Leading trainer John Moore came away from Hong Kong’s major events empty-handed but he was beaming after Eagle Way won the last race at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The More Than Ready import was most impressive on his local debut in the Eishin Preston Hcp (1600m). “He is just an out-and-out stayer, this guy,” Moore said. “The mile is a minimum requirement for him, and it was a great sign for him to run like that first-up.”
Eagle Way’s long-term goal is the G1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) on March 19. Moore won this year’s classic with Werther and there are uncanny parallels between the stablemates.
Werther (NZ) was runner-up in the 2015 Queensland Derby while Eagle Way won it this year before transferring off-shore. Werther also won a support race on International Day last year and Hugh Bowman partnered both horses first-up in Hong Kong.
Moore bought Eagle Way for $200,000 at the 2014 Inglis Easter yearling sale and placed him with Bryan Guy at the Gold Coast. He made short work of a Sunshine Coast maiden this time last year and kept developing to win the G1 Queensland Derby (2400m) in June.
“I was sad to lose him,” Guy said on Monday. “He’s a beautiful horse to handle and it was a great training performance by John. He was closer than normal in the run and really stuck his head out under hands-and-heels.”
Eagle Way is by Vinery champion More Than Ready from Wedgetail Eagle (Lure). He was bred by Segenhoe owner Kevin Maloney and is a half-brother to the Adelaide stakes winners Assertive Eagle, Soaressa and Impressive Eagle.
Guy also trains Starcourt for one of Moore’s clients and the gelding will be set for the G3 Vo Rogue Plate on New Year’s Eve after winning his maiden at Doomben last Friday.