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Horse Racing Hong Kong: Barrier Draw Complete for International Races

Nervous anticipation always accompanies the barrier draw for the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races and today’s event was no different to previous years with lady luck playing her hand to the delight or chagrin of gathered connections.
MOONLIGHT CLOUD is one of the standout stars at this year’s Turf World Championships and seemed to draw well enough in gate six for her G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile assignment on Sunday (8 December), although trainer Freddy Head was not completely satisfied.
“I was hoping for an outside draw so number six is not my favourite pick,” said Head of the French mare, who is aiming for a seventh career G1 triumph. “There is a lot of speed in the race so hopefully we will get a good gallop, which is what we are looking for.”
SKY LANTERN, whose quartet of career G1 wins includes the 1,000 Guineas in England this year, will break from gate eight under Richard Hughes.
“One or two lower would have been helpful but it’s OK, I think,” said Tony Gorman, travelling head lad to trainer Richard Hannon.
Hong Kong horses have won each of the last seven editions of the Mile but a couple of the home team’s big players drew less than ideally. Last year’s runner-up, the John Size-trained GLORIOUS DAYS, is wide in 13 as he aims for glory first-up this term, while this season’s rising star in Hong Kong, Gold-Fun, will break from 10.
“Obviously it’s not perfect, but he is a very professional horse who has won from a wide gate and a low gate so I’m not too worried,” commented trainer Richard Gibson.
Gibson was less content with AKEED MOFEED’s draw in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m). The 2013 BMW Hong Kong Derby hero drew tight to the fence in gate one.
“Trainers are never happy and I would have preferred something a bit higher, but better one than twelve,” said Gibson. “The most important thing is the condition of the horse and he’s in good condition.”
Military Attack
John Moore would have preferred to have pulled a lower number than gate nine for Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year, MILITARY ATTACK, in the Cup.
“It’s a little bit of an awkward gate – it could have been worse but it could have been better,” said Moore. “I don’t want Zac (Purton) to have to use him like the other day but I think my fella would have more tactical speed than CIRRUS DES AIGLES on his outside (gate 10).”
LITTLE MIKE’s connections, on the other hand, were delighted after the American raider, winner of the 2012 G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf, drew gate six.
“The six draw is absolutely perfect - couldn't be better,” said trainer Dale Romans. “We've got the speed horse (TOKEI HALO) from Japan immediately inside us to cart us forward. Very happy!”