On Seoul's challenging sand track, Computer Patch places fifth while Kings Shield struggles to ninth.
On Seoul's challenging sand track on Sunday afternoon, Computer Patch and Kings Shield failed Hong Kong's first foreign raid in more than three years.
Before Sunday, Southern Legend had won Singapore's Kranji Mile in May 2019, which was the last time a Hong Kong horse had competed outside of the country due to the city's Covid-19 regulations.
Although their participation in international competitions was a significant step forward and, one hopes, a foreshadowing of things to come, Computer Patch and Kings Shield will not be coming home victorious.
In the Group Three Korea Sprint (1,200m), Computer Patch came in almost eight lengths behind the winner, Korean stallion Eoma Eoma, and was unable to join Tony Millard's Super Jockey as the race's Hong Kong-trained victors.
The owners of Computer Patch still received more than HK$230,000 as compensation, but trainer Jimmy Ting Koon-ho claimed the six-year-old was clearly uneasy in his first raceday appearance on a surface other than turf.
The surface wasn't something he could handle because it was too deep for him. He positioned himself nicely and jumped out well, but the Japanese horse, Raptus, crossed him, causing him to receive a kickback that he didn't enjoy. Then, Ting continued, "He was chasing him all the way.
When he got a clear run in the straight, he was able to continue moving forward, at which point he was alright. The horse performed admirably throughout the race. He has some prize money, at least. I thought he ran well but he couldn’t manage the surface.”
In the Group Three Korea Cup (1,800 meters), the Kings Shield-trained horse by Frankie Lor Fu-chuen came in ninth place after finishing far behind; for the home team, Winner's Man completed a feature-race double.
However, the seven-year-old does his finest work from the front, and Lor bemoaned the fact that jockey Matthew Chadwick was unable to take the lead from gate one and was instead obliged to take a trail. Kings Shield, unlike Computer Patch, arrived in Korea with a track record on Hong Kong dirt.
To prevent the kickback, Lor stated, "I told Matthew to lead if he could, but if not, to try and get away from behind the leader." He was making an attempt to do that, but he was unsuccessful. Kickback is unpleasant for the horse, as you could see.
The focus of Computer Patch and Kings Shield will now be on tasks back at home. After traveling to Korea, Chadwick and Ting will miss Sunday's season-opening game at Sha Tin, but Lor stayed in Hong Kong to make sure he is prepared to make an immediate impact there.