Superstar jockey Joao Moreira will partner boom speedster Hot King Prawn in next weekend’s Group Two BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Sprint at Sha Tin.
Trainer John Size confirmed the booking of the Magic Man ahead of his five-pronged attack on the traditional lead-up race for the Group One Longines Hong Kong Sprint.
Moreira is yet to ride Hot King Prawn, who boasts a record of eight wins and a second from nine starts, in a race, but he was aboard for his very first barrier trial at Sha Tin in April last year.
The move means Sam Clipperton, who secured his biggest Hong Kong victory aboard the talented grey in the Group Two Premier Bowl last start, will now jump across to stablemate D B Pin.
The 10-time champion trainer will also saddle up Ivictory (Zac Purton), Beat The Clock (Silvestre de Sousa) and Premiere (Chad Schofield) in the feature.
All five trialled at Sha Tin on Friday morning – Hot King Prawn and D B Pin looked the sharpest – as a precursor to their next assignment.
They all come into the race off different preparations – Hot King Prawn has looked terrific winning his two starts this term while Size still has “no explanation” for Ivictory’s subpar performance when even-money favourite in the Premier Bowl: “He seems OK. There’s nothing to see.”
The other three are all making their return to the track after setbacks – Group One-winner D B Pin did his left front tendon in March, Premiere chipped a bone in his leg while Beat The Clock’s preparation was interrupted by a minor illness.
“They seemed all right, seemed normal, they all trialled OK,” Size said.
“I think everything is in order [ahead of the Jockey Club Sprint], just the conditions on the day will determine the winner.”
Size also confirmed he has lodged the paperwork with the Jockey Club for Moreira to become his stable rider, so the ball is now in the court of the licensing committee.
The three-time champion jockey is licensed to ride in Japan from November 10 until December 9, but he will be in Hong Kong for the feature meeting on Sunday week as well as the Hong Kong International Races.
A former Size-trained galloper in Mr Stunning looked terrific in his trial, beating D B Pin and Ivictory, and looks set to give his former stablemates a shake in the Jockey Club Sprint with Frankie Lo Fu-chen’s six-year-old clearing out to win in smart fashion.
Hot favourite Ivictory disappoints but stablemate Hot King Prawn sizzles under a rejuvenated Sam Clipperton in the Premier Bowl, showing brazen speed throughout to beat Fifty Fifty and Mr Stunning in style. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/Vx64XxZWfn— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) October 21, 2018
The other horse to impress on Friday morning was Caspar Fownes’ Southern Legend, who ran over the top of the likes of Hot King Prawn, Pingwu Spark and Singapore Sling to take out his heat.
“He’s very close to where I want him now,” Fownes said.
“He’ll run a big race in next week’s Jockey Club Mile and will be the best he can be when December comes.”