Cordyceps Six returns to “his best distance without any questions” in next weekend’s Group Two Sprint Cup (1,200m), and trainer Richard Gibson walked away pleased after his speedster’s hit-out at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning.
Connections have tried a bit of everything with Cordyceps Six this season, with a string of six-furlong runs at Group level culminating in a seventh behind stablemate Wellington in the Hong Kong Sprint.
The four-year-old then stepped back to 1,000m for his Group Three Bauhinia Sprint Trophy sixth, up to 1,600m for the Classic Mile – where he ran fourth – before his Class One fourth over seven furlongs last start.
That run was on February 19, meaning Cordyceps Six will have had nearly two months to freshen up by the time he steps out in the Sprint Cup on April 9.
“It was a clean trial, Matthew [Chadwick] rode him very well because the track conditions were poor this morning,” Gibson said of Cordyceps Six’s second behind fellow Sprint Cup entrant Master Eight in a 1,200m all-weather trial.
“His best distance without any questions or doubts is 1,200m. He’s just found life tough at the very top.
“The poor guy has got to run against Wellington and Lucky Sweynesse every time, so we’ve been trying to look at easier race options. When you come back to his right trip, he’s against
the two best sprinters in Hong Kong.”
As well as Lucky Sweynesse and Wellington, Cordyceps Six is set to tackle Courier Wonder, Master Eight, Nervous Witness, Rewarding Together and Whizz Kid in next Sunday’s Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize lead-up event.
Chadwick will take the ride aboard Cordyceps Six, while Alexis Badel will be reunited with Wellington after Ryan Moore was handed the mount for the speedster’s recent third behind Lucky Sweynesse in the Group One Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1,400m).
“I don’t think [Wellington] was as settled over 1,400m as he was last time, so we’ll try and get our revenge on Lucky Sweynesse,” Gibson said of his stable star, who was attempting to defend his crown in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup on March 19.
Manfred Man Ka-leung confirmed on Tuesday he is weighing up a trip to Royal Ascot after his two-time Group One winner Lucky Sweynesse received an invite to June’s showpiece, and Gibson has not ruled out a trip to his homeland with his star pair.
“I think open-minded would be an accurate description. Our priority with both of these horses is the Hong Kong sprint programme,” Gibson said.
While the city’s best two sprinters take aim at the Sprint Cup, it has been left to California Spangle to bring the star power to April 9’s other feature in the absence of Golden Sixty and Romantic Warrior, who will head straight to Champions Day at the end of next month.
Standing between California Spangle and victory in the Group Two Chairman’s Trophy (1,600m) are Beauty Joy, Columbus County, Healthy Happy, Ka Ying Star, Money Catcher, Running Glory, Tourbillon Diamond and Waikuku.
Beauty Joy also trialled on Tuesday morning, finishing a nose behind Cordyceps Six.
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