Regency Legend ready for return

Hong Kong racing returns on Sunday at Sha Tin.Regency Legend (NZ) (Pins), who is on a path to the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races in December, will line up in the traditional season opener, the Class 1 HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup Handicap (1200m).“I plan to run Regency Legend in the Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in December because currently the sprint ranks in Hong Kong are not overly strong, so hopefully he gets his chance,” trainer Danny Shum said.The handler was satisfied with his sprinter’s tune-up on Friday morning, as he stepped out for a 1000m grass trial down the straight at Sha Tin.“He trialled ok, I think he will improve from that trial but because he has been off for so long, he can’t be 100 percent fit, but he’s ok,” Shum said.The Pins gelding won the first four races of his career before his 2019/20 campaign was disrupted by soundness issues. Two cases of blood in his trachea were followed by a right-front fetlock injury, though this morning’s trial saw the 109-rater appear to move freely within himself.“We did more work with him over the off-season, but we didn’t really push him because the season is going to be very long, so we will make sure that he gradually improves,” Shum said.Frenchman Antoine Hamelin rode the four-year-old gelding in his trial and will also take the riding duties on race day.“I thought his trial was good for him – he needed it, he probably should be better and more ready the next time he steps out, but I was happy with him this morning,” Hamelin said.“The race on opening day won’t be an easy task for him: the problem is not the race but the horses he is likely to face will be pretty good,” he said.“It’s difficult at the start of the season to know the form of all the horses, but for me he felt as if he is in good form.”

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