Back to his pet trip, Moore's King has the edge on handicapper
Whether it leads to a win in Saturday's Class One Chinese New Year Cup or not remains to be seen, but the John Moore-trained Sunny King will at least have an edge on the handicapper in the race.
Moore said on Sunday following Sunny King's second to Beauty Flash in the Group One Stewards' Cup the eight-year-old would back up in the traditional Lunar New Year feature over 1,400m.
Moore was initially concerned 111-rated Sunny King might be eligible for a rehandicap for his Group One second placing, which would have rendered him ineligible for the 115-90 ratings band, but was relieved to learn that would not occur even though Sunny King was rated four pounds higher after Monday's reassessments.
'In England, for example, one of the skills for a trainer is to beat the handicapper in handicap racing so it would have been disappointing to think we would have been ruled out of the race after doing that,' the trainer said. 'He still has a big weight to carry and we know he doesn't win often, but he's very honest and he'll be back to his best 1,400m distance.'
Handicapper Nigel Gray said that, because weights for the Chinese New Year Cup had already been published before the Stewards' Cup, only a win on Sunday would have led to Sunny King becoming ineligible for the race.
Although he has won only once since December 2007, Sunny King has continued to be a great money-spinner for his owners, adding more than HK$9 million to his earnings during that period after the latest HK$1.76 million he collected in the Stewards' Cup took his tally to more than HK$11 million.
He has notched up two seconds and a third at Group One level and two seconds and a third in Group Three races, along with quite a number of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place cheques in high-grade races.