The Chris Waller trained Preferment will have one more solid hit out in Hong Kong before lining up in the Group 1 HK$16.5m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Waller said that Preferment had come though his run in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3 in fine style and he gave the four year old a solid gallop in between races at Rosehill last Saturday week before he left for Hong Kong with Lucia Valentina, Criterion and Gailo Chop.
The Premiership winning trainer has scheduled one more solid hit out at Sha Tin in the lead up to Hong Kong’s International Race Day this Sunday.
“He’s held his condition and probably one more serious gallop after he’s settled in Hong Kong should have him right,” Waller said.
“The 2400 metres of the Vase suits him and of all the good races on the horizon, I think this is the most suitable option for him.”
Waller’s travelling stable representative Joanne Taylor has reported that Preferment has settle in well since his arrival in Hong Kong and he is ready to tackle the 2400m of the Vase.
“He has travelled over very well. He didn’t really lose too weight,” Taylor told Hong Kong Jockey Club News.
“We have got him back into his feed well and he has picked up and really adapted very well to the way of doing things over here.”
“Our main aim his last preparation was the Melbourne Cup. Everything went according to plan up until that point. We were unlucky in the Melbourne Cup but he is a horse that we always thought would be suited over the longer distances.”
“Even though he has pleased us over the 2000m trip, we definitely feel that he is better suited to something like a mile and a half or even beyond.”
“So we thought that we would come over here and have a crack as the Melbourne Cup didn’t take too much out of him.”
Preferment proved his staying ability with a win in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Zabeel four year old has competed at the highest level since and even though the stable considers him to be better suited over the longer journeys, he was able to win the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Flemington on October 4, beating stablemate Royal Descent.
Preferment then had his final Melbourne Cup lead up when ninth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
The slow pace of the Melbourne Cup went against Preferment who settled near the tail of the field and was unable to make up enough ground in the straight to finish twentieth to Prince Of Penzance.
Sydney’s premier jockey Hugh Bowman, who is currently riding in Japan, will head to Hong Kong to ride Preferment in the Hong Kong Vase and keep his association with the four year old after partnering him in the Turnbull Stakes and in the Melbourne Cup.
Preferment is very prominent in betting for the Hong Kong Vase and is the $5 equal second favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au with the Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel behind the French trained Flintshire who heads the betting at $2.75.
Hong Kong Vase market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.75 Flintshire, $5 Preferment, Highland Reel, $8.50 Cannock Chase, $14 Dominant, Ming Dynasty, $16 Dariyan, Lovelyn, $19 Helene Happy Star, $26 Cirrus Des Aigles, $41 Helene Super Star, $61 Ensuring, Khaya.