Racing: Jimmy Choux set for $3.3m Mile

Jimmy Choux. Photo / File
Jimmy Choux. Photo / File

Champion galloper Jimmy Choux is favoured in tomorrow's HK$20 million Hong Kong Mile.

His trainer John Bary says his preparation has gone perfectly this week.

The meeting hosts four International races. The final piece in the puzzle may have fallen into place for New Zealand galloping hero Jimmy Choux ahead of tomorrow's Hong Kong Mile.

But trainer John Bary still has one nagging doubt - the unknown.

The Hastings trainer was thrilled when his glamour galloper drew barrier two in the HK$20 million ($3.3 million) Mile at Sha Tin, suggesting he can sit just off what could be a moderate speed.

That looks ideal for a Jimmy Choux freshened after a rugged spring and Bary admits his confidence has grown since arriving in Hong Kong on Tuesday night.

"He looks better every day," he told the Weekend Herald.

"He is eating better than when he first got here, his coat is great and I couldn't be happier with the way he is working.

"And now we have a draw that gives Jonathan [Riddell] options.

"I am not going to tell him what to do because he always rides him well but we should be able to track the speed either handy or in midfield without having to do too much work."

But Bary says such is the level of competition tomorrow night it would be foolish to be confident.

"We can be happy with our horse but the bottom line is we don't know enough about the other horses.

"They are obviously good, otherwise they wouldn't be here, but just how good is the unknown.

"Then you take into account how they have all travelled and settled in and the draws and it becomes very tricky to know what to expect.

"But personally, I couldn't be happier with how we are looking."

Overseas bookmakers share Bary's confidence in Jimmy Choux, most having him sharing favouritism with local hope Xtension.

He drew almost perfectly at barrier five and is likely to start the tote favourite, with local trainer John Moore fizzing about his chances. "He is my major hope on Sunday," said Moore. "He has been absolutely primed for it, his work and his races leading up to it have been very positive. I think he is the horse to beat in the race."

The leading international form analyst spoken to by the Weekend Herald also rated Jimmy Choux and Xtension as serious chances in the race but with respect for the Japanese mare Apapane, who has won five of eight over the mile and has placed form around wonderful mare Snow Fairy.

Also rated an upset chance after drawing midfield is the perennially unlucky Sahpresa, who will be ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Christophe Lemaire.

She starts from barrier eight and can get back in her races but has a powerful finishing burst.

While Bary was smiling after drawing barrier two, one of the drawcards at tomorrow's meeting, sprint sensation Rocket Man, faces a tricky barrier in the Hong Kong sprint.

He will start one from the outside at barrier 13, with only fellow star Sacred Kingdom outside him.

That has seen the Aussie-bred, Singapore-trained speed machine drift in markets.

"Well, it's not the gate we would have wanted, obviously," said trainer Patrick Shaw. "He'll go forward from there because that's what he does.

"I won't say I'm not fazed by the draw, but what can you do?"

Another interesting twist to the meeting is Lemaire choosing to jump off his Melbourne Cup winning mount Dunaden in the 2400m Vase, meaning champion Australian jockey Craig Williams gets back on the French galloper. Lemaire was committed to ride the Aga Khan's three-year-old Vadamar, who is trained by Americain's former trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre.

- NZ Herald

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