01/05/2017 11:06AM

Peniaphobia seeks first win after four starts in current season

Hong Kong Jockey Club
Peniaphobia won the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint, but was third in that race in 2016.

The Hong Kong-based sprinter Peniaphobia has been sent to Dubai the last two years for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint on the Dubai World Cup undercard. In 2015, Peniaphobia was second in the Al Quoz. Last year, the gelding was third.

A potential return trip March 25 will hinge on Sunday’s $386,912 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy at five furlongs on turf at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong.

Peniaphobia is part of a field of six in the Group 3 race on a straightaway course. The Bauhinia Sprint is the feature race on a program that begins at 1 a.m., Eastern on Sunday, or 10 p.m., Pacific on Saturday.

The Bauhinia Sprint Trophy is a handicap, and Peniaphobia will carry highweight of 133 pounds. Trained by Tony Cruz, Peniaphobia was third in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on Dec. 12. He held the early lead and was beaten three-quarters of a length by Aerovelocity.

Peniaphobia is winless in four starts in the current Hong Kong season, which began in September, but did win the Group 3 Sha Tin Vase in May. Amazing Kids was second in the Sha Tin Vase and is part of Sunday’s race. In the Hong Kong Sprint, Amazing Kids closed from the back of the field to finish fourth.

In October, Amazing Kids won the Group 3 National Day Cup at five furlongs on turf at Sha Tin, his most recent start at the distance. Amazing Kids carries 132 pounds on Sunday.

The other four runners in the Bauhinia Sprint Trophy – Adventurer, Amber Sky, Bad Boy and Not Listenin’tome – have run well in recent months.

Adventurer, the 113-pound low weight, has won twice since early September, but faces a tough jump in class. Amber Sky was second to Amazing Kids in the National Day Cup in his last start.

Bad Boy won a minor handicap at five furlongs on turf at Sha Tin on Dec. 17, leading throughout. Not Listenin’tome was seventh in the Hong Kong Sprint and won his previous start in the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint at six furlongs on turf at Sha Tin on Nov. 20.