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Improving Galaxy Patch primed for Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy

By: Declan Schuster   May 31 , 2024

Galaxy Patch (122lb) has already shown star qualities and trainer Pierre Ng hopes his talented four-year-old can go some way to underlining his potential in Sunday`s (2 June) HK$4.2 million G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin.

Already placed at the top-level behind California Spangle in the HK$13 million G1 Queen`s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), Galaxy Patch has responded to each challenge thrown his way across his 10-start career in Hong Kong, including four wins and an excruciating second to Massive Sovereign in the HK$26 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).

“He should be running a very good race if he brings his form from the Group 1 Queen`s Silver Jubilee Cup when he was second, then I think he`ll be very competitive,” Ng said.

All four of Galaxy Patch`s wins have come over 1200m. The earner of HK$17.43 million trialled at Sha Tin last week, catching the eye by making ground late under Vincent Ho, who rides on Sunday.

“He trialled really well the other day. He seems more relaxed and more mature now, so we`re looking for a very good run, especially with a lighter weight in a Group 3 handicap,” Ng said.

Galaxy Patch is one of two entrants for Ng in the Lion Rock Trophy, who also fields the consistent Taj Dragon (127lb), winner of the HK$4.2 million G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m) at the start of the year.

“He keeps running well, even in Group 1 and Group 2 races. He`s similar, lucky we have higher rated horses in the race so he doesn`t have to carry too much weight. He`ll run his best,” Ng said.

Beauty Joy (135lb), Encountered (127lb), The Golden Scenery (115lb), Atullibigeal (115lb) and Chancheng Glory (115lb) are also engaged.

The Lion Rock Trophy is one of two feature races this weekend alongside the HK$4.2 million G3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m), where Ng saddles Mugen (115lb) against Victor The Winner (135lb), Invincible Sage (129lb), Sight Success (128lb), Stoltz (124lb), Flying Ace (117lb), Howdeepisyourlove (117lb), Son Pak Fu (115lb) and Ka Ying Rising (115lb).

“It looks like a very good test for him in Group 3. He did run well last start at Group 1 level when he was third. So, with a lighter weight, I do think he`ll run well and be very competitive,” Ng said.

Mugen placed third in the HK$22 million G1 Chairman`s Sprint Prize (1200m) last April and rounds out his trainer`s Group 3 assault on Sunday: “It`s a strong team, they all get their chance and hopefully we get more prize money.”

Ng also saddles Super Bonus, Bulb Emperor, Greenwich, Hoss and Turin Starspangled as he aims to outlast an unrelenting Francis Lui in the trainers` championship.

“It`s very tight. Hopefully we can get a few more winners but the team has done their best. I`m very proud of them and what we have done. If not this year, then we`ll be coming hard next year,” he said.

Ng and Lui are locked on 59 wins with 12 race meetings left in the current season.

Sunday`s (2 June) 11-race fixture commences at 4pm with the Class 5 Sha Tin Hoi Handicap (2000m). The running of the G1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) takes place at 2.40pm (HKT), live from Tokyo, featuring Romantic Warrior and Voyage Bubble.

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