Stormy Antarctic primed for Group One challenge in Hong Kong Cup

    Connections hoping to claim top-level glory at Sha Tin
  • Wednesday 05 December 2018
  • News

Ed Walker feels there would be no better place to break his and Stormy Antarctic’s Group One duck than in the Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The globetrotting five-year-old will bid to gain a biggest ever victory for himself and his handler when stepping back up to a mile and a quarter for just the second time in his career.

Having finished second at the highest level on three occasions, the gelded son of Stormy Atlantic ran a respectable race in defeat over a mile on his most recent start when finishing a close-up fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Walker said: “He left Friday and arrived on Saturday and didn’t lose much weight. He is a very seasoned traveller now and my travelling head lad has been very happy with him.

“I’ve not seen him yet, but from the photos I have seen he looks fabulous. He has had seven races this year from Group Three to Group One and he has run within 3lb on each one which is incredible. He is super consistent and he will run his race on Sunday.

“This would be the dream winning this as Mr Siu, who owns Stormy Antarctic, has been a great supporter and he was the first horse he purchased. He has been a real flagbearer.

“He has finished second in three Group Ones and been placed in another. He deserves a big one and I can’t think of a better stage with my owner being Hong Kong based and being great supporters. For me to lose my Group One virginity, it would be a great way to do it.

“I think 10 furlongs will be perfect now he is relaxing well. He was a breeze-up horse and getting them to switch off is a challenge, but this year he has been totally switched off and relaxed.

“At Woodbine (when third over a mile in September), I was adamant that he needs 10 as he was finishing like a train.

“In a bog over a mile at Ascot he probably ran the race of his career, but over 10 furlongs on a flatter track, it will be no problem at all.

“Time Warp has won the race and is a good horse in his own right, but he had a hard race a few weeks ago. I don’t think the home challenge is as strong in the past.”

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