Gordon Lord Byron is set to arrive in Hong Kong on Sunday for his tilt at the 2014 Hong Kong International Sprint and trainer Tom Hogan could not be happier with the talented gelding heading into the Group 1 event at Sha Tin next Sunday.
Gordon Lord Byron will be returning to Hong Kong for the third time after he finished fourth in the Group 1 Hong Kong International Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin at the end of last year and was seventh behind Variety Club in the Group 1 The Champions Mile (1600m) at the same venue in May.
Hogan has elected to set Gordon Lord Byron for the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) this year because he does not believe that there is a standout sprinter in the race and he believes that his star galloper will have every chance to record his fourth win at the highest level of racing in a fourth different country.
“Gordon Lord Byron is not short of speed,” Hogan told The Racing Post.
“He’s been to Haydock, a fast six-furlong track, for the Sprint Cup these past three years and run well.
“Last year the Hong Kong Sprint was won by Lord Kanaloa by five lengths, that’s like winning a two mile race by a distance, and I don’t see a Lord Kanaloa in the field this year.
“Sole Power was second last year and we’ve beaten him before over six furlongs.
“All we can hope for is a reasonable draw, some cover and some luck in running.
“We go there with confidence and it’s certainly worth a shot, anyway we’ve never been afraid to get beat.”
“He’s been in great form since his last run at Ascot and we’ve taken him to Dundalk, where he loves the surface and his work there last Friday evening was first class.”
Gordon Lord Byron introduced himself to the Australian racing public when he scored an upset win in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and he was far from disgraced when sixth in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
He returned to European racing with an eighth place finish in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) at Ascot on June 21 and he finished in the placings in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes (1207m), Group 1 Sprint Cup (1207m), Group 2 Boomerang Mile (1609m) and Group 1 Prix De La Foret (1400m) before he returned to winning form with an impressive victory in the Group 2 British Champion Sprint Stakes (1207m) at Ascot on October 18.
Gordon Lord Byron is currently available at 2014 Hong Kong Sprint odds of $12, while Aerovelocity ($5.50) is a narrow favourite from Lucky Nine ($9) and Peniaphobia ($7).