Able Friend passed fit to race after last-minute injury cloud; Gailo Chop scratched

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December 13th, 2015

Able Friend, the defending champion and favorite for the Hong Kong Mile (G1), developed a right front foot issue that imperiled his participation.

According to a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Able Friend had a "moderate pulse in its right front foot and associated mild foot lameness" upon examination Sunday morning, but was deemed "suitable to race" at that point. Hong Kong's reigning Horse of the Year passed another examination before noon local time, and was accordingly declared fit to take his part.

Fans hope that Able Friend can emulate Ambitious Dragon, who shrugged off a similar pre-race drama to capture the 2012 Hong Kong Mile.

There's been one scratch today from the International Races, with France's Gailo Chop being officially ruled out of the Hong Kong Cup (G1). That news wasn't unexpected, since he was reported lame in his right hind yesterday.

Able Friend photo courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club.