Sir Michael Stoute is no newcomer to Hong Kong success having won the 1994 Mile with Soviet Line and the 2000 Vase with Daliapour.
In SNOW SKY he has a serious challenger for Sunday’s Longines Hong Kong Vase.
Earlier in the year, he established himself as genuine contender for the St Leger with a win in the Gr 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood in July August.
James Doyle left him too much to do when third to Kingston Hill in the Doncaster classic, but the jockey’s curious decision to jump the Abdulla ship leaves Sir Michael’s stable jockey Ryan Moore with a potentially-profitable ride.
Moore has no equal on the international scene, but he will have to use his talents to the full against the French-trained Flintshire-owned and bred like Snow Sky by Khalid Abdulla.
I must put in a word for the evergreen globetrotter Red Cadeaux second in the Melbourne Cup, but it is the rapidly-improving ‘young pretender’ Snow Sky under Ryan Moore that appeals as the value bet for the Vase.
Roger Varian has enjoyed an ‘annus mirabilis’ with Kingston Hill, giving him his first ever classic win in the St Leger and the brilliant young trainer can add to his already stellar international profile by saddling FARRAAJ to win the Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Varian sent Farraaj out to win a hot handicap in effortless style during the Derby meeting at Epsom and the five-year-old went on to take the competitive and valuable John Smith’s Trophy at York.
It was then up into Pattern race company and though he failed to win he ran well enough to be despatched ‘Down Under’ for the Gr 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.
He was unlucky not to win that race as he worked wonders to finish a close third to Happy Trails from a bad draw.
Connections report that he has travelled on well from Oz to Hong Kong and granted the necessary luck in the running is fancied to gain a handsome consolation prize.
David Simcock’s TRADE STORM is the Newmarket raider, who faces the stiffest task of all against the likes of Able Friend and Gold Fun in the Longines Hong Kong Mile.
He has already proved he travels well by winning the Woodbine Mile in Canada and then taking third place to Karakontie in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
At a lower level on the home front, Michael Wigham will be looking to his speedy TROJAN ROCKET to win the Unibet Offer Daily Jockey/Trainer Specials Handicap at Wolverhampton’s Saturday evening meeting.
The six-year-old ran a sound eighth to Sirius Prospect over seven furlongs at Kempton before a drop back to sprinting produced a win on the same course.
He landed few shrewd bets coming home ahead a length ahead of Doc Hay and can go in again.
Chris Dwyer could complete a double for former jockeys by sending FOIE GRAS out to land the Daily Price Boosts At Unibet Handicap.
Later in the evening former Champion trainer John Gosden will be looking to MAVERICK WAVE to win the Coral Handicap.
This progressive three-year-old made all to beat Lyn Valley by three quarters of a length at Lingfield and has been working well enough to suggest he will overcome his hike in the weights.
HIDDEN GOLD can underline the strength of the Godolphin challenge for Lingfield’s Good Friday prize money bonanza with a win in the Fast Track 32Red Conditions Stakes.
This Sharmadal filly completed a hat-trick winning a Listed Race at Lingfield in October and has the stamina to follow up over this two miles at the expense of Harris Tweed and Entihaa.
Don Cantillon has had a quiet jumping season so far but TRUCKER’S DARLING can see the tide start to turn in the Betdaq Commission Free Football On Saturdays Handicap Hurdle at Doncaster tomorrow.
This afternoon at Kempton an each-way win Round Robin on Paul D’Arcy’s TRUE SPIRIT in the Book Now for Boxing Day Handicap, William Jarvis’s LACKADAY in the Download The Victor App Nursery and David Elsworth’s UPAVON in the BetVcitor.com Handicap.
n Pin Money struck for his supporters in last week’s column when pointing them in the direction of the well-backed Nuno Tristan at Kempton on Thursday.