Kings Falcon ready to rule Classic Mile after exciting trial
John Moore showed his timing of the preparation of Kings Falcon for the HK$8 million Mercedes-Benz Classic Mile on Sunday week is right on target when the British private purchase made a one-act affair of the opening barrier trial (1,050m) at Sha Tin yesterday.
Kings Falcon, ridden by Mark du Plessis, raced keenly in the early stages, but once he gained a split between the leaders in the home straight he quickly put the issue beyond doubt.
In the finals stages, Kings Falcon took no prisoners, racing away from leader Wei Hai Invincible to score by 11/2 lengths. Although the overall time was not exceptional, his personal splits were, rushing home the final 600m in 34.4 seconds and the final 200m in 11.44.
Kings Falcon, on a rating of 105, will be the highest-rated horse in the first Group One race for 2009. The Classic Mile is the first leg of the four-year-old Triple Crown, to be followed by the Derby Trial (1,800m) in February and the Derby itself in March.
In the same trial, Thumbs Up - another Classic Mile entrant - finished fourth under Howard Cheng Yue-tin.
The Panasonic Cup winner got back in the field of seven, was taken to the outside on straightening but tended to lug and did not seem comfortable.
Later in the morning, the potential Classic Mile favourite Unique Jewellery trialled over 1,000m on turf and should have pleased trainer John Size and jockey Douglas Whyte with an excellent piece of work.
He began with his usual brilliance and was strongly on the bridle throughout. But in the final stages, Whyte kept him firmly under a hold and he would have gone home with batteries fully charged, beaten five lengths in sixth place behind King Dancer.
Green Birdie prepared for his next Group One mission in the Stewards' Cup with an excellent second behind Beauty Forever in a mile turf trial.
The Caspar Fownes-trained gelding was balanced at the rear of the field by Olivier Doleuze and made up many lengths in the run home before coming up a neck short of victory.
Green Birdie has only been sprinting this season and the trial will do him the world of good, with the most pleasing aspect being the way he switched off at the tail.