John O’Shea’s triple Group 1 winning mare Sea Siren fared ok in the Hong Kong Sprint 2012 barrier draw for Sunday’s lucrative showdown at Sha Tin Racecourse coming up with gate seven of 12.
One of two Aussie-trained gallopers over at Sha Tin for the 2012 Hong Kong International Sprint Day, four-year-old Fastnet Rock mare Sea Siren is topping the markets down under for the HK$15 million Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).
A first-up winner of the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley back in October, Sydney-based Sea Siren was last seen finishing second to Mental when running second as the beaten favourite in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington on November 10.
Her regular rider Jim Cassidy flies over for mare’s big international debut and is upbeat about their chances despite the fact that locally-trained horses have won the past nine editions of the Hong Kong Sprint.
“I think she’s certainly got enough class to compete with the best sprinters around, that’s the least of my worries,” Cassidy said on Wednesday.
“You don’t win three out of five Group Ones if you are not up there with the best of them.
“This is not an afterthought and she’s travelled up well, settled in good and we just need a nice barrier and a nice ride.
“I expect her to run very good.”
The Hong Kong Sprint form shows that the last overseas visitor to take the honours was the David Hayes-trained All Thrills Too (2002).
One thing in Sea Siren’s favour however looking back at the Hong Kong Sprint betting history is that favourites have a smart recent record in the race with two winners and two third place-getters in the past five years.
Last year’s Hong Kong Sprint favourite was Little Bridge ($2.90) who ran fourth.
The favourite was also beaten in 2010 when Sacred Kingdom ($2.40) finished a brave third when shooting for their third win in the classic following their success as the top elect firstly in 2007 at $1.45) and then again two years later at $2.55 in 2009.
The other hot favourite to run top three in the past five years was then Apache Cat ($1.90, 3rd in 2008).
The other top fancies had mixed results with the Hong Kong Sprint barriers.
Second favourite Lucky Nine from the local stables of Caspar Fownes has work to do with the Dubawi five-year-old suffering an early blow with the extreme outside gate, expat Australian hoop Brett Prebble to ride the last start Group 2 HK Jockey Club Sprint winner who is out to defend their title having won the Hong Kong Sprint 12 months ago.
If successful Lucky Nine will become the fourth horse in recent history to become a dual Hong Kong Sprint winner joining Sacred Kingdom (2007 & 2009), Silent Witness (2003-04) and Falvelon (2000-01).
Prebble meanwhile will be looking to go one better than his ride on last year’s runner-up Entrapment aboard the horse that beat him home in the 2011 HK Sprint.
Jockey Club Sprint runner-up, the John Moore-trained Danehill Dancer gelding Time After Time meanwhile was one of the big winners gate-wise with barrier three.
The Japanese-trained Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes quinella of Lord Kanaloa and Curren Chan then drew barriers six and eight respectively.
Former Melbourne Cup winning jockey Gerald Mosse (Americain, 2010) meanwhile will be aboard the rails-drawn veteran nine-year-old Joy And Fun, third as a $101 roughie in the Hong Kong Sprint Trifecta last year, who hasn’t raced since a failed effort in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June.
In a subsequent Hong Kong Sprint form fact Mosse rode the last winning raider to victory having been aboard All Thrills Too a decade ago.
The 2012 Hong Kong Sprint is due to jump at 2:40pm local time, which is 5:40pm (AEST) this Sunday.
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2012 Hong Kong Sprint Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sha Tin Race 5 – 2:40pm (local time) – 09/12/2012
|1||LUCKY NINE||C Fownes||B Prebble||12||126|
|2||SUPER EASY||M J Freedman||J Moreira||10||126|
|3||JOY AND FUN||D Cruz||G Mosse||1||126|
|4||LORD KANALOA||T Yasuda||Y Iwata||6||126|
|5||ADMIRATION||J Moore||N Callan||9||126|
|6||LEADING CITY||J Moore||M Chadwick||4||126|
|7||TIME AFTER TIME||J Moore||D Whyte||3||126|
|8||CAPTAIN SWEET||J Moore||J McDonald||2||126|
|9||CERISE CHERRY||D Cruz||R Fourie||5||126|
|10||FLYING BLUE||D Cruz||U Rispoli||11||126|
|11||SEA SIREN||J O’Shea||J Cassidy||7||122|
|12||CURREN CHAN||T Yasuda||K Ikezoe||8||122|