02/03/2017 2:41PM

Harbour Master tops Centenary Vase


ARCADIA, Calif. - Harbour Master tries to win consecutive races for the first time since late 2014 in Sunday’s $387,697 Centenary Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong.

Harbour Master won the Group 3 January Cup at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Jan. 4. The Group 3 Centenary Vase is run on the same course at the same distance.

A 7-year-old gelding by Mizzen Mast, Harbour Master is part of a strong field of nine in the Centenary Vase, the seventh race on a 10-race program. First post time is 1 a.m. Eastern on Saturday. Wagering is available on DRFBets.com.

Harbour Master has won 8 of 40 starts.

For Sunday’s race, Harbour Master has been assigned 129 pounds, four less than topweight Horse of Fortune, who was ninth behind Harbour Master in the January Cup. Horse of Fortune won the Group 3 Sa Sa Ladies Purse at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Sha Tin in November.

Horse of Fortune’s weight assignment may be too great of a burden, according to trainer Tony Millard.

“He’s a courageous horse, but it’s not going to be easy for him with 133 pounds on his back,” Millard told Hong Kong publicity.

Helene Charisma, the winner of the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in Paris in 2016, will carry 113 pounds in his second start in Hong Kong. Helene Charisma was ninth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths, in his Hong Kong debut in the Hong Kong Classic Mile on Jan. 22. Helene Charisma raced under the name Mont Ormel in Europe. Horses typically have their names changed when transferred to Hong Kong.

Joao Moreira will ride Helene Charisma for the first time in a race on Sunday. Moreira worked Helene Charisma in December and again in recent weeks. John Moore trains Helene Charisma.

“I’ve noticed a huge difference in this horse,” Moreira said. “His last run was quite eye-catching, so when John offered me the ride I was quite excited.

“His recent trackwork has been very good. I think everything is going his way right now. The light weight he is going to have on his back, I think that will help him to finish strongly.”

The field has one shipper in The Alfonso, who has won his last two starts, both in nearby Macau. The Alfonso was second in the Group 3 Hong Kong Macau Trophy at Sha Tin last March.