Apache Cat works strongly in Hong Kong

Australian sprint champion Apache Cat has pleased trainer Greg Eurell with a testing workout at Sha Tin ahead of International day in Hong Kong.

ApacheCat copy The highest rated horse in the International Sprint (1200m), Apache confirmed his trip with a close second to Takeover Target in the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.

He had been in doubt for Sunday’s gala day following his failure in the Group One Patinack Farm Classic last month.

Apache Cat strode a strong 800 metres in 50.5 seconds on the all-weather track, coming home the last 400 metres in 22.5, which delighted Eurell.

"He had a good gallop which is what we wanted," Eurell told the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

"He’s settled in so well here. I think he was looking forward to a bit of decent work."

Eurell said the striking six-year-old was now back to his fighting weight after coming in at 530kg when he landed in Hong Kong last week.

"He’s 540 kilos now and that’s around his optimum racing weight," Eurell said.

"It’s a good indicator with him. He was 538 kilos when he last raced in Western Australia.

"He’s eating and drinking as you’d hope and I would say he has settled in very, very well."

Fellow Australian Douro Valley, who will contest the International Vase (2400m), was put through his paces on the turf track while most of the other 33 visitors had a quiet time this morning.

Danny O’Brien’s foreman Paul Koumis oversaw Douro Valley’s 1200m workout which he completed in 1.15.8 seconds, his last 400 in 22.8.

Premier Singapore trainer Laurie Laxon was on hand to watch his sprinter Waikato have a gentle canter on the all-weather track and was happy with what he saw.

"He’s thriving right now, he shipped well and he may have even put on a little weight according to the scales over here," Laxon said.

"I think he’s still on the upgrade, and he’s maybe improved a bit since his fourth to Takeover Target in the international sprint in Singapore back in May.

"He’ll have a bit of work on the turf later in the week," he said.

Vase contender Purple Moon, runner-up in the 2007 Melbourne Cup, looked in fine fettle as he did a routine half-speed workout on the all-weather track which pleased his regular Japanese work rider.

"He seems very well," Nirina Rakotoarisoa said.

A fair ninth in the Japan Cup, Purple Moon will be bidding to give trainer Luca Cumani a second victory at the meeting following the 2003 Hong Kong Cup which he won with Falbrav.

Ian Willows, travelling head lad to Cumani, was equally happy with Purple Moon.

"He has come out of the Japan Cup well," he said.

"The race was not run to suit us there and that was a big disappointment. They normally go a decent pace which they didn’t this year."