Moore puts his faith in blinkered Admiration
Hong Kong's leading big-event trainer, John Moore, hopes to pull out a master stroke by putting blinkers on rising young star Admiration in the HK$14 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint.
The four-year-old has built a record of six wins from 14 starts without the headgear, but Moore believes the addition of blinkers may be the tweak to make a difference on Sunday.
'He is a horse who is caught a little bit in the middle - he hasn't been strong a mile and 1,200 metres is fractionally short for him at this stage of his career,' he said. 'That is part of the puzzle, hoping the blinkers will help him to cope with the 1,200m.'
But Moore also thought the gear change might help Admiration to sustain his focus right to the line.
'We were of the opinion, in the Jockey Club Sprint, that Admiration went with Little Bridge when the buttons were pressed, but the difference was that Little Bridge sustained his finish and Admiration didn't go all the way to the line with him,' he said. 'He might just focus more, especially in that scenario with horses around him, so he not only sprints with them but keeps going.'
Moore has already tasted international success for the Hui family, which owns Admiration, with Motivation in the 1993 Cup at double figure odds and Inspiration's shock Sprint victory three years ago.
Admiration would not be a huge surprise in winning, as he has been thereabouts at his only two dips into black-type company this season. He went down by just over a length for third behind Little Bridge and Entrapment in the traditional lead-up for Sunday's major and that is the leeway Moore wants to make up.
'The sprinters here are always hard to beat, but there doesn't seem to be a great deal between them and the blinkers might just enable him to find that length that changes everything,' Moore said. 'Jeff Lloyd has been happy with Admiration's work in the gear and he jumped out very well on Monday when the stewards passed him to run in it.'