Derby field contains few surprises
Endowing included at expense of higher-rated Crackerjack
The Jockey Club’s BMW Hong Kong Derby selection panel played a straight bat in announcing a field for the 2013 classic on Wednesday that contained no major exercise of their discretion.
The only real surprises for the HK$16 million Group One were mild ones, with John Size-trained Endowing included in the field off a rating of 82 at the expense of Crackerjack, rated four points higher, and Tony Millard-trained Jolly Victor being named as first reserve in front of a number of higher-rated horses.
The lowest top-rated Derby runner in memory on a handicap mark of 102, nominal favourite Akeed Mofeed forms the spearhead to sophomore trainer Richard Gibson’s powerful threesome, with Mizani and Gold-Fun also holding plenty of admirers for the race.
Three-time Derby winner John Moore had expected on Monday to have just two runners in Ashkiyr and Poetic Justice, but he also finished with three after the selection committee elected to include 86-rated Albiceleste, despite the Italian dual Listed winner having begun his local career just last Wednesday when fourth to Aomen.
Ten of the 14 runners will come from only four yards, with defending Derby-winning trainer John Size also sending out multiple runners in Classic Cup victor It Has To Be You and Endowing, while the 2010 Derby winner, Caspar Fownes, will saddle up Rainbow Chic and Best Show.
Me Tsui Yu-sak will send out his first Derby runner since gaining a trainer’s licence in 2005, with the grey Wah May Star.
Derby field: Akeed Mofeed, Autumn Gold, Gold-Fun, It Has To Be You, President Lincoln, Ashkiyr, Wah May Star, Mizani, Jun Gong, Rainbow Chic, Albiceleste, Best Show, Poetic Justice, Endowing.
Reserves: Jolly Victor, Crackerjack, Blazing Speed, Sunny Ying, Navel Orange, Turbo Jewellery.