Hong Kong On Skalleti Agenda

Skalleti | Scoop Dyga

Jean-Claude Seroul's Skalleti (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}) could target the Hong Kong International meeting on Dec. 13 off the back of his second-place finish in the G1 Champion S. last weekend.

The 5-year-old gelding-who stays in training next year-was trying Group 1 company for the first time in the Champion. He has won nine of his last 12 starts including six black-type races and two runnings of the G2 Prix Dollar. He has been off the board just once in 16 starts.

“You always go to the races with a lot of confidence with this horse, because he always gives you everything,” said trainer Jerome Reynier. “He had the conditions to suit [at Ascot], because he handles that sticky ground well. To be fair, he is good on soft and heavy, straight tracks or right or left-handed, and he has even been winning on Polytrack–he's just an amazing horse.

“Now the question is whether we go to Hong Kong with him. He hasn't had a big campaign this year, because he only started in May and had two light starts on good ground before we started to step things up in August. We could now be aiming for Hong Kong, where I will enter him in the Hong Kong Cup over a mile and a quarter and the Hong Kong Vase over a mile and a half. You have to stay really well over a mile and a quarter at Ascot on that sort of ground, and he wasn't fading out–when Magical came to him he kept going to finish second. I think he would stay a mile and a half on good ground in Hong Kong. Everyone is saying the races will not be as competitive this year, because the Japanese horses are not so good and the local level isn't so strong either, so this could be the year to try it.”

Skalleti's trainer is already eyeing a return to Ascot for next year's G1 Prince of Wales's S.

“The owner really wants to keep him in one piece and doesn't want to try silly things, so I can understand if he decides to put him away for next year,” Reynier said. “We could aim for the [G1] Prix Ganay in France in April, and everyone is saying we should consider the Prince of Wales's S. in June, because sometimes it's raining and they can get soft ground. We will definitely consider that, because there is no option in France at that time of year.”

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