City of Troy Full-Brother A First Hong Kong Starter For Justify

Unbelievable at Royal Ascot | Racingfotos

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Unbelievable (Justify), a full-brother to the undefeated Cartier champion 2-year-old colt City of Troy and a veteran of five European starts when racing as Bertinelli for Coolmore and Aidan O'Brien, will become his boom sire's first starter in Hong Kong in the Class 3 Red Packet H. (1600m) at Monday's Chinese New Year meeting at Sha Tin Racecourse.

A son of G1 Fillies' Mile winner Together Forever (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), also the dam of Group 3 winner Military Style (War Front) as well as the latter's full-brothers–the Group 2-placed Absolute Ruler and the listed-placed King of Athens–Unbelievable won his maiden over the Dundalk all-weather in the second of two juvenile appearances last November. A first-up second over a mile and two furlongs at Cork last April, the colt validated 9-2 second favoritism in the London Gold Cup H. at Newbury the following month and was last seen finishing third to subsequent Group 3 winner and G1 St Leger third Desert Hero (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the King George V. S. (Hcp.) at Royal Ascot June 22.

Unbelievable is under the care of trainer Frankie Lor, a former assistant to top conditioners John Moore and John Size and Hong Kong's champion trainer during the 2021/2022 season. He has had a pair of barrier trials, including a running-on fifth Jan. 30 (video) going 1200 meters over the 'all-weather' track, but Lor told the HKJC's Nick Child that preparations have not been entirely straight-forward.

“I wanted to trial him in early December, but he had a temperature, so I had to wait a little bit,” Lor said. “Of course, the trial was a bit short for him, so that's why we start him over 1600 meters, but more ground later on.”

Unbelievable will race in the colors of the Frankie Lor Fu Chuen Trainer Syndicate and would have been imported with the hopes of making the gate for Hong Kong's richest domestic prize, the HK$26-million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) Mar. 24. Monday's race is clearly a jumping-off point, but Lor is hopeful that Unbelievable will do enough between now and then to earn a berth in the field.

“You can see his form is over 200 meters and further, but he's rated 80, so if he can pick up a few points, hopefully he can get into the Derby,” he said.

Unbelievable has drawn gate one in a field of 14 in the ninth race of the program at 4:40 p.m. local time. Derek Leung has the riding assignment.

Unbelievable is one of four sons of Justify currently registered in Hong Kong. The others are Pray For Mir (Aus) (ex Javaja), an A$950,000 Inglis Easter yearling who was perfect in two starts at the Sunshine Coast in Australia prior to his import; Call Me Supreme (Aus); and Miles Away (Aus), a son of SW & GISP Stopshoppingmaria (More Than Ready), who has also produced SW/GSP Mo Shopping (Uncle Mo) and MGSW Always Shopping (Awesome Again).

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