x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Moore out to end a foreign affair for Hong Kong

The Hong Kong trainer has never won a Group 1 overseas, but all that may be about to change tomorrow

Dim Sum does morning track work at Meydan Racecourse this week. Neville Hopwood / Racingfotos.com
Dim Sum does morning track work at Meydan Racecourse this week. Neville Hopwood / Racingfotos.com

John Moore is frustrated that he has yet to win a top-level race outside his Hong Kong base, but he is confident that his two sprinters, Dim Sum and Sunny King, can put an end to that sequence with a victory in tomorrow's Group 1 Golden Shaheen.

The Australian has trained in Hong Kong since becoming assistant to his father, George, in 1971. Since then the 60-year-old has blossomed to become the special administrative region's leading trainer. Moore took out his own licence in 1985 and has now won the trainers' championship five times. In 2005 he became the Hong Kong's leading trainer when he eclipsed Brian Kan's record for most career wins.

Despite a steady flow of Group 1 victories, Moore has failed to capitalise on his local success and is still searching for his maiden win in a foreign Group 1 contest.

"I have no qualms about the fact that I haven't done it yet," said Moore at Meydan Racecourse yesterday. "It is frustrating, but I know I can compete at the top level."

Moore has sent two runners to Dubai and hit the bar twice. In 2008 Viva Pataca touched down at Nad al Sheba as the favourite for the Sheema Classic having rattled off four Group 1 wins in the preceding two years. Drawn 12 of 16 however, Viva Pataca was pushed wide and despite picking up when given a clear run settled for second place behind Sun Classique.

Last year, One World finished third to Kinsale King and Rocket Man, who contest the Golden Shaheen again this year.

"I just don't think that One World was good enough," Moore said.

"The experience has allowed me to know what type of horse I need to win that elusive Group 1 off-shore." Step forward Dim Sum, who is stabled next to Viva Pataca in Hong Kong, and Sunny King; two characters that complement each other's weaknesses perfectly.

With Rocket Man, Kinsale King, Euroears and perhaps even Charlie's Moment all looking to snatch the lead, the race could be set up perfectly for a fast finisher.

As if issuing instructions to a cyclist in the Tour de France, Moore wants Darren Beadman, Dim Sum's jockey, to settle behind the trailblazers before unleashing a challenge in the final quarter.

Meanwhile, Gerald Mosse will be sat at the back on Sunny King and, as the eight-year-old's stamina has proven, expect a late flourish.

"Dim Sum has got amazing speed for a European horse. He could lead this field because he has done it quite easily in Hong Kong. That's not the way I'm going into this race, though. His best races are run when he allows the other horses to break the wind by laying up behind the speed and then kicking on.

"If they go like the clappers up front, they are going to set up the race for closers, which is where Sunny King comes into the fray.

"From this morning's track work, Sunny King would have to be the pick of the two of them, and he is four from four on synthetic surfaces in the United Kingdom.

"We are going to do it, we have the team to do it and the jockeys to help us achieve our aim. We will keep coming back until we do it."