. In fact, Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor tops the overseas all-time winning trainer list – his four winners at the this Hong Kong International meeting include Firebreak who landed the Mile back in 2004. This time, however, Sheik Mohammed and his team are relying on INNS OF COURT in the Hong Kong Mile, who is trained in France by Andre Fabre. Could this horse top off what has already been a memorable and record-breaking year for Godolphin?
Raced once as a two year, Inns Of Court was then allowed to develop in his own time and touted as a Poule d’Essai des Poulines (French 2000 Guineas) hopeful. After his win in a conditions race on his seasonal reappearance, hopes were high, however he was only able to manage sixth on the big day behind Brametot. It was decided a drop in trip would suit and he duly delivered with two G3 wins at Deauville and Maisons Laffitte in June and July. Back at a mile, he was unlucky to be beaten only a short head by Al Wukair in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and connections could look forward to his four-year-old campaign.
A G1 success was a target for the Invincible Spirit colt, who will stand as a Darley stallion after his racing career is complete. Inns of Court managed to win once and place three times in Group company from June to September and he was taken to the G1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Arc day with tentative confidence. It was to be heartbreak again for the colt: he was beaten by a short head in the dying strides by the fast finishing One Master, who will re-oppose in the Mile.
Any thoughts of disappointment after the Foret have been put aside, and despite only finishing a close-up fourth in a G3 trainer Andre Fabre stated: “He needed a race in between and remember he was carrying a penalty last time. He ran alright considering the ground and he has already shown he can perform well over a mile in the Marois. He should get a good pace to run at in Hong Kong and, while obviously it's a very good race, he is a horse that is very consistent and always run well”.
About to be crowned Champion Trainer in native France for the 29thtime, Fabre knows how to prepare for a HKIR bid, and Inns of Court looks ready for the challenge.