Kinane to feed on American challenger in International Races
Irish star Michael Kinane will ride at the International Races meeting and the special Jockeys' Invitation Series at Happy Valley.
The way was cleared for this year's Irish champion jockey and Arc-winning rider to appear at Hong Kong's showpiece meeting when compatriot Paddy Gallagher booked him to ride American challenger Self Feeder in the $7 million Hong Kong Mile.
Kinane is currently in Japan where he is taking part in the World Super Jockeys' Series, which also involves Hong Kong champion Basil Marcus.
'I have just been told that the ride has been fixed up and I am looking forward to coming to Hong Kong. I would probably have come anyway but it's better to be working,' he said.
Trainer David Oughton had been waiting for official word of Kinane's availability before booking him for Desert Fox in the $7 million Hong Kong Vase.
'I'm pleased to hear that Michael is coming because we do want him for Desert Fox. I spoke to him earlier and he was fairly certain that it would work out all right but we were running out of time,' said Oughton.
Kinane's last-minute mount, Self Feeder, is not without a chance in the weakened Mile event, according to the Jockey Club's American agent, Brian Sweeney.
'Paddy [Gallagher] does not take horses anywhere unless he thinks they have a chance.
'This fellow is a tough horse and I would not be fooled by the fact that he does not have Grade [Group] winning form.
'He won a real good handicap here last week and he is in form,' said Sweeney.
Gallagher was assistant to the legendary Willie Shoemaker and prepared Glen Kate for her successful assault on the then International Bowl four years ago.
As expected, Breeders' Cup Mile winner Silic has come out of the Mile which paves the way for a start for the Ivan Allan-trained Housemaster, arguably the most surprising selection for the Hong Kong challenge in all four races.
Housemaster, fourth in the Epsom Derby to Oath last June, beat only one horse home in the Chairman's Trophy last Sunday although he will clearly come on from the run.
But it will surely take all the expertise of master-trainer Allan to make him competitive this early in his preparation.
The inaugural Hong Kong Sprint, the richest 1,000-metre race in the world with prize money of $5.3 million, is now almost certain to be trimmed to just 12 runners.
The American entry, Howbaddouwantit, is officially classified as very doubtful on the eve of his departure and almost certain to be officially scratched today.