The Chris Waller trained Preferment will have an exhibition gallop at Rosehill on Saturday before he leaves for Hong Kong to represent Australia in the Group 1 HK$16.5m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on December 13.
Preferment was given five days in the paddock after the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3 and has come to hand quickly with a couple of gallops and the hit out on Saturday in between races will tune him up nicely for his overseas venture.
“That will just tune him up nicely and he’ll probably have one more gallop over in Hong Kong as well,” Waller told AAP.
Waller admits that Hong Kong was never a definite plan on the Spring Carnival agenda but after the four year old pulled up in great condition following a disappointing twentieth in Melbourne Cup, the champion trainer gave the go ahead to tackle the international horses.
“Hong Kong was never in the plan but we inoculated about 20 horses in the winter to ensure everything was up to date should we decide on sending one of them,” Waller said.
“And Preferment was never going to go until a couple of days after the Melbourne Cup.”
“After five days out on a beautiful farm bucking his heels up, we then made the decision to have a serious crack at Hong Kong.”
Waller said that the Melbourne Cup was the race that Preferment had been set for in the Spring but the way the race was run gave the 2014 Victoria Derby winner no hope of picking up the leading division.
“That was the race he was set for and he didn’t get a fair crack at them because they just went so slow,” Waller said.
Preferment’s Melbourne Cup lead up form had been first class with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 19 followed by a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
Waller then gave Preferment his final Melbourne Cup hit out in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 but he was no match for his stablemate Winx and finished in ninth position.
Preferment is very prominent in betting for the Hong Kong Vase and is the $4.80 second favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the French trained Flintshire who heads the betting at $4.60.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel is also high up the market order at $6.50 ahead of the English galloper Cannock Chase at $9.
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