Foreign Kranji Mile trio take it easy
Light work and familiarisation the order of the morning for NZ's Ocean Emperor and HK's Southern Legend and Horse Of Fortune
Soon after the floodlights brightened up Kranji racecourse, the three overseas horses for Saturday's$1.5 million Invitational Group 1 Kranji Mile over 1,600m emerged from the International Stables for some light work at the crack of dawn yesterday.
New Zealand representative Ocean Emperor also headed to the parade ring for a familiarisation tour, accompanied by his trainer, Gary Hennessy.
The Cox Plate-winning trainer arrived on the same plane as Ocean Emperor last Thursday.
Three-time KrisFlyer International Sprint-winning trainer Caspar Fownes headed bleary-eyed to Kranji after arriving from Hong Kong yesterday morning to see his charge Southern Legend getting a hose-down after his workout.
Tony Millard, trainer of the other Hong Kong raider Horse Of Fortune, will arrive on Thursday. The two Hong Kong horses arrived last Saturday and will join Horse Of Fortune to take on 10 local horses on Saturday.
Ocean Emperor yesterday trotted and cantered two laps on Track 6, followed by paddock schooling in the parade ring.
"I'm just keeping him ticking over here as he's reasonably clean-winded. Core fitness is an important thing for us," said Hennessy.
"He's had his last gallop back home on Tuesday and trialled the last Thursday before he came here.
"He lost some weight during the travel, but he's regained it and is back to his racing weight.
"He went to the parade ring to familiarise himself and he took it all in very well. We'll see how it goes, maybe he'll breeze up on the grass on Wednesday."
Southern Legend trotted half a lap and cantered one-and-a-half laps on the Polytrack.
"I missed the work, but he looks happy," said Fownes, who saddled a hat-trick at Sha Tin on Sunday.
"He's eating and drinking and that's all you can ask of a horse in a new environment. He lost a few pounds coming here, but that's normal. I wouldn't worry about the weights, it's irrelevant."
Horse Of Fortune cantered strongly over 2,000m on the Polytrack with Millard's wife Beverly in the saddle.
"On the first lap, he didn't change his legs, but he did on the second," said Beverly.
"One day a week, we get to work the other way back home. He did win in Cape Town going on the left hand, but he's probably a bit ring-rusty now. It's important we get him used to the other way of going as it can make a big difference.
"He's already done his main prep at home. He'll do the same work tomorrow and may open up on Thursday, just to stretch his legs.
"He was a little bit unsettled when he just arrived, which was a bit surprising as he is well-travelled, having journeyed from South Africa via Mauritius and France before getting to Hong Kong. But he's a quiet little horse who's tough and resilient. The most important is to keep him happy."