Weekend Preview: Hong Kong International Races

The Hong Kong International Races are one of the most prominent events in the Asian Sports calendar and take place at Sha Tin Racecourse. The race meeting welcomes a total of ten races to its race card.

Longines is the official sponsor and timekeeper of this year’s races, which take place on the second Sunday in December.

The Hong Kong International Races are loaded with excitement as befits the world’s top racehorses and jockeys, the whopping HK84.5 million purse which is at stake, and not to mention the incomparable prestige of winning a coveted Group 1 race.

Longines Hong Kong Vase

The Longines Hong Kong Vase is the fourth race on the card and kick starts the thrilling Group 1 action. Set to run over one mile and four furlongs, it welcomes a field of fourteen runners with HK 18 million in prize money awarded to its prestigious winner.

French trainer Andre Fabre runs Waldgeist who is set to be partnered by Pierre-Charles Boudot and will be a big player in this competitive Group 1. The son of Galileo had an excellent run in the Arc at Longchamp Racecourse in October, which was his second last outing. The four-year-old also put on a good show in the Breeders’ Cup where he finished fifth.

William Buick takes the ride on Anthony Cruz-trained Pakistan Star. The five-year-old is another hot contest to go to post and connections of the duel Group 1 winner hope the son of Shamardal will bounce back to his original form and he will be one to keep a close eye on.

The Irish are of course represented by the Ballydoyle father and son trainers, Aidan and Joseph O’Brien.

Rostropovich is set to represent Aidan O’Brien with Wayne Lordan on board. The son of Frankel was a very respectable second in the Irish Derby at Leopardstown in October. The three-year-old finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup on his last outing but will have his work cut out for him in this challenging one mile and four furlongs contest.

Young Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien runs Latrobe off the back of his run in the Group 1 Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington Racecourse last month where he finished a respectable second. The three-year-old is set to be partnered by James Mc Donald and connections will be hopeful to see an improvement from his last outing. The son of Camelot won the Irish Derby at the Curragh last summer and the good ground conditions will suit him.

Selection: Latrobe

Longines Hong Kong Sprint

Mr Stunning is a strong contender in this six furlong contest. The six-year-old won this race in 2017 and is set to be partnered by jockey Karis Teetan. The son of Exceed and Excel’s recent efforts in the C&D to finish second to D B Pin and suggests that he will be a major force to be reckoned with as a horse that also has much experience under his girth to include a successful previous form at the Sha Tin track.

D B Pin runs under Sam Clipperton for trainer John Size. The six-year-old has been well drawn, and although the son of Darci Brahma disappointed on his seasonal debut he has a good form record prior to his last outing. Certainly D B Pin is one to watch on the betting market.

John Size also runs Beat The Clock and Hot King Prawn in this Group 1 contest, both of whom are horses to keep an eye on in terms of the betting market.

Selection: D B Pin

Beat The Bank – Oisin Murphy win at
Newmarket in 2017

Hong Kong Mile

Worth HK 23 million in prize money, the Hong Kong Mile welcomes a field of fourteen runners set to go to post.

The name on the tongues punters and racing fans alike for this one mile contest is the John Moore-trained Beauty Generation. Set to be ridden by Zac Purton the six-year-old has not put a hoof wrong this season, winning on all three starts, with a consistent form last season. With a lot of experience under his girth, the son of Road To Rock will be the one to beat.

English trainer Andrew Balding’s Beat The Bank is among entries. Set to be partnered by Oisin Murphy the four-year-old is a duel Group 2 winner this season winning at both Ascot and Goodwood. Connections of the son of Paco Boy will be hopeful that the sounder surface at Sha Tin will also suit him.

Fifty Fifty is a name that racing fans became familiar with last season as the son of Thorn Park had a cracking season, scoring four times. The six-year-old has only ever run at Sha Tin Racecourse and although he has not quite come back on his original form since returning to the track this season, connections will be hopeful the Lee Wan Keung and Lee Wong Wai Kuen-owned gelding can bounce back to return to the winners’ enclosure.

Selection: Beat The Bank 

Longines Hong Kong Cup

The Hong Kong Cup is worth HK 25 million in prize money and open to horses three years and older. The one mile, and two furlongs challenge is set to welcome a field of nine runners to go to post in this thrilling Group 1.

Trainer Hidekazu Asami is set to send off the ante-post favourite for the race, Sungrazer. The four-year-old comes off the back of finishing second in the Newcomers maiden at Toyko last month. This slight step up in trip may suit the son of Deep Impact to allow him to keep punters happy. He is set to be partnered with Joao Moreira.

Time Wrap who is trained by English based trainer Anthony Cruz is another strong contender. The five-year-old son of Archipenko is set to be ridden by Zac Purton and will certainly be one to give it a good go, although the Group 1 company could prove too much.

Mitsuru Hashida-trained Deirdre is another strong contender and the daughter of Harbinger is set to be ridden by Christophe-Patrice Lemaire. A classy mare, she keeps on improving and has won seven of her nineteen starts. The four-year-old will be one to keep a close eye on.

Selection: Deirdre






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