Rich Tapestry is set to make history as Hong Kong’s first Breeders’ Cup runner.
Trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai took Rich Tapestry to the United States in September to acclimatise and he showed how well he had settled in with a Grade One win on October 4 at Santa Anita, the scene of the Breeders’ Cup.
He beat a field that included reigning Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Secret Circle.
Rich Tapestry is the early 5-1 second choice behind lukewarm 9-2 favourite Secret Circle in Saturday’s $1.5 million, six-furlong (1200m) race.
“Honestly, I do expect he still has a little of room for improvement on his last race,” Chang said.
“I’m always confident when he runs on the dirt surface, He never misses.”
Rich Tapestry will be ridden by Hong Kong-based Frenchman Olivier Doleuze.
Although Chang says Rich Tapestry has the flexibility to adapt no matter how the race unfolds, he does have a preferred scenario.
“I would like to ask the jockey to sit behind the pace and try and catch them before the line,” he said.
Chang, who has trained six-year-old Rich Tapestry for 23 of his 27 starts, likes to be heavily involved with the horse’s activities.
“I like to be with my horse,” he said.
“I can tell when he’s happy and feeling good, and those things make me happy and feel good.
Los Angeles, with its reliance on automobile transportation, has long been known for its air pollution.
But Chang believes the air quality at picturesque Santa Anita, nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains north-east of the city is an improvement on Hong Kong.
Because of the horse’s history of exercise-induced pulmonary bleeding, much has been made of the fact that Chang won’t take advantage of the fact that the Breeders’ Cup allows the use of the anti-bleeding medication Lasix.
“Honestly I never used Lasix before,” Chang said of the medication that is banned in almost every racing jurisdiction outside the United States.