Werther primed for further success in HK

16 Oct 2017

John Moore says Hong Kong’s former Horse of the Year Werther is “jumping out of his skin” ahead of Sunday’s Gr.2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m).

The Tavistock six-year-old snared a third career Group One win in his last race, the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).

That was back in May but Moore believes he has his talented charge in fine shape for his first start this season and is expecting a positive outcome.

Werther scores his third career G1 win in the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup last May.

Werther scores his third career Group One win in the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup last May.

Last year, Moore took the prize with another former Horse of the Year, Designs On Rome, who, like Werther, was first-up for the campaign over a distance short of his optimum.

“Werther’s very well,” Moore said.

“He’s a live chance. The gate’s important, of course, especially at the mile, but hopefully he can draw so that he can just get a soft run in behind. We’re going into Sunday with high hopes that he can repeat what he did two seasons ago when he won first-up.”

That debut Sha Tin win came in the Class 2 mile handicap on the 2015 Hong Kong International Races day.

Victories in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and Gr.1 QE II Cup (2000m) followed that season, before injury forced the Tavistock gelding’s absence through the first portion of last term, including the HKIR.

Moore has had a smooth run with his charge this time around.

“Everything’s going to plan, we’ve had no setbacks,” he said.

Werther developed a reputation as a bit of a recalcitrant during his rehabilitation last season as he proved to be wilful during trackwork, but those antics have not resurfaced.

“He can be a bit of a handful at times but we’ve been super careful with him in terms of what goes on with him day-to-day. We’ve had no problems this time around,” Moore said.

“He’ll run Sunday and then he’ll go into the Jockey Club Cup (2000m) next month and then the Hong Kong Cup (2000m): he’s very clean-winded so that’s all he needs.” - HKJC