Almond Eye Withdrawn From Hong Kong Cup


Almond Eye | Horsephotos

Reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who was to be the pin-up horse for this year's Longines Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday week, has been removed from quarantine and will remain in Japan. She was scheduled to make the relatively short trip to Hong Kong Saturday.

Almond Eye completed her final piece of fast work for the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup Thursday to the apparent delight of her connections, but it was reported Saturday that she spiked a bit of a temperature Friday morning. While that normalised, her white blood cell count remained elevated, leaving connections with no choice but to call off the trip.

When invitations were announced for the Cup, the field of 10 was headed by Almond Eye, the G1 Dubai Turf and recent G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) victress and Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a multiple Group 1 winner for Ballydoyle this season and something of a surprise entrant, given that her connections had announced their intentions to breed her to No Nay Never next year. The euphoria over a meeting of the two super-fillies was short-lived, however, as Magical was withdrawn from the Cup less than a day later.

Almond Eye's absence leaves a field of eight for the richest race (HK$28 million) on the Hong Kong racing calendar.

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