The two U.S.-based runners for Sunday’s Hong Kong International Races, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) hero Mongolian Saturday and third-placer Green Mask, each tuned up over the Sha Tin turf on Monday. The speedsters toured 800 meters (about a half-mile) in preparation for the Hong Kong Sprint (G1).
Mongolian Saturday (pictured above) clocked :53.8 in his first timed move since arriving in Hong Kong. After a leisurely opening split of :31.2, he blitzed in :22.6.
“He behaved himself this morning and everything is good,” trainer Enebish Ganbat said.
The Wesley Ward-trained Green Mask (pictured right) sped in :47.3, with fractions of :25.3 and :22.0.
Ace rider Joao Moreira, who was also aboard for Green Mask’s December 1 drill in :48.1 on the turf, observed his interim improvement.
“He feels more confident in what to do,” Moreira said. “Last week I had to give him some whacks to get him going, which I didn’t have to do today. He definitely worked better. It seems they have him ready to go for the big race.”
Although Moreira has been helping Green Mask in the mornings, he’ll stick with locally based contender Peniaphobia in the Hong Kong Sprint. Green Mask is scheduled to have regular pilot Joel Rosario in the saddle Sunday. Mongolian Saturday will also reunite with Florent Geroux.
Stay tuned to the blog all week for coverage of Hong Kong’s International Races.
Photos courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club.