By Chris Roots
Classique Legend’s owner Bon Ho wants The Everest winner to return to Les Bridge’s Randwick stable if he defends his title in 2021.
The Hong Kong owner will enjoy his best horse in his hometown, and throughout the world, for the next year, before hopefully returning to Sydney for sprinting's biggest prize.
Classique Legend will continue his career under Hong Kong trainer Caspar Fownes as Ho looks to prove he is the best sprinter, if not the best horse, in the world.
“He showed he is the best in Australia in The Everest, I want him to show that ability to the world,” Ho said. “It is easier to do that from Hong Kong - he can go to Dubai and Japan, as long as he shows he can handle the travel.
“He is the best horse I have had, so I’m lucky, and I want him to show how good he is to the world. If he stays in Australia he would be racing the same horses. I want to take up the challenge with him.
“Caspar Fownes has travelled Southern Legend for me before and knows what it takes to get it right, but I want him back there for The Everest next year.
“If he comes back where better for him to stay than with Mr Bridge. He is a very good trainer and knows the horse. He has had a lot of good horses for me.”
Ho will have a runner in The Everest for the next two years after buying the slot from the Australian Turf Club, so the goal would be to have Classique Legend run in the next two runnings.
While Bridge will be heartbroken to see Classique Legend leave for quarantine in Melbourne on Monday, he is hoping to see him continue to improve in Hong Kong.
“He is the best I have had, I keep telling you that. I will follow him in any race he races in, anywhere, and he is getting better,” Bridge said. “He showed how good he is on Saturday and I think he will show that wherever he goes.
“I’ll miss him but we won The Everest with him and it’s something that no one can take away from us.”
Ho watched The Everest with an expectation that Bridge and jockey Kerrin McEvoy had built up for him during the past couple of months.
“Mr Bridge rang me a couple of months ago and said he would win The Everest,” Ho said. “I had trainers say those things before and not be right. Then Kerrin McEvoy said he would win The Everest a couple of weeks ago. They were right and I really enjoyed watching it.
“When you have a horse like Classique Legend you want to let him show he is the best. Hopefully he can do that Tokyo and Dubai as well as here in Hong Kong.”
Bridge will continue to train for Ho and still has a number of his “Legend” horses in the yard and is likely to get a European stayer for the Hong Kong owner.
“I have bought a few horses in Europe and some will be coming to Sydney and Mr Bridge is one of the trainers that we will be training them,” Ho said. “When you have a good trainer you want them to have good horses.”