Hong Kong horses have a mixed record in the Group Three Korea Sprint (1,200m) on the Seoul sand but trainer Jimmy Ting Koon-ho is confident Computer Patch can put in a performance more akin to the efforts of Super Jockey and Fight Hero rather than those put up by Ugly Warrior and Lucky Year.
Super Jockey won the race in 2016 and Fight Hero was runner-up in 2018, while Lucky Year was 14th in 2017 as a $2.6 chance and Ugly Warrior 13th in 2019 at $2.
A multiple Group One placegetter, Computer Patch’s ability is not in question but his ability to perform on sand is.
The six-year-old has only ever raced on turf but he has trialled well on Sha Tin’s all-weather track, while he will also have to adapt to racing in the opposite direction to what he’s accustomed to in Hong Kong when he lines up on Sunday.
“When he first arrived in Korea his weight had dropped a little bit but after two days he was eating well and the weight came back up, so I think the horse is in not bad shape,” Ting said of Computer Patch, who will face largely local opposition as well as runners from Japan and the United Kingdom.
“His work rider says he is comfortable going anticlockwise in morning trackwork, he knows how to change legs and he is happy.
“He has worked on the main track and the rider says all is going OK but we still don’t know if he is going to handle the track – sometimes in the race it’s different. In the race he will get some kickback and we don’t know if he will keep going when he gets the kickback or if he won’t want to know about it.
“Obviously his form is good, he’s good enough if he can handle the track. He has drawn eight so I will ask [jockey Matthew Chadwick] to get a good position and keep him on the outside. It’s not a bad draw, five or six would have been better, but eight is better than one or two and it gives him a chance. Hopefully in the straight he is there to sprint.”
Get 'em, lads! 👊— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) September 1, 2022
Computer Patch draws barrier eight for the G3 Korea Sprint, while Kings Shield pulls barrier one for the G3 Korea Cup ahead of this Sunday's showcase at Seoul. 🇰🇷@korearacing | #HKracing pic.twitter.com/uIbtBA29DR
Chadwick will also partner Hong Kong’s other representative in Sunday’s features, with Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s dirt specialist Kings Shield tackling the Group Three Korea Cup (1,800m).
“He just went through his paces on the sand, similar to what Frankie does with him in Hong Kong,” Chadwick said of Kings Shield’s Thursday work.
“It’s a different surface here but he seemed to go through it fine. The surface is a bit different to Hong Kong, a bit deeper.
“He trialled OK before he left Hong Kong. He should have improved off that, which I would say he has.
“Both horses seem to be OK, they seem to have travelled well enough. They’re pretty healthy.”
The Jockey Club will simulcast five races from Seoul on Sunday as well as three from Germany, including the Group One Grosser Preis von Baden (2,400m).