Byron in top nick for Sha Tin tilt
TIPPERARY trainer Tom Hogan has issued an upbeat report on Gordon Lord Byron ahead of an audacious tilt at the Longines Hong Kong Mile in Sha Tin on Sunday.
Already a rags to riches success following a sensational Group One triumph at Longchamp in October, the improving four-year-old will be having its third start at the highest level, having previously finished a fine second in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
To date, Gordon Lord Byron has earned close to €350,000, a fine return on a €2,000 investment that fractured its pelvis on an inauspicious debut for principal owner Morgan Cahalan at Roscommon two years ago.
William Buick, aboard for the Prix de la Foret victory, is again in the plate on Sunday, when the partnership has been drawn in stall six.
The feature, won by Dermot Weld and Mick Kinane with Additional Risk in 1991 prior to its time as a Group One, boasts a purse in the region of €2m, and will mark the first time that Gordon Lord Byron has run over a mile since finishing third in a Killarney maiden last year.
"He worked well and I'm very pleased with him," the Nenagh-based handler said of his stable star.
"He travelled over well and is in good order. He loves good, firm ground, and hopefully we will get that here on Sunday. I don't think the mile will be an issue for him. He probably has to improve again to win on Sunday, but we'll see."
Jessica Harrington, meanwhile, has confirmed that Sunday's Royal Bond Novice Hurdle winner Jezki will "probably" have its next start in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27, when the unbeaten hurdler's opponents could include similarly classy performers Don Cossack and Waheeb.
Tomorrow, In Compliance will bid to deliver Dessie Hughes a third triumph in the Becher Chase, with Niall Madden taking the reins on the veteran Aintree regular.