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Sky Field gallop prompts G2 Premier Bowl tilt

October 21, 2022, 2:43:34 AM

Impressed by a strong track gallop, Caspar Fownes has chosen to contest the G2 Premier Bowl Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (23 October) with Sky Field after initially being undecided about participating in the key lead-up to the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on 11 December.

Impressed by a strong track gallop, Caspar Fownes has chosen to contest the G2 Premier Bowl Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (23 October) with Sky Field after initially being undecided about participating in the key lead-up to the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on 11 December.

Asked to improve over the final 800m of an 1800m turf gallop with stablemates Ace Talent and Amazing News, the 2021 LONGINES Hong Kong winner champion accelerated strongly over the closing stages to clock 21s for his final 400m.

“I was 50-50 whether I was going to run Sky Field on Sunday, but he galloped really nicely this morning. We took him to the gates at the 1800m with Keith Yeung on him,” Fownes said.

“I didn’t really have a jockey booked for the race on Sunday because I really wasn’t going to run but he worked up really nice. He scoped up clean and everything looks really good, so we’ll give Keith a chance and see how we go.

“It’s pretty much a dress rehearsal for the Hong Kong horses for the big race in December. You have the up-and-coming star in Lucky Sweynesse and both of Richard Gibson’s horses are very good sprinters – Wellington is already a top sprinter and Cordyceps Six is up-and-coming.”

Featuring a cluster of Group 1 winners and ascendant talents, Sunday’s edition of the Premier Bowl heralds the return of Hong Kong Champion Sprinter (2021/22) and triple G1 winner Wellington, who will contend against last season’s Hong Kong Champion Griffin (2021/22) Lucky Sweynesse, G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) victor Stronger and emergent Cordyceps Six.

Last season’s Premier Bowl winner Lucky Patch returns along with Courier Wonder, Duke Wai, Master Eight, Fantastic Treasure, Sight Success and Computer Patch in a contest collectively critical to individual LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint aspirations.

Wellington’s reappearance for the first time since the top-flight speedster closed last season with three consecutive victories – including two at Group 1 level – will provide an early form gauge of Richard Gibson’s star galloper.

To jump from barrier seven under Alexis Badel, Wellington will carry 135lb in the HK$5 million feature leaving the gelding to concede up to 20 pounds to his rivals, while stablemate Cordyceps Six (122lb) will start from gate six for Lyle Hewitson.

The LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint has attracted 35 overseas entrants, headed by 13 individual Group 1 winners including Nature Strip, the world’s highest-rated sprinter in the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Kinross, Campanelle, Eduardo, Gendarme, Naran Huleg, September Run, Golden Pal, Resistencia, Grenadier Guards, Romantic Proposal, A Case Of You and Emaraaty Ana are also among the entries for the HK$24 million sprint on 11 December.

Hong Kong entries for the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint close on Monday (24 October).

Sunday’s (23 October) 10-race card starts with the Class 5 Woodpecker Handicap (1400m) at 1pm.