The trainer of American sprinter Morluc, Randy Morse, is not sitting on the fence for tomorrow's Hong Kong Sprint over 1,000m, so much as being careful with his expectations. Morse had the thrill of his career on International Day last year when the impressive-looking sprinter Morluc went down narrowly in the same race to Australia's Falvelon. Right away, Morse knew he had what it would take to come back and be first home this year - mainly because his horse should not have been so close to winning in 2000. 'Last year, it was my first trip to Hong Kong. Because I hadn't been here before, I didn't know what to expect and I just didn't know there'd be all this concrete around. Morluc was walking on that all the time and his feet got very tender,' Morse said. 'He was almost lame when he ran in the Sprint, so he surprised me a bit that he ran second considering his feet were so sore.' Since arriving in Hong Kong this year, Morse has had bar shoes on Morluc and it has made all the difference. 'The bar shoes give him more elevation so he is walking around much happier,' he said. Some American commentators say Morluc is probably the one American runner tomorrow which has been targeted specifically for Hong Kong this year. The horse has not started since winning the Nureyev Stakes at Keeneland in early October but that was all part of the plan. 'We entered him in an allowance race at Churchill Downs in mid-November, but thought again and scratched him,' said Morse. 'We wanted to come to Hong Kong absolutely fresh.' While Morse's horse has improved, his draw has not. From 14, Morluc will start even further out against the outside rail and the trainer is hoping jockey Robbie Albarado remembers to look across to his right when it counts. 'Last year, our jockey Shane Sellers didn't even see Falvelon over on the inside, they were so wide apart,' Morse said. The vagaries of wide, straight-track racing are not a common problem in the United States, but the science has been taken out of whether to go inside or outside by the gate and at least the speed seems fairly well distributed both sides of the course. 'Even if there is a feeling that the inside would be better, it isn't something we can worry about. Even if we wanted to race over on the inside we couldn't do it from 14 so we just have to do our best out there and hope that the track runs even,' Morse said. Since Morluc was beaten by just a head 12 months ago, it would be easy to assume that a fitter, happier Morluc should probably win tomorrow's race. But Morse is not about to fall into that trap. 'I know my horse is going into the race a much better animal than he was last year,' he said. 'And that might sound like you have to get a better run, but the thing with racehorses is that when you think you have them all worked out, they will soon show you that you're wrong. 'All I can say is that Morluc has worked well, he won't be lame and is going into the race better and you'd always rather your horse went in as good as you can make him. Now that might not get us a better result, but at least I can sleep at night.'