Alberto Sanna and Caspar Fownes chase more Group success on Super Saturday | HK Racing

Caspar Fownes and Alberto Sanna combined for Group success in Hong Kong and the Italian jockey heads to Meydan on Saturday quietly confident the pair can add to their feature-race haul.

Sanna, who partnered Southern Legend to victory for Fownes in the Group Three Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1,800m) in 2019, rides Senor Toba in the Group Two Dubai City Of Gold (2,410m) on Super Saturday two weeks after winning Qatar’s H.H. The Amir Trophy (2,400m) aboard the Douglas Whyte-trained Russian Emperor.

“I’m very proud to be back on Hong Kong horses. It’s always a pleasure for me to be partnered with these kind of horses, owners and trainers,” said Sanna, who was forced into a premature exit from Hong Kong in December 2019 after receiving a 10-meeting suspension for “not taking all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing” aboard Dances With Dragon.

“They’ve been very good to me. With Caspar, I won a Group Three in Hong Kong. It’s good these people are loyal to me, even if I’m not in Hong Kong any more.”

Trainer Caspar Fownes congratulates Hugh Bowman after Senor Toba’s win in the recent Centenary Vase at Sha Tin.

Senor Toba’s chances received a boost this week when the top-rated galloper in the Dubai City Of Gold, the Godolphin-owned Rebel’s Romance, was scratched. However, the Blue Army still has Global Heat (Daniel Tudhope), Global Storm (William Buick), Kemari (James Doyle) and White Wolf (Jim Crowley) in the race.

“The toughest ones are still Godolphin. When Godolphin puts four horses in, it’s very difficult to judge which one is the best one,” Sanna said.

“You have to go through the rides – Buick and Doyle are the stable jockeys. But if you check the ratings in this race, the second-best horse is 109 and [the 115-rated] Senor Toba is a good horse and I think he can prove that. He’s looking much better here than Qatar. I give him a chance,” Sanna added of Senor Toba, who finished seventh in the H.H. The Amir Trophy.

Sanna also partners Russian Emperor this weekend, but after Whyte said on Thursday “it’ll be an absolute bonus” if he wins the Group One Jebel Hatta (1,800m) on his way to the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic (2,400m) on World Cup night on March 25, the jockey admitted “it’s a very tough race for him”.

Whyte: Russian Emperor winning on Super Saturday would be ‘an absolute bonus’

The Jockey Club simulcasts eight races from Dubai on Saturday night, as well as the Group One New Zealand Derby (2,400m) earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, Jockey Club stewards elected not to issue Jerry Chau Chun-lok with a charge after an inquiry on Friday afternoon into his riding of Circuit Splendor at Happy Valley on February 22.

Stewards initially took issue with “Chau’s riding of Circuit Splendor throughout the event with particular emphasis on the early stages and in the home straight”, but concluded it was a “mere error of judgment” from Chau rather than anything more sinister.

“Whilst it was open for jockey Chau to have ridden his mount with more vigour in the early stages to hold a more forward position and comply with his instructions, as the first 400m was run at a genuine pace the tactics he adopted in the early stages were not unreasonable,” chief steward Marc van Gestel said in a statement.

“Whilst jockey Chau had committed an error of judgment between near the 300m and near the 200m by not showing better judgment to place Circuit Splendor under pressure sooner than he did, in circumstances where Circuit Splendor had settled further back in the field than anticipated, that such error was not an unreasonable error that was blameworthy as he was endeavouring to comply with his instructions.”


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