NORDIC WARRIOR was withdrawn on 17.10.20 by order of the Stewards acting on veterinary advice (lame left hind) and was replaced by Standby Declared Starter HANG’S DECISION (M F Poon). Before being allowed to race again, NORDIC WARRIOR will be subjected to an official veterinary examination.
HANG’S DECISION turned its head to the left on jumping and consequently was slow to begin.
PERFECT TO PLAY lifted its front feet off the ground as the start was effected and then was shifted across behind runners to obtain cover shortly after the start.
Shortly after the start, MARVELOUS FANS was steadied away from the heels of MORE THAN ENOUGH which shifted out.
From wide barriers, WONDER EXPRESS and CENTENARY IBIS were shifted across behind runners in the early stages.
For a considerable distance after the 1300 Metres, COLONEL travelled very keenly when being restrained to obtain cover.
Approaching the 900 Metres, ALL JOYFUL was awkwardly placed outside the heels of COLONEL when being steadied to obtain cover behind that horse. Then, after obtaining cover behind COLONEL, ALL JOYFUL raced close to the heels of that horse approaching and passing the 800 Metres. COPARTNER ERA, which was following ALL JOYFUL, became awkwardly placed close to the heels of that horse in consequence passing the 800 Metres, resulting in MERRYGOWIN, which was following COPARTNER ERA and which was travelling keenly, getting its head up and becoming unbalanced when being checked away from the heels of COPARTNER ERA near the 800 Metres. CENTENARY IBIS, which was following MERRYGOWIN, was shifted out away from the heels of that horse in consequence, resulting in HANG’S DECISION and FORTUNE TRIPLE being inconvenienced and shifting out from behind that horse.
Also passing the 800 Metres, ATHENA was awkwardly placed behind MORE THAN ENOUGH, resulting in MARVELOUS FANS shifting out away from the heels of ATHENA and improving into tight running between that horse and COPARTNER ERA. PERFECT TO PLAY, which was travelling keenly, was then awkwardly placed inside MARVELOUS FANS and behind ATHENA. Whilst it was evident that the pace of the race had slowed significantly after the 900 Metres, the Stewards were not of the view that any rider or riders had ridden their mounts in such a manner to unnecessarily reduce the tempo of the race, rather they were satisfied that it was the circumstances of the race and the manner in which COLONEL had relaxed after racing keenly which had been the principal reason for the tempo slowing at this stage which resulted in a number of horses being hampered. After this, COPARTNER ERA and FORTUNE TRIPLE travelled wide and without cover.
MARVELOUS FANS was held up for clear running in the early part of the Straight and near the 350 Metres was shifted to the inside of ALL JOYFUL after being disappointed for running between that horse and COPARTNER ERA. When MARVELOUS FANS was shifted in, BUNDLE OF DELIGHT was directed in away from the heels of that horse, resulting in PERFECT TO PLAY, which was endeavouring to improve between BUNDLE OF DELIGHT and ATHENA, being steadied for some distance after racing tight between those two runners.
Passing the 75 Metres, the whip carried by K C Leung (COLONEL) became caught up behind Apprentice K H Chan, the rider of CARE FREE PRINCE. COLONEL was then directed out away from the heels of CARE FREE PRINCE passing the 50 Metres due to CARE FREE PRINCE shifting out under pressure. Apprentice Chan was reprimanded and told that he must be aware of his mounts shifting ground and take the necessary measures to straighten them.
Close to the finishing line, COPARTNER ERA raced tight outside MARVELOUS FANS which was directed out by MORE THAN ENOUGH (N Callan) which shifted out under pressure. N Callan was reprimanded and told that in similar circumstances he would be expected to straighten his mounts rather than continue to use the whip. Because of this, MARVELOUS FANS was not able to be fully tested all the way to the end of the race.
Z Purton reported that after MERRYGOWIN was checked near the 800 Metres, the horse came off the bridle and did not travel well. He said he shifted MERRYGOWIN to the outside of COPARTNER ERA approaching the 500 Metres and obtained clear running, however, the horse again quickly came off the bridle and then over the concluding stages gave ground. He added that the incident at the 800 Metres, combined with the fact that MERRYGOWIN was having its first start of the season, indicated to him that the horse would improve for today’s race. A veterinary inspection of MERRYGOWIN immediately following the race did not show any significant findings. The performance of MERRYGOWIN, which was eased down over the concluding stages, was considered unacceptable. Before being allowed to race again, MERRYGOWIN will be required to perform to the satisfaction of the Stewards in a barrier trial and be subjected to an official veterinary examination.
COPARTNER ERA, HANG’S DECISION and MORE THAN ENOUGH were sent for sampling.