Magical Looks To Exact Revenge at Longines HKIR

Magical | Racingfotos


It has been 12 months since Ballydoyle's Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) was just beaten to the wire by Japan's Win Bright (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup, but that outfit's globetrotting Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) will try to turn the tables as the marquee name among 15 foreign raiders for the Longines Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse Sunday, Dec. 13.

No fewer than 17 international Group 1 winners are set to compete.

“The Longines Hong Kong International Races is firmly established among a select handful of the world's greatest international racing occasions,” said Andrew Harding, Executive Director, Racing, for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. “To have entries of this calibre in any year would be notable but this year's standard is remarkable given the challenge of the pandemic and all its attendant travel and quarantine issues.”

Magical, who took her career earnings to nearly US$6 million with her runner-up effort to Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal) in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Nov. 7, should be suited by the cutback to the 2000m for the Cup, a distance at which she defeated world's top-rated runner Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in September's G1 Irish Champion S. and future G1 Cox Plate hero Sir Dragonet (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) for a title defence in the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup this past July. A victory would make her the winningest Ballydoyle runner at Group 1 level with eight.

Ballydoyle has supplemented GI Breeders' Cup Mile upsetter Order of Australia (GB) (Australia {GB}) to the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile and he is joined by Lope Y Fernandez (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), who completed an Aidan O'Brien 1-2-3 sweep. G1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Mogul (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), fractionally disappointing when fifth in the Turf, looks to become a third winner of the G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase for O'Brien, while G1 Irish 1000 Guineas victress Peaceful (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) joins Magical in the Cup.

Up-and-coming French trainer Jerome Reynier has two runners engaged for the HKIR. The underrated Skalleti (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}) has finished out of the top three just once in 16 career starts and exits a runner-up effort–with Magical third–to the soft-ground loving Addeybb (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}) in the G1 QIPCO British Champion S. Oct. 17. Royal Julius (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}) adds Hong Kong to his passport, having finished second in the HH The Emir's Trophy in Qatar before winning the 2019 Bahrain International Trophy. He'll take his shot in a compact field in the Vase.

Win Bright looks to run his record over the Sha Tin 2000 metres to three-from-three as he attempts to give Japan a fourth Cup in the last six runnings, and tries to join California Memory (Highest Honor {Fr}) as just the second horse to go back-to-back in the day's richest event. Admire Mars (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}), one of three Japanese-based winners last year, looms the chief threat to locally based Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) in the Mile, and Danon Premium (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), second to Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), and G1 Victoria Mile winner Normcore (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) line up in the Cup. Danon Smash (Jpn), a son of two-time G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint winner Lord Kanaloa, and Godolphin's Tower of London (Jpn) (Raven's Pass) are entered for the 1200-meter dash.

Inferno (Aus) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) represents Singapore and faces a big ask against the likes of Classique Legend (Aus) (Not A Single Doubt {Aus}) and Hot King Prawn (Aus) (Denman {Aus}) in the Sprint. He has conquered all before him at Kranji and has earned the right to compete at this level.

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