Green Mask gets green light for Hong Kong Sprint
Green Mask’s foot bruise is apparently behind him. The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced Saturday morning (Friday night U.S. time) that he passed his veterinary exam and has accordingly been pronounced “suitable to race” in Sunday’s Hong Kong Sprint (G1).
The Wesley Ward trainee had been under an injury cloud after his Monday work over the Sha Tin turf, and he stayed in the quarantine area Tuesday and Wednesday. Ward had issued an encouraging bulletin when Green Mask resumed track exercise Thursday, and sounded even more positive Friday.
“We trained him yesterday with no shoes -- he trained good,” Ward said Friday. “We went ahead and three-quarter shoed him today and he trained great. We are already at the race. The only thing I can do is set him back if we try to push him to see how he's doing. He's doing great, so let's just try to get to the race.
“He's always run in glue-on shoes. Sometimes the nails press up against the hoof wall, glue-ons they don't. He's been perfect in them. The first time we trained him around the training track at Santa Anita he grabbed his quarter. Then we had to work with that.
“Then he had that really fast work here on Monday -- it was smoking, too fast -- and that irritated it. Green Mask was our freshest horse to come here. More lightly-raced than Undrafted, who has been back and forth to Europe.
“With this horse, post 11 isn't that much of a concern because he's going to come from behind. He's going to break, Joel (jockey Rosario) is going to ease him over and sit there, swing him out and see what we got.”
In other breaking news from Sha Tin, Hong Kong Cup (G1) contender Gailo Chop was found to be lame in his right hind leg on Saturday. The French representative will be examined Sunday morning before determining his status for the Cup.
Green Mask photo courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club.