2017 Hong Kong Derby Ante-Post Betting Preview

The G1 Hong Kong Derby takes place on Sunday March 19th and our ante-post market is already live. This is a 1m 2f contest, for 4-year-old horses. Let’s look at some of the leading contenders…

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Rapper Dragon

He’s emerged as the dominant 4-year-old of the current campaign, having won both the Classic Mile and then the Classic Cup. The 2nd leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown saw him hold-off the challenge of Pakistan Star to set a new stakes record of 1:46.98.

“The way he won today was pretty much the same as the first leg,” said Moreira, Hong Kong’s leading rider. “He’s pretty smart. He relaxed nicely in the race and that indicates that he’s going to handle the Derby distance.”, said jockey Joao Moreira following the win. Rapper Dragon is the one they all have to beat.

Pakistan Star

This horse has become a real favourite with racing fans across Asia, due to his habit of coming from last to first in races where he has looked beaten after just a couple of furlongs.

The same tactics were used in the Classic Cup, but as predicted he didn’t quite find enough to reel in Rapper Dragon. Pundits largely expect a similar story to unfold, in the Derby.

Season’s Bloom

Danny Shum’s gelding has been a revelation, this season, finishing as runner-up in the Classic Mile and 3rd in the Classic Cup.

Jockey Nash Rawiller is a huge fan: “What I like best about him is that he can rest in the run,” Rawiller revealed. “He conserves his energy until you actually ask him. He has such an electric turn-of-foot that you could worry that a real staying test might drain that out of him, but I just think that his racing manners will take him a long way. I can’t see why, at 1800, he won’t be better.”.

While Rapper Dragon is obviously short in the market, this race would be blown wide-open should he not take part. Punters have also been nibbling at the likes of Eagle Way, Booming Delight, Beauty Generation and Dinozzo.

Race History

The Hong Kong Derby was first held in 1873, but it has only been restricted to 4-year-olds since the early 1980s. It is one of the world’s richest races, with a purse of HK$18 million (app. US$2.3 million).

It used to be run at Happy Valley, but it’s been a Sha-Tin fixture since 1979. Recent champions include Werther, Designs On Rome, Akeed Mofeed, Ambitious Dragon, Super Satin and Collection. Trainer John Moore has won 2 of the last 3 renewals, while jockey Zac Purton’s only victory came aboard Luger in 2015.

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