Military Attack to join Caspar Fownes' stable from John Moore
Former Horse of the Year and winner of eight races is being moved from John Moore's yard to work with the three-time trainer's title winner
The first benefits of a third trainers' championship win are already taking shape with Caspar Fownes to receive Hong Kong's joint top-rated horse, Military Attack, into his yard next season.
The morning rumours of the move were confirmed by official notification from the Jockey Club yesterday afternoon that owner Canny Leung Chi-shan, the wife of high-profile businessman Steven Lo Kit-sing, is in the process of moving the beaten favourite from the world's richest race, the Dubai World Cup, from John Moore.
The six-year-old is the second and by far most prominent higher-grade horse to leave Moore's yard for Fownes this week.
On Monday, lightly raced four-year-old Travel Brother was transferred but, while he is promising, he is in Class Two and yet to win in Hong Kong.
Military Attack, on the other hand is a winner of eight races and HK$41 million in prize money, a Singapore Airlines International Cup, two Hong Kong Gold Cups and an Audemars Piguet QE II Cup, and was the reigning Horse of the Year until deposed for that title by Moore-trained Designs On Rome last week.
Fownes won his third championship in a cliffhanger at Sha Tin on Sunday after a countback on second placings after he and John Size tied with 62 wins. Fownes has already begun his overseas holiday and could not be reached for comment yesterday on the transfer.
Champion jockey Zac Purton, who was sacked from Military Attack earlier this year by Moore, said he knew nothing about the transfer when contacted yesterday, but added he "would welcome a chance" to pilot the gelding on which he won two majors in 2013.
"I haven't heard anything about it, but obviously do a lot of riding for Caspar, so there is a realistic chance I may be asked to ride Military Attack again," said Purton, who won his first championship after ending Douglas Whyte's reign.
"He's one of my favourite horses here and John Moore gave me a lot of the credit for getting him winning at the top level last season. When I lost him, I lost my marquee Group One horse, so I'd welcome another chance on him."
It is not the first time a high-profile horse has taken the walk from Moore's yard to Fownes' camp recently.
He won a Group Two Chairman's Trophy with Packing Whiz after he moved from Moore's yard in the latter part of last season, although the Irish-bred gelding was unable to win in nine starts this term.