By Nicholas Godfrey
Hong Kong: Everest winner Classique Legend will continue his career with trainer Caspar Fownes ahead of his next run in the Hong Kong Sprint in December.
Owner Boniface Ho revealed news of the switch on Sunday, the day after the five-year-old gelding had beaten Godophin’s Bivouac by 2½ lengths in a dominant effort to claim the world’s richest turf race at Randwick in Sydney for 82-year-old trainer Les Bridge.
Speaking on Sky Television, HK-based Ho said Classique Legend will enter quarantine in Melbourne ahead of his imminent move, after which he will target the world’s top sprints – with prizes in Dubai, Japan and at Royal Ascot all in play.
“The plan was for the horse to go into quarantine starting tomorrow,” Ho said, adding that the move may be delayed after his Randwick exertions.
“What I hear this morning is that the horse is a bit tired and might not be suitable to travel,” he added.
Classique Legend beat a field full of world-class sprinters to win the fourth running of the Everest under Kerrin McEvoy, who was winning the A$15m (£8.23m) event for the third time in four years.
“If I don’t send the horse to Hong Kong now, he will never be able to go,” added Ho, in a report carried by AAP Racing.
“The rules of the Hong Kong Jockey Club are that horses over four years old cannot be imported.”
However, the rules have been waived in the case of Classique Legend, for whom Hong Kong plans had to be shelved earlier this year owing to COVID-19 restrictions.
“From HK he can tackle other overseas races, in addition I can support him all the time,” his owner said.
“From what I see, the horse will have a better future racing in different jurisdictions if he was racing in Hong Kong. He would be able to tackle the best sprinters all over the world – and shine all over the world.”