Ouija handed Vase mission

Ed Dunlop has confirmed Ouija Board will tackle the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase rather than running in the shorter Hong Kong Cup.

Ed Dunlop has confirmed Ouija Board will tackle the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase rather than running in the shorter Hong Kong Cup.

The Newmarket handler had been mulling over running the in the 10-furlong Cup at Sha Tin next Sunday rather than the mile-and-a-half Vase after the filly finished fifth in the Japan Cup on her last start.

However, Japan Cup winner Alkaased’s withdrawal from the race has prompted Dunlop to aim his star four-year-old at the longer event.

Dunlop said: “Ouija Board had been 75% certain to run in the Vase but now Alkaased doesn’t go, that is the race we’ll go for.

“Ouija Board lost very little weight as a result of her good run in Japan and has retained her form well.

“I think she would have finished closer if she hadn’t got a little bump inside the final furlong.

“On reflection it is possible she went too soon. Kieren (Fallon) felt he kicked on too early but I am not complaining with her effort in finishing fifth.”

Ouija Board will be having just her fifth run of the year in the Vase after injury interrupted her campaign and Dunlop had been worried the firm ground in Japan would go against her.

He added: “I was petrified the going was too fast for even her in Tokyo. I had no idea how she would stand up to it after her trouble with a fractured splint and then a quarter-crack this year but she came out of it with no problem. She is such a good mover.

“She will prefer the ground at Sha Tin which will be more forgiving.

“She takes her travelling around the world so well, she just eats and sleeps so she’s taking the simple hop from Japan to Hong Kong in her stride.”

Dunlop is also set to be represented in the Hong Kong Mile when Court Masterpiece steps up eight furlongs for the first time.

“It will be new to him but he is in good form,” Dunlop added

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