Trainer John Moore has warned not to rule out Rodrico running a big race first-up as the import looks to emulate his stablemate Werther with a win on his local debut.
Rodrico is owned by Johnson Chen, who also owns Werther, who won first-up before going on to clinch the Group One Hong Kong Derby and Horse of the Year honours for last season.
And just like Werther, Rodrico arrives off a second in the Group One Queensland Derby and a rating of 89, form that was given a timely boost when the horse that beat him in Brisbane – stablemate Eagle Way – won on international day.
“Rodrico is going to run a race on Sunday,” Moore said of a horse that hasn’t run since that memorable Derby battle with Eagle Way more than seven months ago. “There’s not that much of him physically and he isn’t hard to get fit. He isn’t big and bulky, he looks like a filly, so he comes to hand very quickly. His work has been good and a couple of trials have him ready to run a race I think.”
Sam Clipperton has secured the ride on Rodrico and after coming up with barrier 12, Moore said the jockey won’t be instructed to try anything adventurous tactically, even if there doesn’t look a huge amount of speed in the Class Two mile.
“He will be going back from the gate, but even with the bad draw I think he can go close,” Moore said. “We will just give him a chance to get home well. I’m excited about both of my horses’ chances, it’s a strong-looking field but these others will have to bring their A game.”
Moore’s other runner Beauty Generation is also looking to build fitness ahead of the first leg of the four-year-old series, the Group One Hong Kong Classic Mile on January 22.
Beauty Generation was an eye-catching second first-up second behind My Darling over 1,400m and now heads to a mile on a 12-day back-up.
“He is getting there now, he is a much fitter now and no doubt he will be very competitive,” Moore said. “He needed that run, he is a big, bulky boy and that’s why I have entered him in this race – just to get a bit more fitness into him before the Classic Mile.”
Entries for the Classic Mile will be revealed on Monday but Moore was still mulling over his options, suggesting he may have as many as six or seven runners, providing a few results go his way.
As well as Rodrico and Beauty Generation, Moore’s eligible runners also include 114-rated Rapper Dragon, Eagle Way, Helene Charisma and Let Us Win, while People’s Knight may even run after contesting a Class Two at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
“If he wins he will be definitely run,” Moore said, before providing an update on his other four-year-olds. “Rapper Dragon came out of his trial the other day very well, it was a good trial. We’re very happy with him, it’s just that he had that setback so we lost a little bit of time. But we know now that Joao (Moreira) will ride him in the Classic Mile, so we’re starting to put our team together.
“I’ll be entering both Helene Charisma and Booming Delight in the Classic Mile too, but there’s an 1,800m Class Two on the same day that will suit both of them. Victory Magic ran in it last year on his way to the Derby.
“Hopefully Beauty Generation and Rodrico can join my Classic Mile squad after Sunday.”