On a busy morning of trials at Sha Tin, Russian Emperor kicked off proceedings for the ‘big guns’ by finishing fifth over 1000m on the turf, clocking 59.10s under Blake Shinn.
Douglas Whyte watched on pleased as the Galileo gelding gears up for an assault on the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) on Sunday, 22 May at Sha Tin.
“I’m very happy, obviously there was a little bit of ease in the ground which he would have appreciated but the horse is healthy, he’s in good condition, he’s come out of his last race well and Blake was happy with him, so it’s all systems go at this stage,” Whyte said.
A five-year-old, Russian Emperor will have first run over 2400m as a gelding after twice challenging the distance in his maiden season in Hong Kong.
“I am of the opinion that the distance will suit him, he has the racing style and pattern to see out the trip and he seems to have a good turn-of-foot when things go his way, so I am not really concerned about the trip, it’s just a matter of how firm the ground is on the day,” Whyte said.
The 122-rater claimed the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) on yielding ground by over four lengths three starts ago in February.
“He’ll probably have one more gallop really, he’s a fit horse and he’s been presented well and he remains in good condition,” Whyte said. “It’s just a matter of ticking over now and that trial would have topped him off nicely, so there’s not much more to do.”