Able Friend - Profiler
Published: 16 Dec 2014
It all started here - Able Friend wins at Wyong
Able Friend's win in the Hong Kong Mile was as dominant as you will see over a mile. Well-performed gallopers were made to look second-rate as he powered past to win by 4.3 lengths in a sizzling 1 minute 33.5 seconds.
"When the Joao Moreira declared Able Friend the best horse he'd ever sat on yesterday, he might just as well have said the sun rises in the east because he hadn't even passed the post in the Longines Hong Kong Mile and all 74,000 people at Sha Tin already knew that." South China Morning Post
Where did he come from?
It all started in Australia. Popular in the 2011 Inglis Sale parade ring, he was to be the most expensive son of Shamardal to be sold at auction. A young and lanky Able Friend sold for $550,000 for breeder Stuart Ramsey, the purchaser none other than George Moore Bloodstock. Moore is the son of the leading Hong Kong trainer, Australian John Moore, and grandson of legendary jockey George Moore.
George decided to start his career locally under the training of the Hawkes team. He had two solid runs in Australia, his form-lines no where near the dizzy heights of last weekend. A first-up second to Balzac, who was last seen trailing the pack home at Warrnambool in August, was followed by a Wyong maiden win over the moderately performed mare Pretty Gully (see picture above).
How did he get so good?
He looked a progressive galloper in Australia, but more than anything, he was clearly an impressive type. The scope to his frame creates huge leverage in his stride and as an early-season three year old, you could see the beginnings of the muscular build that is now his trademark.
Scope and leverage - He had the makings of a serious galloper from an early age
The flat and fast Sha Tin surface suits his powerful racing style, allowing him to keep his rhythm and stretch out late. Some descriptions of the Joao Moreira ride suggest that he took too many risks by tracking up on the inside on the turn. The opposite is true, he kept "Big Red" balanced and knew he had the fire-power when the time came.
Will we see him over here?
Arguably, a testing track like Royal Randwick would be a tougher ask, especially if there was any hint of rain around. The Sydney Autumn Carnival also doesn't have a race that suits his profile The All Aged (1,400 metres) isn't a big enough target to travel for and the Queen Elizabeth (2,000 metres) is just beyond his favoured distance range.
While it seems unlikely that the champion will grace our shores in the Autumn, we will get the pleasure of more racing from "Big Red". He is a gelding after all.
- 14 - 8 - 4 - 1
- Prizemoney: $30,744,750 (AUD 4,919,160)
- Sire: Shamardal Dam: Ponte Piccolo (Volksraad)
- 2011 Inglis Sale ($550,000)