11/03/2017 4:11PM

Moore sends out four in Sa Sa Ladies Purse


Eagle Way might want more distance than he gets Sunday at Sha Tin in the Group 3, $384,519 Sa Sa Ladies Purse, but 1800 meters might be just enough.

Eagle Way looks like the most promising of 14 entrants in the Sunday Sha Tin Feature, but he is destined for races longer than the 1 1/8 miles he gets in the Sa Sa Ladies. One of four entrants here for trainer John Moore, Eagle Way is being pointed to the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase over 2400 meters on Dec. 10, but the Sa Sa Ladies purse definitely will suit him better than his 1400-meter seasonal debut Oct 1.

There, Eagle Way simply lacked the quickness to make a minor impression, but he ran on solidly for sixth in a start surely intended only as a jumping-off point for more major goals. Sunday’s race isn’t one of them, and Eagle Way, a 5-year-old Australian-bred by More Than Ready, didn’t find his best form last season until he got out to 1 1/4 miles, ending his campaign with a promising third, beaten an inch for second, in the Group 1 Standard Starter Champions. Jockey Tommy Berry might or might not be able to get Eagle Way rolling in time to win the Sa Sa Ladies.

Among the entrants is the winner of the 2016 Sa Sa Ladies, Horse of Fortune, who was home by three-quarters of a length over Helene Charisma in the 2016 edition with help from a 13-pound weight break compared to the runner-up. Horse of Fortune did get in what looks like a useful seven-furlong comeback run on Oct. 9. A repeat seems entirely possible.

Four-year-old Helene Charisma, a Moore-trained horse who was Group 3-placed over 1 1/2 miles last season, struggled in his last-out comeback run, and is unlikely to come forward enough to threaten at a trip shorter than his best.

Time Warp won three in a row – especially rare in Hong Kong – to cap his 2015 – 2016 season, and was a solid third Oct. 1 in a comeback run, but to date there is no evidence he can show his best at a distance as far as one mile.

Top rated at 117, Circuit Land’s last start came in Korea. He won just once in a busy 2015-2016 campaign, but was reliably around the money in spots comparable to the Sa Sa Ladies.

The Sa Sa Ladies is the seventh of 10 Sha Tin races and has a scheduled post time of 4:05 a.m. Eastern.