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Ka Ying Generation makes featherweight Queen Mother Memorial Cup charge

May 1, 2024 at 4:10:14 AM

Andrea Atzeni hopes Ka Ying Generation can take advantage of a favourable weight spread in Sunday’s (5 May) HK$4.2 million G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) at Sha Tin.

Andrea Atzeni hopes Ka Ying Generation can take advantage of a favourable weight spread in Sunday’s (5 May) HK$4.2 million G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) at Sha Tin.

Ka Ying Generation rates 34 points below Russian Emperor, who is also entered, on a mark of 83. Only two horses are positioned under Ka Ying Generation among 12 entries, while Money Catcher, Senor Toba and Five G Patch all sit at a mark of 100 or above.

Trained by Pierre Ng, Ka Ying Generation finished a daring third in last month’s HK$26 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m). The four-year-old attempted to make all that day, even putting a few lengths on the field in the home straight, before being caught late.

“Off the back of his Derby run, with a light weight – I know he’s stepping up to a mile and a half, but he should have every chance,” Atzeni said.

“These distances or any distances, when you gain weight from some of these top horses it’s a big advantage and he’s a young, up-and-coming horse that could be anything.”

Ka Ying Generation was previously trained by Donnacha O’Brien in Ireland, where he was a one-time winner. Atzeni has been in the plate for two barrier trials since his BMW Hong Kong Derby third placing.

“It’s hard to judge him on his trials because they’re over 1200 metres. He’s got no speed, so he doesn’t really get going until he gets past the line,” he said.

Ka Ying Generation is run down late in the BMW Hong Kong Derby.

Five out of the last seven editions of the Queen Mother Memorial Cup have been won by a four-year-old. Caspar Fownes is aiming for a hat-trick this year following the triumphs of Senor Toba (2022) and Straight Arron (2023).

Senor Toba returns for Fownes in this weekend’s renewal: “He’s in good nick. We’ve targeted this race for a while, we’ve kept him fresh for it. There’s quite a few nice horses in there but we know it’s his favourite distance in Hong Kong, so we’ll certainly be hoping for a competitive race and a first three finish.”

Fownes saddles seven runners at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (1 May), while Atzeni takes seven rides at the midweek fixture, including Ka Ying Cheer in the Class 3 France Galop Cup Handicap (1200m).

“I rode him at the back end of last year. He actually ran quite well in a decent race,” Atzeni said. “He’s obviously up in grade but he has a light weight (116lb) and on the back of his last run he should be very competitive – hopefully with improvement.”

Ka Ying Cheer finished second in his Happy Valley debut earlier this month, missing by a neck over tomorrow night’s course and distance. The 61-rater has raced only once in 2024 after five starts – including one win – earlier this season.

“He travelled quite strongly and finished off quite nicely (last start). He has course and distance form, so hopefully that comeback run will have brought him on a little bit,” Atzeni said.

Francis Lui lamented Sunday’s (28 April) ground conditions at Sha Tin after torrential rain throughout the week and across last weekend saw Golden Sixty race on a yielding surface in the HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m).

“He’s ok after the race. He got beat, so he’s not happy. The weather didn’t help him – the ground,” Lui said. “Golden Sixty has a good turn of foot, he just needs good going and soft ground is not for him.”

Lui has four entrants at Happy Valley tomorrow. Yellowfin returns to the city circuit for the first time since the start of 2023 in the Class 3 Deauville Handicap (1650m).

“He’s been around Happy Valley before but at that time he wasn’t ready yet. I think he can handle it, no problem,” Lui said.

Wednesday’s (1 May) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley commences at 6.40pm with the Class 5 Maisons-Laffitte Handicap (1000m).

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