Domedriver: Destination Hong Kong
Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 9:44 AM
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 9:44 AM
Domedriver, 26-1 upset winner of the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on Oct. 26, will bid to add another "I" to his resume in the Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) on Dec. 15.
"Domedriver has come back well from his trip to Arlington and he is in fine form at the moment," trainer Pascal Bary said over the weekend. "There is still some time to go but I think he will go to Hong Kong."
Domedriver will have had nearly a two-month break since his trip to Chicago and back before doing battle again at Sha Tin. "He needs time to recover between his races but the race at Sha Tin will suit him. He has a good turn of foot and the only ground he is unsuited by is very soft ground," added Bary.
The 4-year-old sprung a big surprise when holding off heavy favorite Rock of Gibraltar's late surge by three-quarters of a length in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile during the World Thoroughbred Championships. His jockey, Thierry Thulliez, had Domedriver in a handy position on the rails throughout the race and got the perfect split on the inside to strike the front well inside the final. He forged far enough clear before Rock of Gibraltar could get going.
Alan Cooper, racing manager to Domedriver's owners, the Niarchos family, said: "He got a marvellous ride from Thierry Thulliez, who now knows him so well. The plan is to travel to Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Mile. Pascal has got experience of the race as he saddled Field of Hope to finish second to Docksider in 1999."
Docksider was a fast-finishing third in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Mile before his victory at Sha Tin but Domedriver will attempt to be the first horse to do the Breeders' Cup-Hong Kong Mile double.
Cooper added: "Domedriver has blossomed this season. He has graduated from a group III victory at Chantilly in June to then finish second to Banks Hill in the Prix Jacques le Marois (Fr-I). He then went on to win a group II at Longchamp before the Breeders' Cup." The son of Indian Ridge won only one race last year, a listed event at Deauville in August, but Cooper felt a trip to Capannelle for the Italian Two Thousand Guineas (Ity-II) early in the season didn't help him. "He took a long time to recover from his trip to Rome," said Cooper. "It was a mistake, we shouldn't have gone."
The Niarchos family have a superb record in the Breeders' Cup Mile having won the race twice with Miesque --in 1987 and 1988--before Spinning World took the prize back to France in 1997. Both horses were by the great Niarchos-owned stallion, Nureyev. They are now hoping Domedriver, who earned $556,000 by winning the Breeders' Cup Mile will give them their first International success in Hong Kong, which carries a first prize of $1,025,000 to the winner.
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