53.4s (30.4, 23.0)
Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga said of the G1 Japanese St Leger victor: "Epiphaneia is in a really good mood and is very fit. Everything seems to be going as planned. In the gallop on turf this morning he picked up and moved into a high gear by himself coming into the final stretch. He is very fresh both mentally and physically. I think it is all down to the stable staff who are doing very good work with him. I am sure he is ready for Sunday – he is in good condition.”
Military Attack – HK
Worked 1200m on all-weather under Joao Moreira with Class 2 stayer Sunny Ying and clocked 1m 24.9s (30.1, 28.7, 26.1)
Trainer John Moore said of last year’s winner: "Joao said to me that he felt the horse is in better form than he was leading into his win in the Hong Kong Gold Cup. That was great to hear. That means it looks as though he has travelled back from Dubai particularly well, and that’s what he’s been showing us.”
Packing Whiz – HK
Cantered two laps of the small track under his riding boy.
Same World – HK
Worked 1200m on the all-weather track with Dominant in a time of 1m 23s (31.3, 28.1, 23.6)
Trainer John Moore said: "He’s just a solid Group 3 horse but he’s going into the race full of himself.”
Sanshaawes – RSA
Galloped 800m on turf under Olivier Doleuze in 50.3s (28.0, 22.3)
Uncoiled – JPN
Galloped on turf 1200m in 1m 20s (29.1, 27.4, 23.5)
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: "We galloped him and asked him to drive strongly in the last part of the straight so that he could stretch out his stride. All has gone to schedule. I just flew into Hong Kong yesterday. I have seen the turf condition this morning and I have confirmed again that the track will suit him very well. Also, the climate is much cooler than I thought, and hopefully that will continue on Sunday.”
Vercingetorix – RSA
Galloped 800m on turf under Anthony Delpech in 59.4s (34.9, 24.5)