Third in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint in December, the John Moore-trained Not Listenin’tome kicked off the New Year in fine style for his connections, leading home an Australian-bred one-two in the HK-Group 3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (1000m).
The victory had the champion trainer indicating that Dubai’s Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in March would be the logical international option for the son of Dylan Thomas.
With a record New Year’s day crowd of 77,735 in attendance, jockey Zac Purton jumped the former Hawkes Racing-trained gelding into a mid-field position with the anticipated leaders ensuring a solid tempo upfront.
At the 400m mark, Purton asked his mount for an effort and the multiple stakes winner responded, charging to a length victory over fellow Australian-bred, and race favourite Strathmore (Fastnet Rock), who was considered by many as unlucky in the run.
“I just kept him happy, kept him in his rhythm,” Purton added, “and he did the rest for me.”
“He’s really a straight course specialist,” said trainer John Moore, who earned his fourth Bauhinia Sprint Trophy with the victory.
“He is in the pinnacle of his career and is the perfect gentleman; you couldn’t ask to train a nicer horse.”
Purchased from the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale by George Moore Bloodstock from the draft of Arrowfield Stud, Not Listenin’tome initially started his race career in Australia, recording success in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes as well as second placed efforts behind Zoustar in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes and Appearance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.
Having his first Hong Kong start in the Bauhinia Sprint 12 months prior where he finished third, Not Listenin’tome has raced on 10 occasions in Hong Kong, recording three successes at stakes level.
The local Group 3 sprint has been a great race for Australian-breds with 12 winners from the last 16 running’s highlighted by the back-to-back victories of Champion Silent Witness (El Moxie).
Not Listenin’tome’s next start will be in the HK-Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) on January 31 where he is likely to once again clash with runner-up Strathmore, with the performances of the pair set to give their connections a better indication of their Dubai aspirations.
“A target would be the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai, definitely. We will be putting an entry in shortly,” stated trainer John Moore.
Strathmore’s trainer Tony Millard also has his eye on Dubai with Strathmore after his unlucky effort and he too will go to the Centenary Sprint Cup.
“Well, pretty clearly he should have won today with a clear run,” Millard said. “I have to talk to the owner to finalise it but I’m thinking he runs in the 1,200m Group One here and then the 1000m in Dubai,” said Millard.
“He’s probably the highest rated four-year-old here so I did consider the Classic Mile too, where he’d be well rated against his own age, but I just think he might struggle with 1600m.”
Six-time Group 1 winner Buffering is another likely to head to Dubai for the lucrative turf sprint. Set to race at the Gold Coast on January 9 in possibly the Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate over 1300m, the overseas trip has been on the radar since his Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes victory in November at Ascot, Western Australia.
With three live chances in the Al Quoz Sprint, victory by any of them would further add to the impressive record of Australia-breds in the 1,000m race.
Won by the Paul Messara-trained Testa Rossa mare Ortensia in 2012, Exceed And Excel’s Hong Kong-based son Amber Sky was successful two years later, producing a race record-winning performance.
Images and Footage: Hong Kong Jockey Club