Flit won't let us down, says Allan
Trainer Ivan Allan will go into Sunday's Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo 'cautiously optimistic' after Self Flit did everything asked of him in his all-weather gallop yesterday.
Allan, who won the Yasuda Kinen with Fairy King Prawn four years ago and took second with Oriental Express in 1999, said that Self Flit 'will not disgrace Hong Kong'.
The six-year-old was partnered by Michael de Beer, who has accompanied him throughout the trip, and they galloped 800 metres on the superb all-weather track in preparation for Sunday's race, which is worth more than $12 million.
'It was a nice gallop - just what I wanted to see,' said Allan. 'I think he ran about 48 seconds for the gallop, but he did it very nicely and he pulled up well afterwards. Self Flit's condition has improved since he arrived at the racecourse this week. He's bright and seems to be really enjoying it here.'
Allan said he had debated his options regarding the gallop for Self Flit but elected for the all-weather because the turf was very firm.
'The turf track is very hard at the moment but hopefully it won't be as firm on Sunday as it was for the Derby meeting here last weekend,' Allan said.
'I haven't seen enough of the form yet to really know the main opposition but it's hard to be confident. As we all know, the Japanese milers are very, very good. But I will say that Self Flit is very well, very fit and with a bit of luck in running, I reckon he can fill a place. He won't disgrace us.'
Jockey Eddie Lai Wai-ming was due to arrive in Tokyo last night to partner Self Flit in the Yasuda Kinen and Allan plans to give Lai a look at the Fuchu track this morning.
'I just want to familiarise Eddie with the place, so I'll get him to jump Self Flit out of the gates solo and have a canter on the grass track,' Allan said. 'That will help his confidence rather than getting his first look at Fuchu in the race itself.'
Although the Fuchu track traditionally favours horses coming down the straight wide out on Yasuda Kinen day, Allan said he would prefer Self Flit to be drawn handy.
'He's a front-running horse and it just suits his style better to be drawn in close,' Allan said.