Hong Kong: Ryan Moore rates Mogul ‘our best chance on paper’

Horse Racing Mogul Sha Tin Hong Kong Vase
Mogul: Ryan Moore is hoping for a repeat win in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club

By Jon Lees

Hong Kong: Ryan Moore has described Mogul as his best chance of success at Sunday’s HK$100m Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin.

The four-year-old will attempt to emulate former Ballydoyle globetrotter Highland Reel, who landed the Hong Kong Vase under Moore in 2015 and 2017.

Mogul delivered a third Vase victory for Moore and Aidan O’Brien when he won the G1 1m4f contest by three lengths 12 months ago but has not won since, placing only once in four starts, the latest back in August.

Moore will partner all three of O’Brien’s runners in the Longines-sponsored series at Sha Tin where Mother Earth contests the HK Mile and Bolshoi Ballet is in the HK Cup.

“Mogul would look our best chance on paper,” said Moore, speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong where this week he was crowned the 2021 Longines World’s Best Jockey.

He went on: “He’s had a quiet year. He started in Dubai, where he ran respectably. He then ran a good race in Paris in the Prix Ganay. The ground was very soft at Epsom for the Coronation Cup. He didn’t like it and it was the same again when he went back to Deauville.

“He’s had a few things that haven’t gone right for him in the summer so he has been lightly raced. His work has been good at home and he looks great. We know he likes Sha Tin and quick ground. 

“He showed a couple of times last year that he is very talented. Aidan has had his eye on this race for a while and I still have faith that he can get back on track. His two G1 wins were gained right-handed, at Longchamp and Sha Tin.”

In contrast to Mogul, the filly Mother Earth will be having her tenth start of the year in the Hong Kong Mile. The 1,000 Guineas winner was only tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last time.

“She is a wonderful filly,” Moore said. “She’s been on the go all year and late on as a two-year-old as well. 

“In the race in Del Mar, she was drawn in the middle and didn’t get away that quickly. The pace was steady and it’s impossible to make up ground in that very short straight. She’s been consistent all year. 

“The race on Sunday is very strong with Golden Sixty and a couple of very smart horses coming from Japan. It’s going to be tough for her. She usually runs a good race and I think Sha Tin will suit her well and she will enjoy the quicker ground.”

In the Cup, Bolshoi Ballet will return to the distance over which he recorded his G1 success, having finished sixth in the 1m4f Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Moore said: “He won a G1 in America at 10f and his two wins at the start of the year were at 10f. He’s very happy at that distance. I had high hopes for him. He hasn’t ran a bad race lately but I would like to have seen a little bit more from him. 

“I think the quick ground will be in his favour and I don’t think Sha Tin will be any problem. The two Japanese fillies (Loves Only You and Lei Papale) bring a high level of form and are probably going to be tough to beat. I still believe there is a good horse in there and hopefully he will run a respectable race.”

• Visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club website

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