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Gordon Lord Byron

Gordon Lord Byron (left): Prix Foret winner cost connections just €2,000

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Hogan hoping Byron can break home hold on Mile

Preview: Hong Kong, Sunday 7.50am GMT (live on ATR)

Sha Tin: Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+

TOM HOGAN is hoping to break Hong Kong's six-year stranglehold and give Ireland a second win in the race - Dermot Weld won the inaugural running, then called the Bowl, with Additional Risk - with Gordon Lord Byron.

Hogan had to supplement his fairytale horse into the Prix Foret and win the Group 1 to have this option after initially being invited for only the Sprint with Gordon Lord Byron, who was bought by the owner's daughter Jessica Cahalan for €2,000.

Francois Doumen won this with Jim And Tonic 14 years ago and again teams up with Gerald Mosse with high hopes for Siyouma, who has won the Group 1 Sun Chariot and EP Taylor on her last two starts.

John Moore fields three in a bid to win the race for the second year running after a turn-up with Able One raising the roof with a local success at the age of nine.

Xtension, third to his stablemate last year, has missed his intended prep and Moore has high hopes of Packing Whiz, who won the Italian 2,000 Guineas as Al Rep, as he drops back in trip after defeat last time.

Ambitious Dragon, two-time Horse of the Year in Hong Kong, and his recent conqueror Glorious Days add to a formidable home defence team.

What they say . . .

Tony Millard, trainer of Ambitious Dragon
"I'm not going to use his draw in 11 as an excuse - he's won from a wide gate here before."

John Moore, trainer of Xtension, Packing Whiz and Packing OK

"I'm happy with Xtension, he's come on well and he'll be right there - Jim [McDonald] had him on the speed when he won the Champions Mile and I'm sure he'll do something similar and I don't mind if Packing OK takes them along. Packing Whiz has done everything right to give us confidence of landing another knockout blow against the favourites."

John Size, trainer of Glorious Days
"I'm worried about Ambitious Dragon as he's unbeatable if he puts in a big show but I'm happy with my horse and he's got a good draw."

Yoshito Yahagi, trainer of Grand Prix Boss
"Everything has been geared to this race and hopefully there will be a fast pace to suit him."
Masato Nishizono, trainer of Sadamu Patek
"We have a good draw near the rail where the ground looks good and the horse has settled in well."

Tom Hogan, trainer of Gordon Lord Byron
"He travelled very well and did a good piece of work here on Monday. For a 7f horse this flat, sharp track gives him more chance to get the mile as it's not a huge stamina test. He was invited for the Sprint but that would have been too sharp for him. He's got a good draw and I'm not going to give William [Buick] any instructions as he hasn't made any mistakens up to now and he is happy with the horse."

David Smaga, trainer of Don Bosco
"He settled in really well and enjoys his travelling. I couldn't be happier with him."

William Haggas, trainer of Master Of Hounds
"He could be underestimated - he did win a Group 1 for Mike de Kock and is very talented. He will have his conditions, unlike Ascot last time over further on soft ground. He wants this faster ground."
Francois Doumen, trainer of Siyouma

"I am glad I didn't take her to Kyoto last month. I have a fresh girl for here and her coat is good - she is the perfect traveller. This has been a lucky track for me and I am surprised she is not rated higher than she is."

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