Muscutt Star Has Hong Kong Hopes

Serious aspirations for Equus title

The Narrow Creek-bred What A Winter flyer Isivunguvungu returns to the Peter Muscutt yard at Summerveld on Tuesday after a short holiday and could be looking to double up on his KZN Champion Sprinter award from last Friday evening, with a big shout on the Equus roll of honour on Wednesday evening in Johannesburg.

An unusual angle of Isivunguvungu (Richard Fourie) winning the Gr1 Computaform Sprint last season – Princess Calla is in the green and red (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Gold Circle have reported that trainer Peter Muscutt, who saddled the speed demon to two Gr1 victories last season has revealed that Hong Kong is on the radar.

Muscutt said the ultimate target for the Hollywood Syndicate-owned gelding would be the Hong Kong Sprint, a Gr1 weight for age event with prize money in December of HK$26 million (R63,2 million).

Muscutt is eagerly awaiting further good news about equine exports from South Africa after a recent breakthrough in which the EU audit done on African Horse Sickness (AHS) control last year received a positive report.

However, such is the historical slowness with which changes become effective in this realm, it seems unlikely he will be able to make it to this year’s Hong Kong Sprint, which takes place every December over 1200m at Sha Tin.

The next big Hong Kong target for him might be the HK$22 million Gr 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize in April and even being able to get there through direct travel is not a certainty.

‘Direct travel’ will require a quarantine period at the Kenilworth Quarantine station followed by direct travel to Europe and being treated like a European horse upon arrival. This will cut travel time to a place like Hong Kong by months and will be kinder to the horses.

 

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