He beat all but Super Wealthy under top weight in the National Day Cup and Blake Shinn feels that if Sky Field can go one better in Sunday’s Group Two Premier Bowl (1,200m), the Group One Hong Kong Sprint is “at his mercy”.
The Caspar Fownes-trained Sky Field will again carry 133 pounds and his opposition goes up a notch as the brilliant Courier Wonder and the barnstorming Naboo Attack join the fray, while Super Wealthy, Lucky Patch and Stronger shape up again.
“Obviously Courier Wonder is an untapped galloper and you’ve got Naboo Attack – they’re two highly promising gallopers that we’re coming up against down in the weights,” Shinn said.
“Sky Field’s task isn’t going to be easy but he’s a quality galloper and if he can win at handicap conditions then the race in December looks at his mercy.
“We’ll see what happens on the weekend, I think he’ll run well regardless of what the result is. He’s in great form, he worked nicely earlier in the week and I’m happy with where he’s at.”
Sky Field already has a Group One placing to his name after finishing third behind Wellington in April’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize, while he finished a length and a quarter behind a victorious Courier Wonder when giving him 12 pounds in May’s Group Three Sha Tin Vase (1,200m).
Sky Field was enormous on his resumption in the National Day Cup (1,000m) earlier this month, cutting a swathe from the back of the field to miss by three-quarters of a length.
“All roads lead to December and he has to run in these races to prep him up nicely and the horse is going terrific,” Shinn said of Sky Field, whose next run in November’s Jockey Club Sprint will be at level weights.
“The advantage of having barrier two is the horse isn’t going to have a gut-buster, he’s going to have a nice economical run and I can save him for his best asset – his turn of foot.
“Hopefully we can just save our pennies until the last part and if things go our way, he might be able to win. You can’t discount a horse of this ability.”
Also in the race are shock Group Three Celebration Cup (1,400m) victor Buddies, Computer Patch, Duke Wai, Voyage Warrior, Harmony And Rich and defending champ Wishful Thinker.
Dennis Yip Chor-hong’s eight-year-old produced a boilover at $45 last year and a repeat of that result would be equally surprising, but jockey Derek Leung Ka-chun expects a solid showing from his charge under just 116 pounds – four less than what he lugged to victory 12 months ago.
“Last year it was a small field with a fast tempo so it was good for him from behind,” said Leung, who has two Premier Bowls in his trophy cabinet – last year’s and the 2009 silverware thanks to John Moore’s Inspiration.
“This time the light weight is an advantage for him and he’s honest, but he will need more luck than other horses because he always comes from behind – he needs a fast pace and a smooth passage and he will run well.”
Leung doesn’t have a ride in the Group Two Sha Tin Trophy – a race he won aboard Beauty Generation in 2017 – while Shinn partners another top weight in Southern Legend.
“He’s nine years old but you wouldn’t feel it when you’re riding him. Yes, it’s handicap conditions but he deserves his weight and I’m rapt to be riding him – I think he’s got a great show,” the Australian said.