Teaming up with Jon Saez in the absence of Joao Moreira, Alexis Badel is confident that Glory running program can continue his impressive Class 2 season Alnwick Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday with a fifth win in six games.
He replaces Championship lead Padel Moreira, serving a two-match ban for careless riding, at Ran Glory, who has risen in handicap from the 52-to-81 mark with four wins from 1,400m to 1,800m at Sha Tin.
“He has a rating of 81 and being underweight (119 lbs.) in Category 2 is always a good thing. I think it showed quality and consistency, so I think it will do well,” Badel said of Kermadec’s testicles.
“It’s not a big stadium (seven riders), so maybe it’s going to be a tactical race with a sprint. It’s definitely the horse you want to be on, the horse seems to be in great shape and Mr. Saez is always a good trainer to ride and I hope I can deliver.”
As the only second coach to achieve 1,400 wins in Hong Kong, a feat achieved with trademark humility in Happy Valley Wednesday night (May 11) with the moment’s victory, Sais believes Paddele is a perfect fit for Ring Glory.
“He’s light in weight and Alexis is one of the light jockeys available. I don’t think he’s a hard-to-manage horse, so it should be fine,” the 11-time champion coach said.
“He looks fine, he’s been in great shape since the last time he raced and looks fit and healthy and everything is fine with him. He’s tried normally – or how you’d expect – and he stopped really well. He should run another good race.”
Lagging behind Frankie Lower 71-70 in this season’s Coaches Championship, the scale was once again skewed from his recent accomplishments.
“There have been some outstanding champions in Hong Kong and I don’t think I have any of those, but just some beautiful horses and they’ve won many races and I’ve been very fortunate to have some horses that have been training since I’ve been here,” he said.
“Every new number or new milestone that comes in is so much fun for that to happen. You can’t deny the math, the number is there and it will be forever.”
Volume will introduce Beauty Tycoon for the first time when the unprecedented Australian import competes in the 4 Dorset Handicap (1200m) class under Vagner Borges.
His trials were fair. He seems well educated and does everything right and I think it’s time to go to the races and learn more. The race leads them to the next level. “I hope he’s ready to clear himself well,” said Size.
“He does his job really well. He seems to have a nice attitude and looks very kind and gentle and he might have a nice racing mind because of his temperament.”
With 35 wins in a season illuminated by Wellington’s G1 victories, Badel also shares Brilliant Way for Size in Class 3 of the Cornwall Handicap (1200m).
“Run well at the last start, the circuit conditions were very special and set up for the leaders. From my outside gate (Hedge 11) I needed to get some coverage and the race was set up for the leaders, so the wide gate was not an advantage but I hope it will be different on Sunday” .
Zach Burton will aim to undermine Moreira’s five-win lead – 115-110 – when he defeats David Hall’s Solid Impact in Sunday’s final.
“He is a very bold horse, and he wants to keep up with it. When I rode him over 1,400m, he dumped him really fast on a straight and as we last saw over 1,200m, he kept trying all the way, so I think 1200m is more suitable for him at the moment,” he said. Burton, who also rides Woodfire Bro in the Class 4 Dorset Handicap (1200m).
“He (Woodfire Bro) is doing really well and I’m sure he’s going to run a good race. He’s moving really well and he’s ready to run a nice race. He’s a beautiful horse.”
Armed with a full book of 10 rounds, Burton hopes the Sauvestre can feature prominently in the Class 3 Devon Handicap (1400m).
“He has been doing well all season. He ran a solid race last time and I am sure he will do it again.”
- Sunday’s card starts with the Class 5 Somerset Handicap (1200m) at 07h00.