By Declan Schuster/HKJC
Hong Kong: Everest winner Classique Legend has landed in Hong Kong ready for a tilt at the G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December.
The six-time winner, who carries the silks of HK-based owner Boniface Ho, joins the stable of championship leader Caspar Fownes, alongside his half-brother Aethero.
“He arrived late last night, he’s arrived very well – he’s good but I’m not allowed to see him yet,” Fownes said on Tuesday morning.
The gelded son of Not A Single Doubt arrives after leaving Australia as the nation’s top sprinter, his six wins for former trainer Les Bridge also featuring a pair of G2s in the Arrowfield Sprint and The Shorts before a brilliant victory in the world’s richest turf race, the A$15m (£8.25m) Everest at Randwick last month.
“My top staff will go see him in the morning, he’ll come out of quarantine after three days, that’s when I’ll see him hit the track,” Fownes added.
The five-year-old grey is to be targeted at the HK$22m (£2.14m) Hong Kong Sprint. “I didn’t do any pace work with him in quarantine,” said Fownes.
“He had one bit of work to pass his vet exam for Hong Kong which was normal and after that he just had double round canters every day and lots and lots of walking.
“His body weight is good, it’s bang on his racing weight, and now we’ll spend the next five weeks getting him really fit, having a trial and then going to the races.”
Fownes leads the championship race on 21 wins, six ahead of Francis Lui and a win in December’s showcase sprint would be the handler’s second after Lucky Nine in 2011.
“I’ll get to know the horse as we go on,” he said. “He looks pretty straightforward, his residual fitness is still there, it’s only been three weeks, literally, from his last run but he’ll scrub up well.”