Frequent flier Luso due back to defend International Vase

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 September, 1997, 12:00am

Globe-trotting Luso will be back to defend the International Vase in this season's December showpiece at Sha Tin.

Luso, who defeated Australia's Royal Snack and Horse of the Year Privilege in the 2,400-metre event last year, has been entered afresh by trainer Clive Brittain, and with two Group successes to his credit in Europe this season he seems assured of making the trip.

Brittain, who was a pioneer when it came to going virtually anywhere with his horses, reckons Luso would have deserved a free ticket to Hong Kong - even if the Jockey Club weren't footing the bill.

'He's done more air miles than most of us! He's been everywhere and he simply loves to travel. That is the big bonus when you take him away, there are basically no worries about the trip.' Italian-born Frankie Dettori rode Luso to an easy victory last year, but riding arrangements have not been made for this year.

The horse is owned by Saeed Manama, who usually books Mick Kinane, and the Irish rider is expected in Hong Kong for the International Races. He is due to ride Pilsudski - well in the market for next Sunday's Arc - in the simulcast Japan Cup in Tokyo on November 30.

Meanwhile, trainer David Hill had a mixed day yesterday. His quality sprinter Debonair was injured in a freak trackwork accident, but then he received the news that a handy galloper would be joining the stable.

Debonair cannoned into a horse from the Andy T. W. Leung stable and injured his shoulder, requiring a period on the sidelines.

Later Hill was due to take over the training of Intelligence from Patrick Biancone - with the Frenchman's blessing.

'I recommended to the owner that he move the horse and he has done so. It is very amicable indeed,' said Biancone.

Three trainers at Taipa have been fined a total of $100,000, and four horses disqualified, following an inquiry into positive drug samples taken at the course.

Thomas K. C. Tse was fined $45,000, Tony P. K. Wong $30,000 and Danny Murphy $25,000.

The substances involved were isoxsuprine and clenbuterol. The medications are not directly performance-enhancing, but are used to relieve congestion.