Hong Kong

'Emperor', Shinn Shine in Champions and Chater Cup

The mental strain and inner turmoil that COVID-19 has caused in Hong Kong over the past 26 months dictate that the talented Blake Shinn will return to Australia at the end of the current racing season. The 34-year-old, winner at home of the 2008 G1 Melbourne Cup and 2016 G1 Golden Slipper, among other feature races, decided to give Hong Kong a go a couple of years back, and while it has not always been smooth sailing, Shinn has done the hard yards. He improved from 15 wins in his...

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Favourites Oblige on FWD Champions Day

by Alan Carasso There were no surprises among the winners on Sunday's FWD Champions Day program at Sha Tin Racecourse, as the betting favourites in each of the afternoon's three Group 1 affairs each prevailed with a fair bit of authority. Fittingly, the winners will each take down year-end honours in their respective divisions, even as the award for Hong Kong Horse of the Year figures to remain an open and much-debated question for the next 2 1/2 months. Romantic Warrior Dusts Elders in QE II Cup... In one of...

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Derby Form Front and Centre on FWD Champions Day

While the ongoing complications caused by COVID-19 have resulted in no overseas competition, Sunday's FWD Champions Day meeting at Sha Tin will not lack for intrigue, as the region's top horses face a real challenge from the first two home in last month's BMW Hong Kong Derby. Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) is the afternoon's pin-up horse as he seeks an unprecedented 21st career victory when he goes in defence of his crown in the G1 FWD Champions Mile. The 6-year-old suffered the second and third losses of his career...

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Royal Ascot Possible For Zaaki

Multiple Australian Group 1 winner Zaaki (GB) (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}) could return to the Northern Hemisphere and run at Royal Ascot, trainer Annabel Neasham, announced. Racnet.com.au first reported the news. The 7-year-old gelding was successful twice at Group 3 level in his native land for Sir Michael Stoute's Freemason Lodge, and was snapped up by Neasham and Blandford Bloodstock for 150,000gns out of the 2020 Tattersalls Autumn HIT Sale. "I was hoping to take him to Hong Kong for that race, the [G1] Queen Elizabeth Cup, which I think is three...

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Romantic Warrior Leads Irish-Bred 1-2 in Hong Kong Derby

by Alan Carasso In a finish reminiscent of the 2014 BMW Hong Kong Derby, in which the longer-winded Designs On Rome (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) got the better the more distance-limited Able Friend (Aus) (Shamardal) in the dying strides, Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) managed to reel in a very brave California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) to win the HK$24-million domestic centrepiece Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse. Money Catcher (NZ) (Ferlax {NZ}), thrice placed at group level in New Zealand, parlayed a perfect inside trip into a third-place...

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Diabolical Derby Draw for California Spangle

The connections of the speedy California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) were hardly doing cartwheels after their Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) winner was assigned gate 10 in a full field of 14 for Sunday's HK$24-million BMW Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin Racecourse. The winner of six of his eight local starts, California Spangle made all in the Feb. 27 Classic Cup, having endured a tough trip when second to Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) in the Hong Kong Classic Mile back in January. But jockey Zac Purton admits that...

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Former Ballydoyle Charge Set For Hong Kong Debut

Call Me Teddy (Uncle Mo), who won the Listed Doncaster S. when trained by Aidan O'Brien as Lipizzaner, is set to make his Hong Kong debut in Saturday's Class 3 Tai Mei Tuk H. over the straight 1000-metres at Sha Tin Racecourse. Bred in Kentucky by the Irish Lights Syndicate, the bay gelding was runner up in a paid of Naas maidens in the spring of 2020 before a low-odds fourth behind The Lir Jet (Ire) (Prince of Lir {Ire}) and Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) in the G2 Norfolk S....

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California Spangle Passes Test in HK Classic Cup

by Alan Carasso The jury was very much out on California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) going into Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Cup as to whether the speedy 4-year-old would be suited by an 1800-metre trip after just failing to see out the Hong Kong Classic Mile a month ago, albeit from a miserable draw. It took less than 107 seconds to deliver the verdict, as the joint-highest galloper in the field took command at once from a middle barrier and proved not for catching. Away without incident from gate...

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Romantic Warrior Shoots For Six Straight In Classic Cup

European-sourced Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) has answered every question that has been asked of him in his five racetrack appearances to date and will look to keep the ball rolling as the horse to beat in Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. A 300,000gns purchase by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Tattersalls October in 2019 and later re-sold for HK$4.8 million at the unique Hong Kong International Sale, Romantic Warrior annexed his first three starts, each over six furlongs, and proved easily best when...

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Golden Sixty Looking To Bounce Back in Gold Cup Defence

Having suffered a shock defeat when last seen in the G1 Stewards' Cup--his first in over 30 months--Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) will have atonement on his mind when he goes in search of back-to-back victories in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000mT) Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse. There was plenty to play for in the Stewards', as Golden Sixty had taken his winning streak to 16 with a second consecutive success in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile in December and had the chance to draw...

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Acclamation's Romantic Warrior Remains Perfect In Classic Mile

by Alan Carasso Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), a graduate of the unique Hong Kong International Sale, took his record to five-from-five with a tough victory over pacesetting California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) in Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Mile, the first of three legs of the 4YO Series in the jurisdiction. The Irishman (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) rallied from midfield to finish a clear third. Winner of five of his six starts, California Spangle--the top-rated galloper in the field--crossed and cleared his rivals from barrier 13 and set a reasonable...

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Waikuku Stuns The World In Stewards' Cup

The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic dictated that there would be no one on hand Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse to 'witness' the running of the G1 Stewards' Cup. But there was a collective 'silence' right round the world when Waikuku (Ire) (Harbour Watch {Ire}) crossed the wire three-parts of a length to the good of the virtually unbeatable Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro), who saw his attempt to equal the winning streak of Silent Witness (Aus) go by the wayside while tasting defeat for just the second time...

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