O'Brien's Hong Kong Challenge Headed By Stone Age And Broome

Stone Age | Scoop Dyga

Aidan O'Brien is preparing a twin assault on the G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase, a race he has won three times in the past, and Stone Age (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) are set to represent the Ballydoyle maestro in Sunday's race.

Globetrotting sensation Highland Reel (Ire) won the Hong Kong Vase in 2015 and 2017 before Mogul (GB) bolstered O'Brien's record in the race when landing the Group 1 contest in 2020.

Order Of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}), who tasted high level success on the international circuit in 2020 by taking out the Breeders' Cup Mile, will be O'Brien's sole representative in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup.

Stone Age was last seen running a fine second in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf, a race in which stablemate Broome could only manage a sixth-placed finish, but O'Brien has provided an upbeat bulletin on both horses ahead of Sunday's contest.

He said, “We were delighted with Stone Age at the Breeders' Cup, he ran a very good race and had progressed from his previous run at Ascot. We've been happy with everything we've seen from him since then.

“It had been on my mind to go to Hong Kong since the Breeders' Cup, we thought the track, trip and ground should all suit him fine, we're all looking forward to it.”

Asked if Stone Age could stay in training next year, O'Brien added, “We think and hope he will. Obviously we think he's progressing and he definitely could progress again from three to four.”

Broome will be having his first taste of racing at Sha Tin on Sunday but O'Brien says he thinks the battle-hardened 6-year-old is up to the challenge.

He said, “We were very happy with his run in America, he was a bit slow away, got back a little bit and finished off very well. We had it in our heads that we might go to the Japan Cup, it just came maybe a week or two too early and that's why we waited.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to come to Hong Kong with him. He's in good form and is a very good natured, very sound horse.”

O'Brien will bid to land the Hong Kong Cup for the first time with Order Of Australia, who he says is capable of being effective over the 10-furlong trip.

“He's been running all the time over a mile, but we always thought stepping up over a-mile-and-a-quarter would improve him more. He's obviously by Australia and we're very happy with him, we'll see what happens on Sunday.

“He has won over seven furlongs twice as well, so we kept him at a mile after the Breeders' Cup win, but we'd think there's a pretty good chance that [10 furlongs] will be fine.”

He added, “Obviously you need horses that don't mind travel, have experience and are still in good shape. It's a fantastic meeting, we speak to a lot of people who will tell you it's a great day. We always like to be involved and are delighted to be invited, especially for very competitive, high-class racing.”

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