Woods has classy King Dancer in the right mode
Trainer Sean Woods will be over the moon with the way his star four-year-old King Dancer flattened out in his 1,600m barrier trial win on the Sha Tin turf yesterday and will be setting his sights firmly on the Group One Champions & Chater Cup (2,400m) on May 30.
Woods will also be tickled pink with the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup result after seeing the Caspar Fownes-trained Derby winner Super Satin match it with some of the best gallopers in the world to finish third.
King Dancer toppled Super Satin in the Hong Kong Derby Trial in February, but he never enjoyed a clear run in the straight before finishing a gallant fifth in the big race in March.
Woods is keen to get his top-grade galloper back to the races after a short freshen-up.
Olivier Doleuze helped King Dancer blow out the cobwebs and, after settling at the rear, allowed the Danehill Dancer colt to stretch out with an impressive dash over the final 300m to claim the quality six-horse heat with ease in a time of 1.40.02.
John Moore had three runners and will also be happy with the way his Derby runner Irian and Melbourne Cup horse Carthage have recovered from their recent gelding operations.
Carthage is yet to step out at the races after disappointing in a number of prior trials, but during his gelding operation the vets discovered what may well have been the cause of his below-par efforts when they removed a ruptured testicle.
It wouldn't surprise to see both Irian and King Dancer step out in the Queen Mother Memorial Group Three over 2,400m on May 8, before they target the Group One Champions & Chater over the same trip three weeks later.
Fujian Emperor made a one-act affair of the second heat down the straight, demolishing his rivals by nine lengths. The three-year-old griffin, trained by Tony Millard, made no impression in his first two starts, but this effort indicates he has improved significantly.