Lion City sensation Rocket Man gets a good feel of Sha Tin

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 November, 2010, 12:00am

Singapore trainer Patrick Shaw wasted no time getting star sprinter Rocket Man out of his box at Sha Tin and onto the training track yesterday.

The gelding only arrived on Sunday morning and Rocket Man wasn't out to do anything spectacular, merely shake the travel dust off his feet.

He strode around the all-weather track for one lap under Felix Coetzee, who is back in town to start a short club jockey stint and to pilot Rocket Man in Sunday's Group Two Jockey Club Sprint (1,200m).

The sprinter reportedly lost 6 kilograms in body weight during the eight-hour journey, accompanied by assistant trainer Jackie Detert, which included a three-hour delay on the tarmac at Singapore's Changi Airport.

'Jackie told me Rocket Man travelled well and I expect he'll put that weight back on before his race on Sunday,' said Shaw, who made the trip to Hong Kong with the horse's owner, Fred Crabbia, after the Gold Cup meeting in Singapore on Sunday.

Rocket Man will be the second foreign visitor to come for the Jockey Club Sprint as a lead-in to next month's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint, but should be the first to actually run. Last year, Australia's Scenic Blast arrived early but was withdrawn from the Jockey Club Sprint with a foot injury.

Local trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing has changed course again with rising star Little Bridge and will run the four-year-old in the sprint.

Little Bridge is unbeaten in five starts but, after two recent wins with little to spare at the finish, Shum had indicated he might rethink his programme.

However, Shum yesterday decided Little Bridge would be thrown in the deep end after all with an eye to the Hong Kong Sprint on December 12.