The 2013 Hong Kong Mile barrier draw was conducted at Sha Tin this afternoon; with Australian-trained hopeful Linton and clear favourite Moonlight Cloud both drawing well for the Group 1 event this Sunday.
Troy Corstens said this morning that he was not too worried about the barrier draw for Linton, indicating that between barrier four and eight would be ideal, but the Malua Racing team was happy when co-owner Martin Talty drew barrier three for the Galileo gelding.
That’ll do us,” Malua Racing posted on Twitter.
“Martin Talty did a much better job than his effort in last year’s Cox Plate.”
Linton is the only Australian-trained galloper set to run on the Hong Kong International Raceday card this weekend and is currently rated an outside chance in Hong Kong Mile betting markets; with French superstar Moonlight Cloud the clear favourite at odds of $2.30 after drawing barrier five.
Moonlight Cloud is best known to the Australian racing public for finishing a narrow second behind equine superstar Black Caviar in the 2012 Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) at Royal Ascot and is now considered one of the best milers in Europe.
The Invincible Spirit mare ended her 2012 racing season with a poor performance in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile (1609m) at Santa Anita but has recorded four wins from as many starts since returning to the races in July.
The five-year-old resumed with a comfortable victory in the Group 3 Prix De La Porte Maillot (1400m) before defeating the highly-rated Lethal Force to win the Group 1 Larc Prix Maurice De Gheest (1300m) at Deauville on August 4.
Moonlight Cloud stepped back up to a mile to defeat a star-studded field, including Olympic Glory, Intello, Declaration Of War, Dawn Approach and Leitir Mor, in the Group 1 Prix Du Haras De Fresnay-Le-Buffard- Jacques Le Maoris (1600m) on August 11 before rounding out his preparation for the Hong Kong Mile with his third straight win at Group 1 level in the Prix De La Foret (1400m) at Longchamp.
The classy mare has recorded twelve wins from fifteen starts in France but is yet to win a race on foreign soil; finishing seventh in the 2011 Group 1 1000 Guineas Stakes (1609m), fifth in the 2011 Group 2 British Champions Sprint Stakes (1207m), second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and eight in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The other leading chances did not fare as well at the 2013 Hong Kong Mile barrier draw; with Glorious Days to jump from barrier 13 and Gold-Fun from gate ten.