Punters have full weekend before break
THERE'S a feast of racing this weekend starting with brilliant French colt Pennekamp's crack at the English Derby tonight, followed by the Ivan Allan-owned Citadeed's bid for the prestigious Belmont Stakes and then nine races as the curtain comes down on the season at Sha Tin tomorrow.
Pennekamp beat much-vaunted and subsequent French Derby winner, Celtic Swing, in the English 2,000 Guineas, the pair drawing well clear of their rivals.
This was Pennekamp's sixth win from six starts, three of which have come in Group One company.
He will start favourite for the Derby which is bet on here as the first race on tomorrow's card, despite the fact that it starts at 10.50 pm tonight and will be shown live at Happy Valley.
Allan will be at Happy Valley to watch the Derby and will then dash back to Sha Tin hoping that his trainer Rick Violette will be calling him with good news about the Grade One Belmont Stakes which is the prestigious final leg of the American Triple Crown and run in the early hours of tomorrow morning (HK time).
Citadeed finished seven lengths behind Thunder Gulch in the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, skipped the second leg, the Preakness Stakes, in favour of the Group Two Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park over 1,800 metres which he won.
But he now steps up to 2,400 metres for the Belmont and Allan said yesterday: 'I've got mixed thoughts really. I'm worried about the mile and a half as I think a mile and a quarter is probably his best go.
'But he's fit and he's well and my jockey Eddie Maple thinks he might stay and there is absolutely no reason not to run.' Meanwhile, yesterday's mile and a half British Classic for fillies, the Oaks, proved yet another triumph for Sheik Mohammed's Dubai team when Moonshell powered clear under Frankie Dettori on hitting Epsom's rising ground with 200 metres to run. Moonshell beat Dance A Dream with Aqaarid, the 1,000 Guineas runner-up and yesterday's favourite, never going well and eventually finishing out of the placings.