Danehill Kodiac team hoping to make an impact in Hong Kong Vase

Wed 6 Dec 2017

Danehill Kodiac's owners admit they are already in bonus territory ahead of Sunday's Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.

Bought as a potential hurdler, the Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old won a Group Three at Ascot in October.

With the quicker ground expected to suit this weekend, part-owner Andy Smith is still pinching himself.

"This horse owes us nothing especially as we bought him with hurdling in mind, yet he's only gone and won a Group Three at Ascot - beating a horse who was placed in the French Derby," said Smith.

"Our horse is really tough and loves to eyeball other horses. We also think the surface will suit him better than the slow ground that he's been racing on most of this year."

Aidan O'Brien has a handful of contenders across the card, including Highland Reel, Lancaster Bomber and Roly Poly.

Referring to Highland Reel, travelling head lad Pat Keating said: "He's in good form, as they all are. It's possible they'll go on the turf on Thursday, I'll wait to hear what the boss (O'Brien) decides."

Fellow Irishman David Casey has travelled over with Willie Mullins' Max Dynamite, who is looking to improve on his excellent run in the Melbourne Cup when tackling the Hong Kong Vase.

Casey said: "He's in good order. He's so relaxed, he's almost on the horizontal."

Andre Fabre's Talismanic was successful at the Breeders' Cup so is used to the travelling.

Godolphin's representative in France, Lisa-Jane Graffard, said: "He seems in good form and is really just his normal self.

"He is a good traveller with a good temperament and both Richard (Lambert, travelling head lad) and Vincent (Champion, work rider) are really happy with him. He is following the same sort of programme as he did in America."

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