The two Aussie-trained gallopers set to run at Sha Tin’s 2012 Hong Kong International Race Day on Sunday week, Sea Siren and Alcopop, have both made the trip safely arriving from Melbourne on Tuesday morning after an overnight flight.
“The early reports are both horses travelled well,” Hong Kong Jockey Club consultant Mark Player said this morning.
Of the duo it is the John O’Shea-trained Fastnet Rock mare Sea Siren who is the best fancied in her respective race, the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m).
Sitting top of the early 2012 Hong Kong Sprint odds paying around $3.20 at the Aussie bookies Sea Siren will be after her fourth Group 1 win, the BTC Cup – Doomben 10,000 double winner having saluted in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley first-up.
She was last seen running a brave second to Mental in the Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 10 and is considered the sprinter to beat at the December 9 meeting.
It won’t be a walk in the park for Sea Siren however as she comes up against the likes of Lucky Nine coming off a win in the Jockey Club Sprint, the John Moore-trained Jockey Club Sprint second placed Time After Time and Japanese filly Curren Chan last seen running a brave second to fellow Hong Kong Sprint hopeful Lord Kanaloa in the Grade 1 Nakaya Sprinters Stakes back in September.
“She travelled really good. No problems at all,” O’Shea said of Sea Siren.
“The staff reported she did everything right and has settled in as good as we could have hoped.
“She’ll settle in and have a look around for the rest of the week.
“We gave her a good hard gallop yesterday before she left.
“She’ll do a bit of faster work next Saturday and then crank things up the following Tuesday.”
Jake Stephens’ evergreen eight-year-old stayer Alcopop meanwhile a double figure outsider for his assignment in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) paying around $12 in markets for the world’s richest 2000m turf race firmly led by short-priced favourite Cirrus Des Aigles – the French-trained champion last seen running second to Frankel in the Group 1 Champions Mile (2011m) at Ascot.
“Alcopop of course is an experienced older horse who’s been used to travelling across on the float very regularly to Melbourne so think he took it all in his stride,” Player said of the horse’s trip to Hong Kong.
Jeune gelding Alcopop has been in career best form this spring with two big Group 1 seconds firstly to Ocean Park in the Caulfield Stakes and then to last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup.
Alcopop then scored a well-earned Group 1 victory for himself when getting the better of a smart field in the Mackinnon Stakes over 2000m at Flemington on November 3, Stephens confident they will turn up and be competitive on Sunday.
“I got a bit sick of everyone looking at him as though his best runs were some kind of fluke,” Stephens said.
“He deserves to be accepted as the very good horse that he is.
“I felt like telling everyone who doubted him to get stuffed after he won the Mackinnon.”
Our preferred online Aussie sportsbook bookmaker.com.au are due to release their exclusive Hong Kong racing odds on next weekend’s features shortly so make sure you’re ready to back the Australian contingent by signing up with bookmaker.com.au today!