Rapper Dragon gives Moore Classic Cup confidence


Rapper Dragon gives Moore Classic Cup confidence

14/02/2017 11:10

By David Morgan

Rapper Dragon is in prime condition leading into Sunday’s (19 February) Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) according to trainer John Moore, who has every confidence that the season’s standout four-year-old has what it takes to maintain superiority over his peers.  

“He’s in top, top form!” Moore enthused this morning. “Everything has gone smoothly since his last run in the Classic Mile – it’s all plain sailing for him in his work. He’ll gallop on Thursday on the grass – all of mine will.”

The Classic Cup has produced an ample share of surprise results and so far only Floral Pegasus (2007) and Sun Jewellery (2016) have sealed wins in the first two legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series.

  • Joao Moreira steers Rapper Dragon to an impressive victory in the Hong Kong Classic Mile last month.
    Joao Moreira steers Rapper Dragon to an impressive victory in the Hong Kong Classic Mile last month.

On Sunday, Rapper Dragon will aim to take his turn at banishing the Classic Cup’s perception as the Four-Year-Old Series’ stumbling block; a feat that even his illustrious stablemate Able Friend failed to achieve.

“That’s all just a mental thing and it’s not on my mind,” Moore said. “It’s normal in other countries to go through the lead-up races and that’s the way racing is; it’s not a case of ‘oh, you won that race so you won't win that one’. If you’ve got the right horse and he’s capable, you can win the lot. Able Friend won the Classic Mile and then came up against Designs On Rome in the Classic Cup, over a distance beyond his best, and ran second – it’s not like he didn't run his race or anything.”

The trainer pointed to the ratings and the manner of Rapper Dragon’s Hong Kong Classic Mile victory last month, a comfortable two-length demolition of his peers that will see him go into this weekend’s feature with 14lb in hand of his highest-rated rival, stablemate and Classic Mile third Beauty Generation.

“He’s got that 114 rating so he’s clearly the standout on ratings alone – the others all  have to catch up to him, they have to beat a rating,” Moore observed.

“He’ll go over 120 in time. He never moved up the other day for that run but had it been an open Group 1 he would have been going right up. You’d expect him to win on Sunday if he reproduces that Classic Mile win.”

As well as Rapper Dragon and Beauty Generation, Moore also has the G1 Queensland Derby one-two Eagle Way and Rodrico engaged in the Classic Cup, while three others with BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) aspirations, Booming Delight, Let Us Win and Helene Charisma, will line up in the afternoon’s Class 2 over 2000m.

“I couldn’t be happier with these four-year-olds,” the handler said. “I have a very talented bunch of horses going into these big races now, with a new brigade ready to take over from the old brigade. These new horses we’ve bought are a very talented bunch and they’re going to be Hong Kong’s elite in the near future and that’s great for the Moore stable and great for Hong Kong racing.”

The Hong Kong Classic Cup is the second leg of the three-race Four-Year-Old Classic Series, which climaxes on Sunday, 19 March with the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).


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