The Workforce team will turn its attention to Sha Tin on Sunday with a lightly raced staying talent in Snow Sky, who took the honours as star of the morning at headquarters on Friday.

Snow Sky, winner of two Group races in England this year, bowled over 1,400 metres on the course proper, increasing the tempo after the 1,000m.

He galloped out nicely over the final 800m in 53.3 seconds, the last 400m in 23.76 and the final 200m in 11.46. It was a benchmark for the morning that never looked under threat.

Snow Sky is something of a rarity in the Vase as he is only a three-year-old in a race typically dominated by the more mature stayers. Victory for the juniors is not unknown, however, as the Aga Khan's three-year-old filly Daryakana won under Gerald Mosse in 2009 and Japan's Six Sense was second to champion Ouija Board in 2005.

Ironically, the horse that chased Daryakana home five years ago, Spanish Moon, represented the team behind Snow Sky - owner Khalid bin Abdullah al-Saud, trainer Sir Michael Stoute and jockey Ryan Moore.

The Abdullah-Stoute-Moore combination is perhaps best remembered for Workforce, Europe's champion three-year-old of 2010 as a result of his seven-length win in the Derby at Epsom and his brave conquest of Japanese raider Nakayama Festa in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

Abdullah, one of the leading owner-breeders in Europe for more than three decades, also has short-priced favourite Flintshire - prepared in France by Andre Fabre - engaged in the Vase.

The other feature of trackwork was that Queensland warhorse Buffering was able to belatedly gallop and confirm his place in the Sprint, having missed his booking for a turf workout on Tuesday due to a burst abscess in one front foot.

The tough-as-teak veteran came out for a canter on Thursday and was then cleared to gallop on Friday. Buffering moved stylishly over 800m in 57.4 seconds, the final 400m in 25.6.

Another to catch the eye was British visitor Captain Cat, who holds an engagement against an ominously strong home team in the HK$23 million Hong Kong Mile.

Captain Cat sprinted up 400m on the turf, clocking 23.5 seconds, the last 400m in 11.85, and attracted attention with his fluent movement and bright appearance. Captain Cat, trained by Roger Charlton and to be ridden by James Doyle, is a dual Group Three winner in England this year, his most recent success coming in the Superior Mile at Haydock on September 6.


Cup hopeful Farraaj had his third piece of work for the week when he was sent over 1,200m at pacework tempo (17 seconds per 200m), quickening up the straight to clock 25.1 for his last 400m, the ultimate split in 12.19.

Farraaj, a last-start third at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival, is prepared by Roger Varian. The gelding carries the colours of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Sheikh Ahmed is the younger brother of Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan, and while his racing string is much smaller, he has experienced success with Mtoto.

At the end of the week, trackwork highlights have been (Cup) Designs On Rome, Archimedes; (Vase) Flintshire, Curren Mirotic; (Mile) Gold-Fun, Able Friend; and (Sprint) Straight Girl, Spalato.