ANTHONY Van Dyck will break new ground at Sha Tin on Sunday when he becomes the first ever winner of the Investec Derby to compete at the Longines Hong Kong International Races.
It is just over six months since the Galileo colt provided his trainer Aidan O’Brien with a joint-record seventh victory in the premier Classic at Epsom.
Anthony Van Dyck has failed to add to his tally in four subsequent outings, but has run well in defeat to be placed in the Irish Derby, the Irish Champion Stakes and, most recently, the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
He will be fitted with blinkers for the first time for the Longines Hong Kong Vase – a race O’Brien won twice with the globetrotting Highland Reel, in 2015 and 2017.
“He’s a horse we always thought very highly of, and he’s run some unbelievable races through the whole year,” said the Ballydoyle handler.
“The only disappointing run was in the King George on bad ground. He’s a lovely moving horse and we always thought he loved fast ground.
“Obviously he was a little bit unlucky in the Breeders’ Cup, but we were still very happy with the performance.
“It would be unbelievable (to win). Obviously it would be very important, very prestigious for the horse really, were we fortunate enough for it to happen.”
O’Brien has a second string to his bow in the Vase in Mount Everest, who was little over a length behind Anthony Van Dyck when sixth at the Breeders’ Cup on his latest appearance.
“He had a small setback early on and we couldn’t get him out until later on in the season,” the trainer added.
“But he has progressed with every run – we were delighted with the run the last day in America. We’re looking forward to seeing him run.” – Sporting Life.