Hong Kong-based expat Aussie horseman John Moore has revealed plans to travel down under this coming autumn with two of his stable stars including likely 2015 Sydney Cup hopeful Dominant.
The Hong Kong Vase winning Cacique stallion struggled on a too-firm Sha Tin track last Sunday running a disappointing 11th to Blazing Speed in the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m), but could appreciate softer going in Sydney next year.
Looking for more distance and tracks with more give, the six-year-old hasn’t finished in the money since his third behind Military Attack in the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) back in February when ridden by Australia’s Tommy Berry.
Moore is hoping that his luck can turn around on December 14 when he races on the Hong Kong International Race Day defending his title in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
“They all seem to have come out of Sunday ok, but I’m really hoping we get a kinder surface on international day with more grass cover so Dominant can perform,” Moore told the South China Morning Post.
Looking further ahead connections of Dominant are keen to take the horse to his trainer’s home country during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with an eye on the $1 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick in April.
“He (Dominant) wants 2400 metres and farther so there aren’t many races here for him and he’d be a good chance to get softer, more suitable going in Sydney at that time of year as well,” Moore said.
Moore said he was happy to take the horse to Sydney so long as the quarantine facilities for the internationals were at Canterbury and not Werribee in Victoria.
“It all hinges on Canterbury racecourse being used as the quarantine in Sydney,” Moore said.
“I’m not interested if they are using Werribee.”
Also set for a trip to Oz next year is the fellow Moore-trained Sterling City.
The Nadeem gelding was also out of his element last weekend when four and a half lengths away 12th behind Peniaphobia in the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m).
He’s set for a December 14 run in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint over the same track and distance at Sha Tin, the six-year-old after his first win since the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) at Meydan on the all-weather track back in March when ridden by ‘The Magic Man’ Joao Moreira.
Sterling City’s major target in Sydney will be the $2.5 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day followed by a trip to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in Queensland.
“I will have Sterling City going to Sydney for the TJ Smith Stakes and Dominant’s ownership syndicate has agreed to sending him there as well, probably for the Sydney Cup,” Moore confirmed.
Possible ‘Sunshine State’ assignments for him include the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) in May and the state’s richest race, the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap to be run over either 1350m at Doomben or the 1400m at Eagle Farm if the track is ready in time for the early June feature.
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