My Horse Racing service is 5th in the top 10 services so far this month with 45% strike rate and showing 33.08% return on investment Baywing (7/4) was the Max bet on Tuesday at Uttoxeter, Mr consistent that is the Colonel a bit crusty but trusty. The Irish wizard Dermot Weld is hopeful that his star Free Eagle (4/1 with Coral) has what it takes to land the world's richest mile and a quarter turf race, the HK$25 million G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup on Sunday.
"I am very happy with Free Eagle. He is training nicely and the plan is to run in the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup," Weld said of Moyglare Stud Farm's G1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (2,000m) victor."
Free Eagle followed that summer success with a fine third to Golden Horn in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes (2,000m), after receiving a hefty bump by the winner. The High Chaparral colt was then a solid sixth to the same rival in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2,400m) in France last time.
"He is a horse with a lot of pace," said Weld. "If you look at the Irish Champion Stakes when he was beaten by Golden Horn in a controversial race, you see how easily he travelled into the race. He was cantering off the home turn."
"He showed that speed when he won the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and I think a mile and a quarter is his optimum trip."
"We are looking forward to running him because you want to see good horses competing in these prestigious international races."
Weld, one of horseracing's international pioneers, with a Belmont Stakes and two Melbourne Cups among his haul of global majors, is seeking a second victory at the Hong Kong International Races. The Irish handler saddled Additional Risk to win the inaugural Hong Kong Invitation Bowl, the fore-runner to the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, back in 1991.
"The first runner I had in Hong Kong was at the international race day in 1990 (Milieu - Hong Kong Invitation Cup)," recalled Weld. "I thought it was an exciting thing to do and was happy to support the meeting because I had been to Hong Kong myself and knew a lot about the racing there."
In 1991, as well as Additonal Risk's win, Weld's Prudent Manner ran second to Hong Kong legend River Verdon in the Hong Kong Invitation Cup. "We brought two horses, one won and the other was second," he said.
"Hong Kong is a big part of the internationalisation of horseracing and that is something I recognised early on. When I first visited Hong Kong, it was obvious the racing was only going to go one way."
Djakadam trounced his rivals in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Sunday and is now top-priced 8/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the festival in March.
At Cheltenham on Saturday in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (Handicap Chase) Irish Cavalier has been the plunge horse with the high street bookmakers 8/1 from 12/1 with Coral a big run looks on the cards for the smart chaser.
Yours In Sport.
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Kevan Minter - The Colonel.
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