Zac Purton rates Military Attack the best 2000 metres horse in Hong Kong and he is confident that the talented galloper is the horse to beat in the 2014 Hong Kong International Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Military Attack has recorded four wins at the highest level of racing and is a two-time winner of the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), but he is still chasing his maiden win at the Hong Kong International meeting after finishing fifth in the 2012 Hong Kong Cup and fourth in last year’s edition of the race.
Purton rode Military Attack in both of his race starts to date this preparation and was happy with his efforts when victorious in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) on October 26 and second in the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) on November 23, but still believes the Oratorio gelding has improvement in front of him heading into the 2014 Hong Kong Cup.
“On his day he is definitely the best mile and a quarter horse that we have in Hong Kong,” Purton said.
“His win first-up over a mile was brilliant because normally he would take two or three runs until he started to hit his straps, but he moved to Caspar Fownes in the offseason and Caspar had him quiet forward for that first-up run and he raced accordingly.
“Normally in his second-up run he races a little bit flat and for him to only go down a short-head just goes to show how good this horse is going at the moment.
“That run was probably a couple of lengths below what he can do at his best, so if he can take the necessary improvement out of that and bring that to the races on Sunday then he has to be one of the leading chances.”
Military Attack started his Hong Kong racing career under the care of John Moore and had plenty of success as a member of the leading stable, but was transferred to Caspar Fownes following his third place finish in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) on May 18.
Fownes is renowned for working his horses hard and Purton is confident that the new trainer will be able to get the best out of Military Attack.
“The more work you give him the better he does,” Purton said.
“He loves getting out there and competing and if you back off or him or are a little soft on him then he races accordingly.
“The way Caspar trains is really going to suit this horse and I think that he will get the best from him.”
Military Attack is currently available at 2014 Hong Kong International Cup odds of $3.80 and is locked in a battle for favouritism with Designs On Rome ($3.60).