The four-year-old chestnut won his last appearance before joining the crew of the two-time champion trainer by four lengths.
Following back-to-back Sha Tin doubles and Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, David Hayes is hoping one of his Australian buys would make owner Leung Lun-ping pleased in the Valley for the first time since April.
Super Eagle Known as Wish Master
Super Eagle, formerly known as Wish Master, does not have a pedigree page dripping with black type like Bon’s A Pearla, the 2021 Group Three Thousand Guineas Prelude (1,400m) winner and bronze medalist in the 2022 Group One Australian Guineas (1,600m), who is on her way to making her Hong Kong debut in Leung’s colors.
But Super Eagle did win his last start on Australian soil by four lengths, a 1,400m Pakenham handicap romp in which he covered the first 800m 10.8 lengths faster than the standard time for that class of contest given the condition of the circuit in Victoria, according to ratings service Punting Form.
In addition, despite weighing 133 pounds and leaping from the outer gate in a field of 11 runners, Super Eagle shattered the clock and his Pakenham opponents.
Super Eagle came home two weeks ago after spending two months in Conghua. Super Eagle participated in a trial run at Happy Valley three days after returning to Hong Kong, galloping well to come second behind Gem Of South China in the Class Four division.
He is a hostile horse. Hayes of Super Eagle, who has led on each of his last three Australian visits and won two of them, said that his trials have been excellent and that we gave him a tour of the Valley to try to get him ready to perform.
He had a 10-length advantage in Australia, but the pace in Hong Kong was much quicker. Although I wouldn’t be shocked if he took the lead, the Happy Valley pace makes me hopeful that he can finish second or third.
A couple of gallopers, Beauty Glory and Wine And Wine, are expected to challenge Super Eagle for the lead in the Class Three Admiralty Handicap (1,200m) on Wednesday. However, the Hong Kong newcomer has drawn inside those two course-and-distance winners, so Hayes believes the chestnut “should be competitive.”
Hayes has designated Super Eagle as one of his horses to watch because “he wasn’t an expensive [private buy], he’s here and he appears to have prospered, so I’m hoping he can advance through his classes a little.”
“However, participating in slow-paced trials is one thing. Being in challenging races is a different matter. I’d want to see him do it in a contest.
Hayes, whose horse Fantastic Treasure won the 2020–21 Champion Griffin award, ended his 497-day losing streak by snatching Sunday’s Class Two Cheung Hong Handicap (1,200m) at Sha Tin. Hayes shares the top spot in this term’s trainers’ standings with two other former champions, Tony Cruz and Ricky Yiu Poon-fai, with five victories from five meetings.
But Currie, whose Super Eagle is one of six Wednesday transportations, is still looking to record his first victory of the year, and Hayes have not seen success at Happy Valley since Casa Kingdom’s triumph on April 27.
Due to the thyroid problem that has kept him from competing for the previous week, Karis Teetan is anticipated to miss at least a few more meetings. The Jockey Club said on Monday that the Mauritian “would not be taking any racing riding assignments until further notice.”
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