One World's build-up leaves Moore beaming
Alan Aitken in Dubai
John Moore remains unswayed from a belief that One World can give him his first offshore Group One win tonight despite a tsunami of confidence behind the Singapore-based sprinter Rocket Man for the US$2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai.
Workers were catching their minimal sleep on the floors of the grandstand yesterday amid non-stop 24-hour shifts in an attempt to have the glittering Meydan course finished for the World Cup meeting, but Moore's own task is completed in having One World as ready as he will ever be to capture one of the planet's great sprinting prizes.
Hong Kong's other training representative is confident that Good Ba Ba and Joy And Fun will give a great account of themselves and, if anything, Moore is even more bullish about his runner. 'I could not be happier with One World - he's done really well here, really well,' the trainer enthused yesterday. 'The travel, his work, everything. He only cantered this morning, but his work was good earlier in the week, he's got back any weight that he lost on the way over. You'd swear he does this every other week, he's handled it so well.'
One World's main piece of work came on Wednesday morning on the new artificial track, the Tapeta surface where the Golden Shaheen will be run, and both Moore and jockey Darren Beadman gave the gelding 10 out of 10 after he sampled the track for the first time. 'We didn't go too hard, about three-quarter pace, but he felt great,' Beadman said. 'He feels really comfortable on the surface and changed his lead leg exactly when I wanted him to on the turn.'
Singapore's Rocket Man, to be ridden by former Hong Kong champion jockey Robbie Fradd, has had only one race since the lone defeat of his career at the hands of Sacred Kingdom at Kranji in May last year. But he has prompted the biggest betting mover of the meeting and yesterday displaced Godolphin's Gayego as favourite, firming to 5-2 with English bookmakers after as much as 9-2 was offered earlier in the week.
'I've been told the people with Rocket Man won't hear of him being beaten, but we will keep him very honest,' Moore said.
One World's pole position at the gates in the 10-horse sprint, which will be run around a turn for the first time on the new track this year, has only fuelled the positive vibes behind the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint runner-up.
'Had he drawn an inside gate in the Hong Kong Sprint he might have beaten Sacred Kingdom instead of having to come from last,' Moore said. 'We're expecting the Japanese horse, Laurel Guerreiro, to set a good pace, as he usually does, and Rocket Man is fast and there might be one or two others pushing forward. From barrier one, we're thinking Darren will be three back along the rail in the middle of the field and ready to finish off strongly as we know he can.'
While none of the Sha Tin-based trio is favourite for his race, each has a winning show if they produce on the night - a red-letter day in prospect for Hong Kong on such a colossal stage.
One World was quoted as a 10-1 chance by bookmakers, while Derek Cruz-trained Good Ba Ba is gathering support at 13-2 for the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free and stablemate Joy And Fun listed at 12-1 for the Alquoz Sprint, on the sixth line of betting behind the North American favourite, California Flag at 4-1.