Sydney’s Autumn Carnival form will be tested in Hong Kong on Sunday when King’s Rose takes on some of the best milers in South East Asia.
Trainer Peter Moody scratched King’s Rose from the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 21 in preference to starting her in the Group 1 HK$12m The BMW Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin this weekend.
King’s Rose is coming off a third to More Joyous in the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7 and Moody said that if the Gai Waterhouse trained mare was to start at Sha Tin, she would be one of the favourites.
“More Joyous would be favourite if she was running in the Champions Mile, wouldn’t she?” Moody asked.
“King’s Rose ran third to her at Rosehill the other day but we rode her upside down on the day trying to get to the right part of the track and she ended up outside the lead, which is not her go, and she brought More Joyous into the race.”
“Normally she would be midfield and running on.”
Moody has reported that the Redoute’s Choice mare had settled in well in her new surroundings and she is in top order to secure the premier trainer’s first win in Hong Kong.
“She’s had a look around, worked nice and I’m happy with her in general – she has coped well with the trip,” Moody said.
“When we had to make the call and scratch from the Doncaster a few days before, the track was heavy – it improved a lot by the race but we had to make our decision early so King’s Rose could get back to Melbourne to make the flight for here.”
King’s Rose has one Group 1 win to her credit in the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in 2010 but has yet to win at the highest level for Moody.
The four year old came close when beaten a whisker by Albert The Fat in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington at the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival last year.
She also ran second to King Mufhasa in the Group 1 $350,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in October last year and has several other Group 1 placings.
Moody’s number one stable jockey Luke Nolen will also travel to Hong Kong to partner King’s Rose and if she performs well will continue on to England and meet up with glamour stablemate Black Caviar who is getting ready to compete in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on June 23.
Dubai’s Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile (1600m) winner African Story will be amongst the opposition and one of the hardest to beat after his easy four length victory.
The Saeed bin Suroor trained five year old has also settled in well and worked impressively in front of Godolphin’s head trainer when he arrived in Hong Kong to oversee the gelding’s preparation.
“It was a nice final blow-out for him before the race,” Bin Suroor said.
“It was very good work. He is very happy and to me the horse looks much better than when he ran in Dubai … physically he is improving and he didn’t sweat. He is going the right way now and there’s no excuse for him in the race.”
“He won and has run well on soft going,” Bin Suroor said.
“If it is good ground, it should be okay, but we don’t want it to be firm. We want it to be safe for him.”
Silvestra de Sousa will take over from Frankie Dettori on African Story while top local trainer John Moore has booked leading New Zealand jockey James McDonald to ride last year’s winner Xtension, one of Moore’s five runners in the Group1.