On Saturday night, racehorses depart for Korea, where they will compete in main events on September 4.
Hong Kong racing will advance significantly at the feature meeting in Korea next weekend since it will be represented abroad for the first time in more than three years.
Since March 2020, when Elusive State and Big Time Baby traveled to Dubai for the World Cup meeting only to have the event cancelled as the epidemic took hold, Hong Kong's tardy Covid-19 response has kept its horse population in the city.
The last time a Hong Kong horse competed in an international event was Southern Legend's triumph in Singapore's Kranji Mile in May 2019. This is about to change on September 4 when Kings Shield and Computer Patch take to the Korean sand.
Ahead of their departure from Hong Kong on Saturday night, the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained Kings Shield and Jimmy Ting Koon-Computer ho's Patch are entered in the Group Three Korea Cup (1,800m) and Group Three Korea Sprint (1,200m), respectively.
When Lor traveled to Korea with Glorious Artist for the 2019 Cup, which his mount finished fourth in, he got a first-hand view of the thick Seoul sand.
Lor was thrilled to finally see the seven-year-old dirt specialist receive his shot in a race that has been dominated by the Japanese, but Kings Shield was unable to compete after needing colic surgery.
Kings Shield, who has never raced over a distance longer than 1,650m due to the limitations of Hong Kong's dirt program, needs to go outside to take a look, according to Lor. "He's a genuine dirt horse and in Hong Kong there's not much dirt racing for him so he needs to go out to have a look," Lor said.
"The sand is a little deeper than Hong Kong, and it's impossible to say how he will handle it, but he's a front runner, so I think this will assist him in Korea," the author said.
Ting will travel across to see his first international runner compete while Lor stays in Hong Kong and is represented in Korea by his son Lok.
Computer Patch will try to emulate Super Jockey, a horse trained by Tony Millard who won the Korea Sprint in 2016.
It's thrilling because this is Ting's first time shipping a horse abroad, but we are unsure of whether or not the animal will be able to handle the track.
Although he has never raced on dirt, horse has performed well in trials. His rating of 114 is a little high for him in Hong Kong since the Group One competitors are too strong for him to compete against, and he carries a lot of weight when running in a Group Three.
"I'm giving him an opportunity to go out because of that, and hopefully I can win for the owner."
Although Computer Patch has never raced on dirt in Hong Kong, Matthew Chadwick, who will ride both horses, thinks that, like Kings Shield, he will benefit from his propensity to race quickly on a track that will generate a lot of kickback.
They both have the ability to jump quickly and go forward, which appears to be a suitable pattern there, according to Chadwick.
It's my first time riding Kings Shield, and since we know Computer Patch is trustworthy in the top grades here, we don't have to worry about their ability if they can do well abroad. If they can manage the track, they ought to be in with a shout.
As they are still in the self-monitoring stage of the quarantine regulations for the city, Chadwick and Ting will be unable to attend the opening meeting of the Hong Kong season on September 11.