Premiership contender John Moore has declared he needs to leave Sha Tin with a swag of winners on Monday to keep his title hopes alive.
The Australian trails 10-time champion John Size by six winners with just five meetings remaining but knows he is within striking distance should his stable fire, as expected.
Moore will saddle up the likes of Aethero, Thanks Forever, Touch Of Luck and Buddies in a last-ditch attempt to make inroads into Size’s lead after failing to land a winner at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
With his stable stars on show, Moore said he was “excited” to get to the races.
“This is the telling day, I have to train four winners,” a frank Moore said.
“I know people out there are going ‘what the hell is Moore saying? He’s got to train four? That’s crazy’ but the bottom line is I have to train four to get it back to two.”
Moore is given added confidence thinking back to his 2010-11 premiership over Tony Cruz when he won four of the last six races on the final day to take the title by two.
His star two-year-old Aethero will step out of Griffin company for the first time in the Class Three Riding High Together Handicap (1,200m) in what Moore says will be his last race of the season.
“He is the best [Griffin] I have had, he is really something special,” Moore said.
“He has done everything right, the only reason he didn’t trial is because he had a minor shoe boil on the off side but it is down in size now.
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“He has done everything right and the rider who rides him every morning said he will just win.”
The 69-year-old brushed off suggestions Aethero could go the same way as his previous top Griffin Styling City who was toppled last season in his first venture into open grade from a wide barrier.
While Aethero has drawn barrier 14, Moore said it should prove to be no problem for the son of Sebring.
“Styling City went up with a wide gate with [Joao] Moreira and he jumped straight across and compounded but this horse is a different kettle of fish, this horse is the real deal,” he said.
“This fellow will go all the way, he is really, really good – something out of the hat.
“He will get across from 14 easy, even if anyone even takes him on, not a problem at all. He just changes gears when someone gets along side him.”
His other speedster Thanks Forever will line up against Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s Big Party in a clash Moore says is “good for Hong Kong racing”.
“From a racegoers point of view, I could be getting carried away but I think it’s a match race and it’s great for the racing public because these are two newcomers on the scene who I think will go all the way and be possible runners in the invitation sprint in December,” he said.
“It’s two superstars in the making who are going to find their way into Group company and it’s great for Hong Kong.”
While Moore is hoping to leave Sha Tin with at least four winners, Size might not go home empty-handed either.
Moore has a high opinion of Excel Delight who races in the Class Four Uncompromising Integrity Handicap (1,000m).
“He’s got that Excel Delight as well who I think goes well as well so I have to train a bag to try and peg it back and then anything can happen from there,” he said.