Multiple international Group 1 winner Buffering and the world’s highest rated sprinter Chautauqua are set to take on the best local sprinters in the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday.
The Paul O’Sullivan trained Aerovelocity is rated among the top Hong Kong sprinters and will be lining up alongside locals Gold Fun and Peniaphobia who all share the same international rating of 119.
Chautauqua was recently rated the world’s best sprinter when given an international rating of 121 after winning the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2 for the second year in succession.
While Buffering received a rating of 118 after claiming his seventh Group 1 victory with a win in the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 26.
Aerovelocity is also a last start Group 1 winner with a victory in the HK$8m The Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin on January 31, but O’Sullivan is concerned the seven year old could be lacking race fitness after recovering from a bout of colic.
O’Sullivan headed back to Japan in March with Aerovelocity to try win the Group 1 JPY¥185,900,000 The Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) at Chukyo for a second time but the assignment had to be aborted when the seven year old came down with a bout of colic.
The Hong Kong based New Zealand trainer is now concerned that Aerovelocity is a little behind in his preparation for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.
“It’s been an unusual preparation, with the colic and this and that,” O’Sullivan said.
“We’ve done the best we can under the conditions and I wouldn’t go back a month and do anything differently but his trial indicated to me that his fitness levels aren’t quite where I’d like them to be.”
Even though Arovelocity was able to win a 1200m barrier trial at Sha Tin last Tuesday, O’Sullivan was not all that impressed with the effort.
“To me, he didn’t trial as well as he did before he won his last start,” O’Sullivan said.
“He’s going to have to take a lot of benefit out of that trial to be anywhere near his best, so hopefully he has.
“There’s not much more I can do with him with the race being this Sunday – he’ll have a bit of fast work Thursday but it might be too little too late. There’s no use boring into him, so under the circumstances we’ve done the best we can and hopefully it’s enough.”
Aerovelocity shares the second line of betting at $6 with the Robert Heathcote trained Buffering for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua at the top of the market order at $2.35.
Chairman’s Sprint Prize market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.35 Chautauqua, $6 Buffering, Aerovelocity, $8 Thewizardofoz, Gold Fun, $10 Lucky Bubbles, $13 Peniaphobia, $31 Not Listenin’tome, Amazing Kids, $67 Divine Boy, $101 Strathmore, Dundonnell, Charles The Great, Super Jockey, I’m In Charge, $151 Key Witness.