Making himself known to the Australian racing community when charging home to win the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in March, British trainer Tom Hogan is confident Gordon Lord Byron is more than capable of success in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 14th.
No stranger to the Hong Kong way of going, Gordon Lord Byron has contested the last two editions of the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), and while luckless in both, managed to finish within two lengths of the race winner in fourth position in each.
Displaying an exceptional turn of foot to take out the Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes (1207m) at Ascot last time out on October 18th, Hogan is confident the form and class displayed by the Byron gelding this year, particularly through his Australian tenure points towards a successful tilt in the 2014 Hong Kong Sprint.
“It all went perfectly at Dundalk. He loves it there, he strode out well and had a little blow afterwards,” Hogan told AAP.
“We might go back there again next Friday just to get him spot on for Hong Kong.
“We’ve decided we will take our chances on the draw and go for the Sprint. His runs in Australia show he is good enough to go for the race.
“The milers in Hong Kong are exceptionally good. We’ve had a couple of goes at the race before and we’ve not had much luck in running and still finished two lengths off the winner.
“We think he’s capable of running a good race in the Sprint and deserves his chance.”
Claiming a commendable record of eleven wins and a further 18 minor places over his 43 start career so far, Gordon Lord Byron placed a close sixth behind the world’s leading sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) following his George Ryder Stakes triumph before placing seventh in the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on May 4th.
Running eighth behind Slade Power in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) on June 14th, the gelding out of Boa Estrela placed second in each of the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes (1207m), Group 1 Sprint Cup (1207m) and Group 1 Prix De La Foret (1400m) leading into the Champions Sprint Stakes.