Unsuitable tracks at home are likely to force Aussie expat John Moore to bring his Hong Kong Champion Stayer of the Year Dominant down under next year for a shot at the Sydney Cup 2015.
The Cacique stallion finds the unforgivingly hard surfaces at Sha Tin tough going, but despite this he has stacked up an imposing record of feature race performances unveiling him as Hong Kong’s top staying racehorse.
Best known for his win in last year’s Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) during December’s Hong Kong International Race Day, Dominant also boasts four Group 1 third places.
The champion six-year-old also ran a brave fourth behind Flintshire in the 2014 renewal of the Vase last Sunday when beaten under two lengths.
Moore knows he has a classy galloper on his hands and is keen to get the most out of the horse.
“He has been a great horse here, but why waste him?” Moore told the South China Morning Post.
That means a trip back home to Australia during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival for a tilt at one of the major features of The Championships – the $1.6 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
“Dominant finds the tracks too hard here and there just aren’t the right races for him,” Moore said.
“He needs more ground and there aren’t any options here.”
Moore is confident that on the Aussie tracks that offer a bit more give under foot and the step up to the two miles will put Dominant right in the mix for the Sydney Cup trophy in 2015.
“Of course, the trip would suit, but we would also get more forgiving ground underfoot – and that’s what he really needs at his age,” he said.
Dominant’s Sydney Cup bid now lies in the hands of Racing NSW regarding quarantine requirements and where the horse would be stabled.
“The only question now is hearing back from Racing NSW on what the quarantine arrangements are,” Moore said.
“If we can be stabled and trained at Canterbury, in Sydney, we will go.”
Moore also said that if things went well the long term plan would be to keep Dominant on in Australia until his retirement to stud.
“I will be trying to convince the syndicate members that campaigning him in Australia, and then leaving him down there, is the best option,” he said.
Joining Dominant down under during The Championships could also be fellow Hong Kong performed Red Cadeaux.
Ed Dunlop’s British-based triple Melbourne Cup runner-up ran sixth in the Hong Kong Vase last weekend and connections are also waiting to hear back from Racing NSW in regards to quarantine issues before confirming a trip to Sydney for an autumn raid.
“We haven’t heard from them, but we would consider going to Australia,” Dunlop said.
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