Werther has every chance to hold off the international raiders and keep the HK$25 million Longines Hong Kong Cup at home after drawing perfectly in barrier three for Sunday’s Group One.
Gates are crucial from the 2,000m start at Sha Tin with a very short run to the first turn and John Moore’s star should find the perfect spot from there.
However, most of his key rivals have also landed good gates with QE II Cup champion Neorealism coming up with one and Tony Cruz’s Time Warp getting five.
However, Britain’s Poet’s Word won’t get any favours from the outside stall and neither will compatriot Blond Me (10).
Barrier draw for G1 Hong Kong Cup pic.twitter.com/IOkPhMYLpv— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) December 7, 2017
Defending champion Beauty Only will have to overcome barrier 12 if he is going to go back-to-back in the Longines Hong Kong Mile (1,600m).
That draw was compounded by the fact Jockey Club Mile winner Seasons Bloom and dual Group One winner Helene Paragon came up with five and two respectively.
Of the visitors, Lightning Spear (one), France’s Karar (three) and Japanese star Satono Aladdin (four) landed prize alleys but the Irish duo of Lancaster Bomber (11) and Roly Poly (14) did not fare as well.
Popular sprinter Lucky Bubbles is sure to have plenty of supporters after drawing the inside alley in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m).
His main rival Mr Stunning was the second last horse drawn out and there were just two options left – four and 12 – but jockey Nash Rawiller pulled the right rein and landed the former.
It completed a good run for John Size’s quartet with three of his runners to start from the first eight stalls.
Japanese visitor Once In A Moon landed gate two, while French speedster Signs Of Blessing, who ran well in last year’s race, came up with five.
Barrier draw for G1 Hong Kong Sprint pic.twitter.com/Xxg0GjlgWT— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) December 7, 2017
Highland Reel has drawn barrier eight as he tries to finish his career on a winning note in the Longines Hong Kong Vase (2,400m).
Aidan O’Brien’s globetrotter won this race in 2015 before being beaten by Satono Crown when an odds-on favourite last year.
His main rivals Talismanic and Japanese youngster Kiseki drew gates one and three respectively, while Hong Kong’s leading hope Gold Mount didn’t get any favours, landing the outside gate in the field of 12.