Mastery is primed for 'great run'
Dubai's monolithic Godolphin team has just one representative at Sunday's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International meeting, but the Vase entry Mastery has slipped under the radar like some stablemates before him off a light campaign this year.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor was on hand for the four-year-old's work at Sha Tin yesterday and said he goes into the race 'looking for a great run'.
'He worked 1,000m this morning and I was very happy with his work and his condition in general,' he said. 'He has only had three races in 2010 and our plan for the end of the year was, if he was in the right kind of form, that we would come here for this race and that plan has gone well. He travelled over well, healthy and in form, and Mastery does have some class, as he is a St Leger winner last year in England.
'He had a long break before he was beaten in October at Newmarket, but he came on from that run and won his last race in England.'
The Vase is one of the major international events to have escaped Godolphin, with Ekraar narrowly failing to cause an upset in 2001 when Japanese star Stay Gold touched him off in the final strides, and likewise Sights On Gold was underrated by all and sundry when second to Phoenix Reach six years ago.
Mastery has better credentials than either of them, but his trainer nevertheless has no illusions about the task ahead if Mastery is to give Frankie Dettori and Godolphin a first victory in the race.
'Really, it is a very tough race, but the 2,400m will suit him and we are looking for a great run on Sunday,' he said.
'He ran well in the Dubai World Cup this year, so we will see how he goes here, take him back to England afterwards and in January or February, we will think about Dubai again for him again.'