Valley gallop to top off Douro

Douro Valley will round out his Australian preparation for the Hong Kong International Vase (2400m) with a gallop between races at Moonee Valley tomorrow.

The Group 1 winner will be partnered by Steven Arnold in the track gallop against stablemate Ballack between Races 5 and 6.

Hong Kong based Darren Beadman will ride the Danny O'Brien-trained galloper in next month's G1 feature at Sha Tin Racecourse.

Beadman has had success with the Encosta De Lago gelding in the past having won the listed Naturalism Stakes in 2007 at Caulfield beating Maldivian (pictured above).

Beadman, based in Hong Kong where he is second in the jockeys' premiership, replaces regular jockey James Winks, whose 30-meeting suspension expires on the morning of the December 14 race.

Connections were concerned Winks would not have sufficient race practice for a prestigious event featuring some of the best jockeys in the world.

Douro Valley, who came second at his most recent start in the G2 Sandown Classic (2400m) on November 15, will fly to Hong Kong on Tuesday afternoon.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is expecting a capacity field of 14 for each of its international events.

Among Douro Valley's rivals in the $2.77 million event are last year's Melbourne Cup runner-up Purple Moon and last year's Vase winner Doctor Dino.

The race also features former Australian galloper Ambitious General, who was transferred to Hong Kong after running second in the Rosehill Guineas and AJC Derby in 2007, and is now trained by David Hall.

By Andrew Wu

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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here

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