Trainer John Moore watched past Horse of the Year Werther work on Thursday morning as he prepared for his seasonal return in Sunday’s Gr.2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m).
The seven-year-old’s last start was a rattling second in the Gr.1 Takarazuka Kinen in Japan back in June and the multiple Gr.1 winner had a quiet barrier trial on the all-weather last week.
“Werther really enjoyed it this morning, he really wanted to motor but my work rider just held him down,” Moore said. “He loves a cut in the ground and he was getting his toe in there.”
Young South African rider Callan Murray was in the plate for Werther’s recent trial and will take the reins on Sunday before returning them to the gelding’s usual big-race pilot.
“Murray will ride and then Hugh Bowman is expected to be back for the trial and the Hong Kong Cup,” Moore said.
“He’ll go Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse and then the trial race (Jockey Club Cup) in November, depending on how he comes out of this race. He might skip the Ladies’ Purse if I felt that was the right thing for the horse, we don’t want to put him under heavy pressure.” -HKJC