Time After Time lined up for Ascot
All three of John Moore's Sprint Cup entrants will be assessed for overseas targets on Sunday, but emerging star Time After Time is the most likely to head abroad after becoming a surprise entry for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Frederick Engels and Captain Sweet need strong performances to book a flight to next month's Krisflyer International Sprint in Singapore, but their champion trainer was far more bullish about the chances of Time After Time making a Royal Ascot raid in late June, when he could be joined by the Caspar Fownes-trained Lucky Nine, a rival on Sunday.
Time After Time has yet to capture a Group-level race and his last win was in Class Two at Happy Valley six months ago. But since then he has been mixing it and matching it with the best, and his last-start effort when runner-up to Ambitious Dragon in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup was arguably a career best.
Though yet to fully prove himself at elite level, Moore believes the five-year-old is on an upward trajectory. "He is definitely an improving horse and is showing us he is one of the best sprinters in Hong Kong," said Moore.
"I love Royal Ascot - for me, the Melbourne Cup and Royal Ascot are the pinnacle of our sport. Dubai and Singapore are great, but I love the prestige of the Royal Ascot. It would be great for Hong Kong if we could go over and win it, and Time After Time is capable of doing it."
Gerald Mosse has ridden Time After Time at his last two starts, but with the Frenchman in Japan on Sunday to ride Red Cadeaux, Zac Purton will reunite with the five-year-old.
Frederick Engels will have to prove he has fully recovered from a disastrous trip to Dubai, where he endured a torrid run in the Golden Shaheen, and a massive form turnaround is required from Captain Sweet to warrant an invite to Kranji.
"There's got to be a little bit of a question mark over whether you are going to see the best of Frederick Engels," Moore said. "All of his weight is back on him, but there is always a query about what it takes out of the horse with the travel.
"Last start Captain Sweet just ran flat. It's just a matter of whether that continues."