2017 Hong Kong Classic Cup – Big Race Betting Preview

The G1 Hong Kong Classic Cup takes place on Sunday (Sha-Tin). This race is for 4-year-old thoroughbreds and it was won by Sun Jewellery in 2016. Which horses are dominating our ante-post market?

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Rapper Dragon

He’s been dominating rivals but this will be his first step beyond a mile. However, trainer John Moore expressed confidence in his charge:

“No, I don’t think it’s the same thing – sure, Rapper Dragon has never been tested at 1,800m but he is so clean-winded, he relaxes so well and then goes through his gears so fast, I don’t think there is any doubt about him at 1,800m or 2,000m in the Derby.” he said.

“I think Rapper Dragon is one out of the hat – a 125 to 130-rater and the best of what I think is a new elite brigade. He worked brilliantly this morning and he looks fantastic.”

Season’s Bloom

Nash Rawiller will be on-board Danny Shum’s gelding, a horse that doesn’t have a huge amount of experience but has been very impressive nonetheless. Season’s Bloom looks a progressive sort and has finished just a couple of lengths behind Rapper Dragon (in last month’s Four-Year-Old Classic Series first leg).

“His run last time was very encouraging,” Rawiller said. “I think what he did off a slow tempo last time was a meritorious effort. He’s given a start to them and come back over the top of Beauty Generation to run second.”.

Beauty Generation

Zac Purton clearly rates this horse very highly, but he is under no illusions when it comes to the task facing him on Sunday.

“It’s Rapper Dragon’s race to lose.”, he admitted.

Purton’s realism was tempered with optimism though, following a decent shift put in on the gallops earlier this week.

“He worked well,” Purton said of the Hong Kong Classic Mile third. “The last furlong of his work was nice, he came up on the bridle, ran through the line, pulled up pretty cleanly in his wind – it was a pleasing piece of work.”.

Despite the strong likelihood that Rapper Dragon goes-off as an odds-on favourite, there is still quite a lot of depth to this renewal. Eagle Way and Dinozzo are both realistic contenders and even Pakistan Star doesn’t look completely out of it.

The horses are racing for more than just place-money, anyway, as the first 3 finishers are given priority to run in the Hong Kong Derby – the biggest and most-prestigious contest of the year.

Previous Winners

This is always an exciting race and it has been won by some terrific animals, in the last decade. Two particularly stand out.

2008 Champion, Green Birdie, was owned by Roger Li Ka Chun and trained by Tony Vasil. The one-time Hong Kong Horse Of The Year nominee won a total of HK$19,455,620, in prize-money.

Designs On Rome (Champion in 2014) is by-far the most celebrated previous winner. His other important victories included the Sha Tin Mile Trophy, the Hong Kong Derby, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the Hong Kong Cup, the Centenary Vase and the Hong Kong Gold Cup.

He was named Hong Kong Horse of the Year (2013/14), Hong Kong Most Popular Horse of the Year (2013/14) and Hong Kong Champion Middle-distance Horse (2013/14).

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