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Trainer John Moore has played down speculation injured Hong Kong champion Able Friend will be set for Group One races in Melbourne during the spring.

His son George, who is in Melbourne for a yearling sale, was reported as saying Able Friend, who is at a property in Mornington recovering from a flexor tendon injury, would contest two or three Group One races later this year.

But John Moore says it is premature to think about the racing future of the reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year.

“It’s going to be a day-by-day thing,” Moore told the South China Morning Post.

“He’s only recently arrived there and Mother Nature has to do her part first before we can think about racing the horse again.”

“But I would hope that by June, he might be ready to put into some light work.

“We’d see how he handles that and, if he came through that stage OK, the next step would be to see if he can handle a racing preparation.

“The healing process will take as long as it takes, so whether it’s the Melbourne spring or later, nobody knows at this stage.”

Moore did say it would make sense to test Able Friend in Australia when his rehabilitation was complete rather than take him all the way back to Hong Kong.

“Frankly, I think bringing him all the way back to Hong Kong first then finding out whether he can stand a prep or not sounds like an expensive exercise, potentially a waste of a lot of money if he can’t stand training or recover his form,” he said.

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