I'm not leaving HK, claims Woods
Trainer Sean Woods has quashed talk of his imminent return to England as an invention of the Hong Kong racing rumour machine.
Persistent gossip has grown over the past fortnight that Woods would soon hand in his ticket to train at Sha Tin after nine completed seasons and return to his homeland, but the popular British horseman flatly denied it.
'Really, I don't know where these things come from - I suppose there are always people trying to stir the pot here,' Woods said. 'I can tell you I am absolutely not leaving Hong Kong unless they kick me out. I love it and I'll be staying for as long as I can.'
Woods said it was possible the rumours may have begun after he had returned to England briefly for Christmas with his family in Newmarket, or because the stable has been quiet lately, with five wins on the board this season.
'We aren't having a great run. There are a lot with injuries in the yard, which is sad, but other than that I can't really put my finger on it,' he said. 'It's just one of those things in racing. But no, I'm not leaving.'
Meanwhile, leading trainer John Size is playing down the absence of his top sprinter Entrapment from this weekend's Group One Kent & Curwen Centenary Sprint Cup (1,000m).
The Hong Kong Sprint joint runner-up is missing from the first leg of the 2012 Hong Kong Speed Series - which otherwise features the usual Group One suspects, in addition to Eagle Regiment and At Moment In Time stepping up in grade - but Size insisted there was no serious issue.
'Entrapment had a long time off before this season, and then he didn't miss a race for the first section of the season. He's had some tough racing and, as a result, he just isn't where I'd like him to be for the race on Sunday,' Size said. 'The horse is OK but I've given him a rest. We hope he is going to be around for a long time, so we are not going to rush him.'
Size has decided to miss the Classic Mile with Glorious Days, who will run in the Chinese New Year Cup (1,400m) on the same programme. He has only entered Fay Fay for the Classic Mile.