MIKE de Kock’s Audemars Piquet QEII Cup contender for Sunday, Viscount Nelson, was out on the turf track at Sha-Tin on Wednesday. The Giant’s Causeway five-year-old worked 1200m under big-race jockey Kevin Shea, who seemed content with the morning’s effort as he headed back to the quarantine stables aboard his mount, having clocked 1m24.1s for the distance, with a final 400m sectional of 26.3s.
Viscount Nelson takes an afternoon walk at Sha-Tin.
“There’s one thing about him,” said Shea of the recent G2 Godolphin Mile runner-up, “He never shows you anything on the track in the morning.”
Rulership aims to become Japan’s second winner of the G1 AP QEII Cup after the back-to-back wins of Eishin Preston (2002 and 2003). The five-year-old horse, owned by the racing syndicate, Sunday Racing, has secured seven wins in 15 career starts. He is trained by the international-minded trainer Katsuhiko Sumii, who claimed the 2011 Dubai World Cup with Victoire Pisa.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Treasure Beach is expected out on the course tomorrow (Thursday).
Australia does not have a representative in the AP QEII Cup but two Hong Kong based Aussie jockeys are enthusiastic about their prospects. Brett Prebble opts for Thumbs Up on whom he won the Premier Plate (HKG3) on 18 March. “The horse has had a great prep. He’s flying, his last win was good and he’s in great form,” Prebble said.
Countryman Tim Clark picks up the ride on Irian and rode him in his work on Monday. “He’s coming good at the right time. He ran really well in this race last year and he’ll run well again. I really think he can give it a shake,” Clark said.
Like most, Clark is anxious for his mount to draw well. “Some cover early in the race would be ideal,” he said.