Brett Prebble

Prebble reuniting with his buddy, Absolute Champion

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 November, 2007, 12:00am

Brett Prebble is to be reunited with his Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint winner of 12 months ago, Absolute Champion.

The horse's regular partner over a long period, Prebble had been forced to decide between Absolute Champion and Medic Power as his Sprint mount prior to their clash in last weekend's International Sprint Trial.

Eric Saint-Martin rode the David Hall-trained sprinter into second place behind Sacred Kingdom while Prebble's choice pulled up with a heart irregularity after failing in the race and will now bypass the international showpiece on December 9.

'I'm like a kid who lost his toys and then found them again,' said a thrilled Prebble on the confirmation that he would go back onto Absolute Champion in an attempt to reprise their 2006 success.

'Look, I said at the time it was simply a business decision I had to make - heck, I'd have ridden both if I could. And it was my choice to ride Medic Power so I would have understood if it had all worked out another way. But it was never anything against the horse and I'm very happy to have the old team back together again.'

And Prebble said Saint-Martin had graciously stepped aside for him to take the mount.

'I have to thank Eric very much. He said to the owners that he was happy to do whatever they felt was in the best interests of them and their horse and he was very understanding about the connection which I have with Absolute Champion,' Prebble said.

Saint-Martin, however, will not be without a mount in the Sprint as he, in his turn, reclaimed the mount on the Trial third placegetter, Scintillation, who had been piloted by Olivier Doleuze last Saturday.

Apprentice Terry Wong Chi-wai has been stood down from his bookings at Sunday's Sha Tin meeting as a result of his tumble at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and the substitute riders declared yesterday will take up the engagements.

Stewards received notification from the Queen Mary Hospital that Wong had sustained 'a knock to the head' when he fell from Triumph in the second race and doctors wished to keep him under observation for a further night. Wong is understood not to sustained any significant external injuries from the fall.