Best Racing Day

Followers of horse racing should now regard the HK International Invitational races as probably the best one day program in the world, with mega prizemoney stakes to boot. This is still the best competitive field yet. Not to mention the cream of the best jockeys in the world also riding.

HK SPRINT 1200m Group One HK$12,000,000

1 ABSOLUTE CHAMPION (3) B PREBBLE 7-1
2 BENBAUN (2) P SMULLEN 15-1
3 SACRED KINGDOM (6) G MOSSE 2.25-1
4 MARCHAND D'OR (5) D BONILLA 31-1
5 SCINTILLATION (7) E SAINT-MARTIN 41-1
6 TIZA (11) C SOUMILLON 76-1
7 DESERT LORD (9) N CALLAN 61-1
8 WHY BE (13) N CALLOW 51-1
9 ROYAL DELIGHT (4) S DYE 21-1
10 SUNNY SING (1) D BEADMAN 31-1
11 SUNNY POWER (10) Y T CHENG 28-1
12 GREEN BIRDIE (8) L DETTORI 29-1
3 MISS ANDRETTI (12) C NEWITT 4-1

Comment: Probably the most competitive race among the 4 with the untouchable Miss Andretti from OZ. However, the fact that the horse has drawn a ridiculous barrier even things out enormously for the probably favourite Sacred Kingdom. The dark horse would be Royal Delight which broke the course record in his last start, a vastly improved horse. A repeat of that performance will bring in the longshot. Absolute Champion does not look like the horse it was last year, and may be now suited to 1400m or 1600m. Finally a horse bring invited from Malaysia/S'pore in the kampung champ Why Be - its probably 4 lengths better than the top horses running in both countries at set weights over 1200m - a bad barrier is nothing and should see Why Be at least leading till round the bend, and thats all she wrote.

HK VASE 2400m Group One HK$14,000,000

1 DYLAN THOMAS (7) J MURTAGH 2.5-1
2 QUIJANO (1) A STARKE 14-1
3 RED ROCKS (8) L DETTORI 11-1
4 DOCTOR DINO (4) O PESLIER 10-1
5 BUSSONI (6) C SOUMILLON 26-1
6 EGERTON (3) T MUNDRY 41-1
7 VITAL KING (9) B PREBBLE 9-1
8 ARCH REBEL (10) F BERRY 71-1
9 KOCAB (2) S PASQUIER 41-1
10 VIVA MACAU (13) D BEADMAN 12-1
11 HAWKES BAY (11) G MOSSE 31-1
12 EVER BRIGHT (5) O DOLEUZE 18-1
13 MACLEYA (12) R MOORE 21-1

Comment: A one horse race? The appearance of Dylan Thomas, Europe's Horse of the Year, almost took all the interest from other fancied runners. There is always a niggling doubt about foreign invaders being acclimitised soon enough to get back their condition. The horse was worked hard every day, which may indicate that the horse is still not within top condition yet. Hence I am willing to back the under-rated Vital King by another very under-rated NZ trainer Paul O'Sullivan as the horse will finish very well as Paul seems to have been targeting this race for the horse in its last 2 starts.

HK MILE 1600m Group One HK$16,000,000

1 KONGO RIKISHIO (1) S FUJITA 3-1
2 SPIRITO DEL VENTO (13) O PESLIER 21-1
3 THE DUKE (3) G BOSS 25-1
4 ABLE ONE (2)M KINANE 15-1
5 AL QASI (10) R MOORE 56-1
6 FLORAL PEGASUS (11) G MOSSE 11-1
7 GOOD BA BA (6) O DOLEUZE 7-1
8 JOYFUL WINNER (7) D BEADMAN 17-1
9 DOWN TOWN (4) D WHYTE 11-1
10 EXCELLENT ART (5) J MURTAGH 6-1
11 CREACHADOIR (12) L DETTORI 22-1
12 VISIONARIO (8) N CALLAN 36-1
13 DARJINA (9) C SOUMILLON 5-1

Comment: Probably the best race in terms of a large number of fancied runners. The Japanese Kongo R will try to lead all the way. Excellent Art is a lucky but over rated horse. I would stake a bet on the improving Spirito Del Vento to finish all over Kongo R. If Downtown can settle well at the paddock and not take the lead till the last 400m, its a decent chance.

HK CUP 2000m Group One HK$20,000,000

1 RAMONTI (4) L DETTORI 11-1
2 VENGEANCE OF RAIN (7) A DELPECH 10-1
3 VIVA PATACA (3) M KINANE 1.4-1
4 SHADOW GATE (2) K TANAKA 17-1
5 ART TRADER (1) D BEADMAN 20-1
6 ROYAL PRINCE (6) B PREBBLE 13-1
7MUSICAL WAY (5) R THOMAS 45-1

Comment: The presence of Viva Pataca scared most of the internationals and locals away, hence the very small field. Haphazard pace is likely in this small field as there are no clear leaders. Royal Prince is a good longshot as I expect Tony Cruz to have the horse ripe for an all the way lead performance. Viva Pataca may/may not cut him down in the end. Vengeance of Rain looks to be past his peak.

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