Connections Confident The Fugue Can Bounce Back In Hong Kong Vase

Connections of The Fugue are confident that the classy filly can bounce back from her narrow defeat in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf (2413m) and win the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The Fugue will face Red Cadeaux and a host of other talented horses in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on Saturday.

The Fugue will face Red Cadeaux and a host of other talented horses in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

The Fugue went into the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on November 2 as the clear favourite and looked like she had the race won with 200 metres left to run but was swamped in the final stages of the event by Aidan O’Brien-trained Magician.

Trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick were both devastated by the defeat but the daughter of Dansili has the chance to record her maiden win outside Great Britain and Ireland when she takes on a star-studded field in the Hong Kong Vase on Sunday.

Simon Marsh, the racing and bloodstock manager for The Fugue’s owner Lord Lloyd-Webber, told The Racing Post that the four-year-old had recovered well from her tough run in the Breeders’ Cup and said she will be better suited to the conditions at Sha Tin this weekend.

“The Fugue had a very good trip back from the Breeders’ Cup and has been absolutely fine,” Marsh said.

“She is in very good form and we are very happy with her.

“The track and conditions should suit her ideally in Hong Kong; she won the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, which is a right-handed track and the ground should be fast, which she loves.”

The Fugue raced inconsistently as a three-year-old after starting her 2012 racing season with a distant fourth in the Group 1 1000 Guineas Stakes (1609m), winning the Group 3 Musidora Stakes (2092m) and Group 1 Nassau Stakes (1986m), but she has found her best form towards the end of her four-year-old season.

She finished third in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) during the 2013 Royal Ascot Meeting and failed to fire when finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes (2018m) at Sandown but returned to the winners circle with a dominant win in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks (2414m) before winning the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (2011m) in impressive fashion.

The Fugue ($2.75) is currently a clear favourite in 2013 Hong Kong Vase betting markets; with Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux ($6), Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos and the consistent Galileo Rock the only other horses available at single figure odds.

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.