Inspiration under close observation after weight loss

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 May, 2009, 12:00am

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint winner Inspiration is being closely monitored and administered electrolytes by trainer John Moore after a significant weight loss during his flight to Singapore on the weekend.

The first-time travelling experiences of Inspiration and Sacred Kingdom could not have been more different as they ready themselves for the S$1 million (HK$5.3 million) KrisFlyer Sprint on Sunday.

Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie reported all was on track for Sacred Kingdom, but Moore's sprinter has given connections some concern.

'He travelled all right but he did lose about 30 pounds in body weight in the flight and is off his food since he arrived,' said Moore.

'It isn't an unusual situation for a horse travelling overseas for the first time like this to fret a little while he gets to grips with it, and I will stay down here longer than I had planned. We are giving him plenty of electrolytes and trying to kick-start his appetite.'

Moore said he had not intended to do much on the track with the dual Group One winner, anyway, but said any serious work this week was now out of the question.

'He did some good work before he left Hong Kong, he's fit enough, but the way he's eating he won't be doing anything but loosen up on the track in the lead-up to Sunday,' Moore said.

In the relatively limited time Hong Kong horses have been travelling to international events, legendary Silent Witness is probably the only horse to have lost more weight than Inspiration, having shed 40 pounds in the flight before finishing a close third in the 2005 Yasuda Kinen.

Yiu, on the other hand, said the only minor hiccup with Sacred Kingdom had been his temperature.

'He has a great temperament to travel with. We weighed him soon after he got here and his body weight was the same as it was when he left Hong Kong, which is good news,' he said. 'He did have a slightly elevated temperature when he landed but that has been taken care off, he's got back to normal very quickly.'

The former world champion sprinter has already been to Kranji 'just to stretch his legs after the flight', and Yiu said he was very happy with Sacred Kingdom's condition.

'He is fit and we just have to keep him ticking over this week,' Yiu said. 'When Brett Prebble arrives, we will breeze Sacred Kingdom up over three or four hundred metres on Friday but he won't have any serious gallop.'

Controversy-dogged rider Eric Saint-Martin has again been asked by the Jockey Club licensing committee to 'show cause' why his licence to ride should be continued when the committee meets on May 26.

Saint-Martin is serving a month's suspension for failing to obey a stewards' direction, but had previously been deemed to have successfully shown cause when called before licensing in February after an improper riding ban mid-season.