Military Attack has had a number of niggling issues since he finished fourth behind Designs On Rome in the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on March 1, but trainer Caspar Fownes is hopeful that the talented gelding can return to his best form in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong this weekend.
Military Attack has had a number of issues with his feet as an older horse and he has had a disrupted campaign heading into the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, but Fownes told The Hong Kong Jockey Club that he thinks he has the seven-year-old right ahead of the Group 1 event tomorrow.
“It’s no secret he’s had his problems over the past few months, but I think he’s quite comfortable in himself as the moment,” Fownes said.
“He’s had the niggling problems that good horses tend to have.
“Sore feet, bit tight in the joints but I think we’re on top of them.
“He looks really healthy, his bodyweight’s good and I was pleased with his trial and how he worked on Wednesday.”
Military Attack is currently on the third line of the 2015 Queen Elizabeth II Cup behind Designs On Rome ($2.70) and Criterion ($3) at a quote of $6, but Fownes believes that the Oratorio gelding is more than capable of returning to winning form tomorrow.
Fownes said that he is hopeful that Designs On Rome has failed to recover from his trip to Dubai for the Sheema Classic, while he is buoyed by the fact that Military Attack was able to beat Criterion in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at the end of last year.
“You don’t ever concede defeat before the start,” Fownes said.
“Hayesy’s horse Criterion is looking really good and we’ve got the defending champ Designs On Rome, but there wasn’t much between the three of them in December.
“Who knows, Designs On Rome might be less sharp on the day after the trip to Dubai and from gate two, Military Attack gets his chance.
“He’ll go forward to take advantage of the gate.
“On his trial he’s going to be very competitive.
“He’s a lot, lot better than he was last run and I think he’s about where he was last December.”
Military Attack won the 2013 edition of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and he has the chance to join Viva Pataca as the only horse to win the race twice in non-consecutive years.