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Rakti's farewell bid on track.

Byline: By Neil Morrice

Rakti burned up the turf course at Sha Tin to give his trainer Michael Jarvis and jockey Philip Robinson encouragement that he can end his career in a blaze of glory in Sunday's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile.

The six-year-old, sporting a pair of bright blue front bandages, was kept under tight control by Robinson for a canter up the home straight.

But when he next came into view he had been uncorked and galloped out purposefully to show himself in blistering form for what is his swansong before taking up stud duty in Ireland.

Robinson exuded confidence that the Gary Tanaka-owned horse would not fluff his lines at the start and get the good break from the stalls he needs to take full advantage of his plum draw in gate three.

He said: "I was very pleased in every way ( he's in good form and relaxed, which is the important thing.

"Physically he feels better than ever before going into a Hong Kong race and I think it's the best we've had him. If he wears the same hat on Sunday, and remains relaxed, we could be in business."

Jarvis equipped Rakti, once a winner of the Italian Derby but considered best over 10 furlongs or a mile, with a net muzzle for what he said were "psychological" reasons.

The trainer observed: "He wears it more for psychological and physical reasons and responds very well to it, but he won't wear it in the race.

"He's showing a terrific amount of natural speed, but as there are specialist milers in the field it's not crucial for the horse to lead.

"Even though he made all in the Lockinge, he came from just off the pace in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year. On occasions he hasn't broken well, such as Japan last year, and when that happens he makes life a bit harder for himself.

"I shall leave it to Philip to figure out the tactics but if he can break with the rest of the field I'd be happy."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2005
Words:346
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