Charlie Fellowes is keeping his fingers crossed Prince Of Arran can overcome a wide draw and sign off his year in style in the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The Shirocco gelding is one of four British-trained runners in the mile-and-a-half Group One prize and will break widest of them all after drawing stall 14 in his bid to do even better than when third in the Melbourne Cup.
Fellowes said: “It does make it more difficult in stall 14, but putting a positive on it if he was drawn on the inside and he broke slow, then you would be struggling, but he has a lot of space around him and time to get sorted by the first bend.
“He looks a million dollars and has settled in beautifully. He has taken to travelling really well and has improved as the year has gone on.
“The Melbourne Cup would have taken a bit out of him, but he is the sort of horse that always leaves a bit up his sleeve and that is why he has been able to do what he has done this year.
“Coming back in trip is not a problem, as I think he is better over a mile and a half than two miles.”
Breaking next door to Prince Of Arran in stall 13 will be fellow British raider Mirage Dancer, who bids to give trainer Sir Michael Stoute his second victory in the race having struck in 2000 with Daliapour.
Assistant trainer James Horton said of Ryan Moore’s mount: “Although the Hong Kong Cup was an option, I think the Vase will suit him better.
“It is not a great draw, but we have plenty of time to get over and we have the right man on board to get us out of any trouble. Ryan said he is moving great and that mentally he is in a good spot.
“He has travelled very well and eaten very well, which is pretty good for a horse that has travelled halfway round the world. He has taken to training on the track very well and looks to be enjoying himself and is moving great.
“He took a while to come to himself in the spring. He ran very well at Goodwood and was just touched off by what turned out to be very good horse (Best Solution) at the July meeting.
“The ground out here is fine and the better it is, the better it will be for him.”
Joseph O’Brien hopes Irish Derby hero Latrobe, who is one of two Irish-trained contenders alongside Dermot Weld’s Eziyra, can better his second place in the Mackinnon Stakes.
He said: “The lads that have been over here have been happy with him and he looks good so we are looking forward to it.
“It was frustrating as he got so close last time in Australia, but he ran really well and he was only beaten by a head. Looking back it was probably the right decision to go for that race (over the Melbourne Cup).
“This is probably a more competitive race and he probably needs to step up again from Australia. The mile and a half will suit him better and the ground seems fine. He seems to have a good draw (stall six), so we have no complaints.”
Latrobe does, however, need to pass the raceday vet due to a late scare.
Also representing Britain will be Arc sixth Salouen from the Sylvester Kirk yard and the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Verdon.