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Loves Only You pleases Vincent Ho ahead of FWD QEII Cup tilt

April 20, 2021, 7:52:22 AM

Vincent Ho rode 2019 G1 Japanese Oaks (2400m) winner Loves Just You through her morning canter on the Sha Tin dirt this morning (Monday, 19 April) ahead of Sunday's (25 April) HK$25 million G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m).

Arriving in Hong Kong fresh off a third-place finish to Mishriff in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2410m) at Meydan Racecourse, the Deep Impact mare stepped out of quarantine for her third outing but for the first time with jockey Vincent Ho in the saddle, satisfying the 30-year-old with a time of 1m 03.70s (34.0s, 29.7s) for her 800m canter.

“Once she gets on the track, she knows what she's doing – she's very focused on her work, and she was very quiet when we backed off the track,” he said.

The five-year-old has five wins from 12 races, including one at G1 stage, with her most recent victory coming in the G2 Kyoto Kinen (2200m) at Hanshin Racecourse two starts ago before campaigning for a close-up third in Dubai in her first foray abroad, while her compatriot Chrono Genesis finished second in the same race.

“You can tell she knows what she's doing because she's really centered when she's on the track,” Ho said.

“It was just easy work; the orders were to relax and canter,” the jockey said.

The bay has run 2000m twice in her career, both times at Hanshin Racecourse, where she won the Listed Wasurenagusa Sho in 2019 before finishing second in the G3 Naruo Kinen four starts later.

“Previously, if a jockey jumped on and galloped her, she could go quite fast because she has a big stride, so they just wanted to make sure it was an easy canter this morning because they'd done the majority of the work in Dubai.

“When she arrived here, her staff said they wouldn't need to do anything – just keep her condition up – and she has settled in well, she is sleeping well, and she is a tourist, so it's fine,” Ho explained.

Under the tutelage of Yoshito Yahagi, the mare forms a four-pronged Japanese attack in the FWD QEII Cup alongside Daring Tact, Glory Vase, and Kiseki, while the home team defense includes Exultant, Time Warp, Furore, and Glorious Dragon.

Ho, who has 44 wins in the ongoing Hong Kong racing season, will be attempting a second G1 FWD Champions Mile victory after Southern Legend last year as he teams up with Golden Sixty in the HK$20 million contest.

Ho also teams up with Stronger in the HK$18 million G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m), after coming second in the G2 Sprint Cup earlier this month (1200m).