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Frederick Engels Could Give John Moore First Overseas Group 1

Star Hong Kong Trainer Sets Hopes On Dubai Golden Shaheen

HONG KONG trainer John Moore has for many years been the most prolific source of major winners at Sha Tin, but he has an itch that he still hasn’t scratched - to win a Group 1 outside the confines of his Sha Tin base.

The horse to right the anomaly could well be Frederick Engels, his fancied player in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News.

The British import, a star juvenile in 2011 in Europe, has been one of the stories of the current Hong Kong season after an indifferent initial campaign last year and has swiftly graduated to being among the very best in an environment renowned for its sprinters.

“He’s only four and he’ll be a better horse next year with more maturity. Most sprinters seem to peak at five or six so I think we’ve plenty to look forward to,” Moore said.

“The key to finding his form has been time and a little operation. He struggled to acclimatize to Hong Kong at first but with a bit of patience and gelding him, we’ve seen a transformed horse.”

Moore has had the third leg of the Global Sprint Challenge in mind for Frederick Engels even before he proved himself a genuine Group 1 player.

With every start this season he has improved considerably and most recently he ran second to Lucky Nine, a four-time Group 1 winner who ran third in the Golden Shaheen at this meeting a year ago from a wide draw.

“I always thought he would relish the Tapeta surface here at Meydan as he is a little short-striding fellow and his trackwork rider this morning said he bounced off it. The dirt track at home at Sha Tin is very different to this, but he has won on that as well. With his rate of improvement and a more suitable surface, we’re pretty optimistic about Saturday.”

The trainer’s enthusiasm was not diminished by what he described as the “gun gate” against the inside rail.

“We’ll be looking to lie up much closer than he has been because we know the race tactics required for a race like this,” Moore added.

“If he keeps going along like he is, then he’ll go close.”