Injury setback for Vision D'Etat

Trainer Eric Libaud is confident Vision D'Etat will feature in tomorrow's Hong Kong Cup despite being found with slight swelling to his right hind fetlock.

Trainer Eric Libaud is confident Vision D'Etat will feature in tomorrow's Hong Kong Cup despite being found with slight swelling to his right hind fetlock.

The four-year-old was highly fancied to challenge for a fourth Group One victory at Sha Tin, but appeared to be uncomfortable during trackwork yesterday.

The Prince Of Wales's Stakes winner was unable to complete a regulation canter this morning after being confined to the quarantine area and will undergo a veterinary exam before tomorrow's race.

"He was lame this morning behind. It's a skin infection - X-rays show that it is nothing else. The Jockey Club's vets have checked him and they will continue to monitor the situation very closely between now and race day," said Libaud.

"It's bad timing because it's nothing really that serious at all - in a day or two he'll be fine, so let's hope it clears up quickly."

With question marks also hanging over defending champion Eagle Mountain and QEII Cup winner Presvis, the position of home favourite and Cup Trial winner Collection, who is unbeaten in two attempts over this course and distance, has strengthened further.

Mike De Kock's Eagle Mountain was beaten by 10 lengths in the Mile Trial at Sha Tin at the end of last month after nearly a year away from the track after a suspensory injury, while Luca Cumani admits Presvis could still be "rusty" after a long summer break.

French filly Ashalanda and Japanese mare Queen Spumante are expected to set the pace on the outside of a rail-drawn Eagle Mountain, with Presvis and Vision D'Etat in midfield and Collection wide in 10 for John Moore.

Hong Kong Jockey Club chief stipendiary steward Kim Kelly said: "Vision D'Etat will be subjected to a veterinary examination tomorrow morning, at which time a final determination will be made as to the horse's suitability to compete in tomorrow's race."

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