Damian Browne’s hopes on Cape Kidnappers dented by horror draw for George Moore Stakes
DAMIAN Browne’s hopes of securing some extra travel expenses for a trip to Hong Kong in Saturday’s George Moore Stakes received a dent at the barrier draw on Wednesday.
Browne’s mount Cape Kidnappers went up a warm favourite with TattsBet, but the jockey concedes he is going to be vulnerable first-up after more than five months.
“Going back to last preparation, first-up was his worst run,” Browne said.
“He took a lot of improvement out of that and I’m sure that’s going to be the case again.
“There looks a lot of speed, so hopefully that splits them up and I can get in four or five pairs back.
“His first jumpout was very soft and we didn’t do much on him at all. I gave him more of a test the second time around and he felt good. He had certainly come on from the first one.”
Browne will have his first Hong Kong ride in next Sunday’s International Sprint aboard Buffering, who will be given his first look at Sha Tin this morning.
Trainer Rob Heathcote was relieved when Criterion was finally cleared to board the plane on Monday, allowing Buffering to have an all-important travelling companion.
“The last thing you want is to have a horse in a barn all by himself, so I was very pleased when Criterion was cleared,” said Heathcote, who flew out yesterday.
“His fitness levels are fine so my job will be to make sure he’s in a healthy state of mind and have his enthusiasm levels where they need to be.”
With Cape Kidnappers’ Healy Stakes conqueror Big Money engaged, along with a host of other talented sprinters, TattsBet’s Gerard Daffy thinks bookies will fancy their chances of getting the favourite rolled in the Group 3 feature.
“Cape Kidnappers has a big following with punters and why not?’’ Daffy said. “He’s got a great record, but he hasn’t drawn too well.
“We have opened him around the $2.75 mark and anything Damian Browne gets on is popular, so there will be plenty of money for him.
“Realistically, there appears to be a lot of hopes with the way the race will be run.
“We’re looking at a backmarker and the one we expect to be getting home over the top of them is Architect.
“Riva De Lago, even though he’s been a bit of an enigma through his career, is another one who can get home hard with the pace on.”