March 13, 2008 at 06:12 #7059MDeeringMember
- Total Posts 1688
For a regular follower of the the exceptional Hong Kong racing season, the Hong Kong Derby would be known to them as a potent yardstick towards future local champions of Sha Tin.
The list is long. Previous winners such as Football, Co-Tack, Yuno When and River Verdon have gone to become Horse of the Year. In more recent intalments of the Derby we have witnessed Vengeance Of Rain, Lucky Owners, Viva Pataca, Elegant Fashion and Olympic Express salute the judge. It continues to uphold tradition around the world, that the Derby is the race that everyone wants to win – wherever a Derby is run on this earth.
Most punters and horsemen on here would be delighted to know that Helene Mascot is favourite for this year’s running of the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby. Prior to purchase, he was better known as Salford Mill, Newmarket Stakes winner and Vodafone Derby sixth.
There was high praise for the colt and his first appearance on new soil was in the HK-Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile, victorious by a neck.
Take Helene Mascot’s breeding and known ability as Salford Mill into a 2000m Derby, and there is my slight query. Any speed to make for a genuinely run Derby and he could find the 2000m too short.
Green Birdie is next in the markets – he was a former Australian-trained racehorse and let me tell you, he was a sprinter through and through. Has the best turn-of-foot in this field but 2000m is just too far.
My top pick is Jackpot Delight, formally Hamlet’s Ghost in New Zealand. This was the race that trainer Caspar Fownes was eyeing off at the time of signing the dotted line for Hamlet’s Ghost to be shipped to Honkers. He was the most exciting horse in the previous season gone in New Zealand, going undefeated in six starts but relegated to fourth on debut due to interference.
His first outing on the Sha Tin track was in a trial with some classy horses including Royal Delight – his late turn-of-foot was scintillating. I have been waiting patiently for this moment for him to show off his abilities in the Derby.
The other danger horse is Danesis – an interesting sort. On top of his game he destroys fields and when not, he is below average. The gelding is a rapid improver and deserves his place as a potential upset. The set weights category may take him out of favour against the more proven types.
Also featured on Sunday (early morning GMT) is the HK-Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup over 1400m – with a mouth-watering clash between world champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom and Hong Kong Mile winner Good Ba Ba. Joining them is the much-awaited return of Armada, another potential star miler who has not raced in almost exactly 1 year. He could not rally to see off The Duke in the 2006 Hong Kong Mile and lost by a head.March 13, 2008 at 08:51 #150467
Helene’s problem is he is tough to settle.
Far too keen in the trial so steady pace would be worry as can get him fired up.March 16, 2008 at 10:12 #151729
Great to see Felix get his Derby on Helene Mascot.
Really strong pace helped a lot and once he was through that 50m flat spot the horse he was always holding Jackpot – who ran well, the pair clear.
UK name was Salford Mill for those to whom it would mean more.March 16, 2008 at 10:21 #151736davidjohnsonMember
- Total Posts 4491
Anyone know what success Doctor Brown has had in HK? His form worked out really well when you consider he finished in front of the likes of Prime Defender and Cockney Rebel at York and Excellent Art at Newbury. I think he was renamed Helene Brilliant.March 16, 2008 at 10:32 #151743
Take a look !March 16, 2008 at 10:40 #151745seabirdParticipant
- Total Posts 2924
BTW, Richard, congrats on a some great work at Cheltenham.
ColinMarch 16, 2008 at 10:50 #151748davidjohnsonMember
- Total Posts 4491
Thanks Richard. No surprise he proved a good thing off 96 on his first start out there!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.