3 minute read
André Fabre will be hoping for further success at the Longines Hong Kong International meeting when Tribalist takes on a host of horses in the Hong Kong Mile.
Frenchman and master trainer André Fabre is no stranger to the winners' enclosure at the Hong Kong International meeting at Sha Tin having saddled eighteen runners over the past twenty-four years, with two winners.
This year, two of his current high-class performers, both owned by some of Frances' and the world's most prominent owners, have made the journey to Hong Kong – Tribalist and Junko – and each can be considered as having a chance in their respective races at attractive odds.
For Fabré, he is the trainers' trainer. Winner of thirty French premierships – twenty-one in succession – he initially set his career sights on becoming a Lawyer completing a Law degree before turning his hand to the training of racehorses, a career choice that has given him success, not just in his native France but globally.
What is lesser known is not only has he won every major French Group 1 but some of the world's most significant races including the Epsom Derby in 2011 where Mickael Barzalona teamed up with Fabre to win the English Classic with Poir Moi for breeding powerhouse Coolmore.
On Sunday that same trainer and jockey combination will be on display when the Godolphin-owned Tribalist lines up in the Longines Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and taking on the local crowds' favourite horse Golden Sixty. This will be the third time Fabré has a horse engaged in the race.
Tribalist, a high-class performer, has won at Group 2 level and placed in a French Classic, the Poule d'Essai des Poulines (French Guineas). The Fabre-trained contender has won six times from sixteen outings, including when landing the Listed Prix Tantieme at Saint-Cloud in mid-November. This was an eye-catching victory. On one of the heaviest tracks seen in Paris for a long time, Tribalist carried a 5lb weight penalty, went to the lead, and despite attempts from both domestic and international rivals to wear him down in the home straight, he kept finding something and drew clear to score by a length. His record on good and good-soft surfaces is solid including success in a Group 3 at Chantilly in June, whilst going right-handed should pose no problems.
However, Fabré did express concern about the horse's best distance:
"My only concern is it's 100 yards too far. He's more of a seven-furlong (1400m) horse than a miler (1600m) when there is a strong pace.
"But he is a horse with a big heart and if you look closely at his form, he is close to the best milers in Europe. He's tied (on ratings) with Facteur Cheval (a French horse with G1 placings) and he's able to win a Group 1 for sure.
"…very good 'prep' races and in many ways a good racing calendar…racing fit and I'm very happy.
"The races in Hong Kong are getting more and more difficult to win."
For Tribalist to win he will need to be able to dethrone the local champion Golden Sixty who has won two of the past three runnings of this race (in 2020 and 2021) and the winner of ten Hong Kong Group 1 races and thirteen of fifteen races over the 'mile'. However, he has not been seen since winning the Champions Mile in April, however, has been reported to be trialling well.