Sea Moon: breaks from stall three in the Hong Kong Vase on SundayPICTURE: Getty Images
Locals suffer as raiders enjoy good barrier draws
THE barrier draw for the four Longines Hong Kong International races at Sha Tin could hardly have gone better for the European contingent but local hopes were dealt a blow.
Sir Michael Stoute, freshly arrived to see his pair Sea Moon and Carlton House do a lap of the track in light trackwork ahead of the draw in the racecourse paddock, could not have come up with better stalls.
The Newmarket trainer was on stage to draw stall two for the Queen's Carlton House in the Hong Kong Cup with favourite Cirrus Des Aigles in five.
Sea Moon goes from three in the Vase outside Bayrir in one and last year's winner Dunaden in two compared to three last year.
Dancing Rain is in five, Joshua Tree in six and Red Cadeaux, third last year, has stall eight which was the widest out trainer Ed Dunlop had wanted with a pre-race "five to eight" ask.
Not so lucky were Dandino in nine, although trainer James Fanshawe was happier than Carlos Laffon-Parais after Chinchon got stall 12 one outside Meandre.
Francois Doumen: expects Siyouma to be popular in the Hong Kong MilePICTURE: Martin Lynch
Those bemoaning their luck included were generally the locals as last year's Sprint winner Lucky Nine is in unlucky outside berth stall 12 and twice HK horse of the year Ambitious Dragon, who got stall 11 of 12 in the Mile.
His trainer Tony Millard countered: "It doesn't matter - he's won from a wide gate here before."
One bright spot for Hong Kong hopes was last year's Cup winner California Memory drawing the same one stall.
"It's a good sign we've got the same gate," said Tony Cruz.
Francois Doumen was happy enough with eight for Siyouma in the Mile - "It's an ideal draw and a lucky number for the Chinease so I expect her odds to drop a few points now! She was pleasant this morning (in her work) and this type of ground suits her and lots of the horses."