Hong Kong faces acid test in interport
Macau runners were disappointing away from home in the first leg of the interport trophy, but persistent rain could further swing the advantage in favour of the locals in the return tie at the Taipa racecourse on Sunday.
Just four Hong Kong-trained horses travel across the Pearl River Delta for the HK$2.4 million Macau Hong Kong Trophy (1,500m), and a predicted heavy turf surface makes it even less likely the visitors will add to their tally of one win from eight attempts in the Macau leg.
Macau sent six horses to the opening leg last month at Sha Tin, all of them dismal failures, the guests filling places ninth through to 13th, with a best finish of fifth.
Macau Jockey Club director of racing Michael Beattie nominated Good Uncle, who was 11th at Sha Tin, as one horse to enjoy a bog track, with six of the five-year-old's eight wins coming on rain-affected ground.
'Eighteen months ago, Good Uncle was only considered a wet tracker,' Beattie said. 'He has improved considerably since then and he is now able to win on good tracks. He was genuinely disappointing in Hong Kong, but he has super wet track form. If the sort of rain we've had continues through the week, our horses will be better suited.'
Luen Yat Forever is another Macau-trained hope, the six-year-old second-up after a mid-career move to Australia. After winning three Group Ones in Macau, he was sent to Peter Moody in Melbourne, where he contested a Cox Plate and ran third in the Group One Toorak Handicap.
Tony Cruz is the only Hong Kong trainer to have won the Macau leg of the race and he saddles up leading hope Crown Witness, who will be joined by Turf Express, Amigo (Michael Chang Chun-wai) and Kyara (John Moore).