Starter to meet flighty Tiger's trainer
Starter Michael Tibbatts is hoping an in-depth discussion with trainer Peter Schiergen will prevent a possible embarrassment when top German stayer Tiger Hill arrives for the $10 million Hong Kong Cup in December.
Tiger Hill, one of the best horses seen in the country for some time, ran third in last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe but played up very noticeably before this year's renewal.
There was more than a moment or two of sweating by connections before Tiger Hill finally went in and eventually finished unplaced behind the brilliant Montjeu.
'The French handlers are the best you'll get - and they're huge. I've seen them physically lift a filly off her feet and wheelbarrow her into the stalls,' said Tibbatts.
'The last thing we would want is for Tiger Hill to come all this way and then not go into the stalls.
'Our handlers simply aren't as big as the French for a start, so I want to find out as much as I can about the horse from Schiergen,' said Tibbatts, who is due in England next week for a conference.
Four-year-old Tiger Hill came out of the Arc well and is confirmed for Hong Kong where he is certain to get an invitation to run in the 2,000-metre Group One event on the strength of his record.
In an earlier International Cup, English runner Pelorus, trained by William Jarvis, refused to enter the stalls at Sha Tin and had to be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, Englishman Peter Chapple-Hyam, officially on duty at Sha Tin for the first time yesterday morning, received his first 'outside' horse when Class Five galloper Super Star moved to the stable.
Super Star, a maiden with placed form, was put up for tender last month but no bids were received.
He was then put up for a second and final time and an offer of just $28,000 from the Jackpot Syndicate yesterday was enough to secure the five-year-old who has had his fair share of injury problems.
For a man who has trained an English Derby winner, a low-grade non-winner is not much to get excited about, but you have to start somewhere.
Expected moves yesterday saw horses already with Steve S. W. Lee, acting trainer following Patrick Biancone's suspension, go to Chapple-Hyam but Happy Stallion left for Peter Ho.
Strikers, by no means a bad type on his day, has shifted to Chris Cheung Ting-pong from champion trainer David Hayes and, in a surprise move, trainer Bruce Hutchison has taken over the training of useful stayer Jade Dynasty from Tony Cruz.
Former champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee is intent on carrying out his threat to sue television presenter Apollo Ng following remarks made about Kan's training methods on a Jockey Club programme.
Kan said yesterday: 'I have received a letter from his solicitor but I am not at all satisfied. I am issuing a writ and I don't care if this goes to the highest court there is.'