Linton is now only three days away from the biggest test of his racing career in the Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and, according to Malua Racing’s Troy Corstens, is a very happy horse in the lead-up to the Group 1 event at Sha Tin on Sunday.
There were concerns about the condition of Linton, after his lost 13 kilograms during the plane ride from Australia to Hong Kong, but Corstens told Racing Ahead that the gelding was now back to his regular weight.
Carolyn Mason has looked after Linton since he arrived in Hong Kong and Corstens said that Wilson, who has spent more time with the seven-year-old than anybody, believes that the popular grey is in as good condition as he was before his memorable victory in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm earlier this year.
“He lost quite a bit of weight, which he has nearly regained all of, and Caroline saw him yesterday morning and was happy enough with him,” Corstens said.
“This morning he actually had a drip and I think that it sort of picked him up a little bit and we are happier than we were yesterday morning.
“He will have his final hit out tomorrow and then full stream on to Sunday.
“Carolyn Mason has spent more time with this horse than anybody, she knows this horse like the back of her hand, and she said in the last two or three days that he really feels like his old self and just like he was before the Stradbroke.
“She could not be happier with him, obviously it would be nice to have another five or ten kilos on him, but he looks fantastic and he is very happy, which is the key with him.”
The 2013 Hong Kong Mile barrier draw will be held this afternoon, with barriers expected to be key in what could develop into a tactical affair, but Corstens said that he is not particularly concerned about where Linton draws and is confident that Damien Oliver will give the son of Galileo an excellent ride into the race.
“Everybody wants to draw between four and seven but there is not much that we can do about it and it is going to be up to Damien Oliver anyway,” Corstens said.
“He won a Stradbroke from the widest gate and I don’t think it is too much to worry about the barrier.
“I think that it is great (having Oliver on board); he is in sensational form and he is a true professional.
“He has ridden lots of winners up in Hong Kong and I think that they are all pluses for us.”
Linton, who will be having his final start for Malua Racing before joining the stable of Marco Botti, is currently priced at $51 in Hong Kong Mile betting markets; with French superstar Moonlight Cloud ($2.30) the clear favourite from Gold-Fun ($4) and Glorious Days ($8).