Hong Kong

Record-Breaking Season Concludes in Hong Kong

The 2020/2021 racing season in Hong Kong concluded July 14, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club reporting turnover in excess of HK$130 billion (£12.1b/€14.2b/US$16.7b) for the first time. A total of 88 meetings--one more than last season--were conducted between September and July, with no programs lost to the coronavirus. The HKJC staged 835 races at Sha Tin and Happy Valley Racecourses, and took 206 races from overseas for simulcasting purposes. Total turnover was HK$136 billion, representing a 12.1% increase over last season. The HKJC is the single largest taxpayer in...

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Golden Sixty Crowned Hong Kong Horse of the Year

Having secured champion 4-year-old honours in 2019-2020, courtesy of his sweep of the local Triple Crown, Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) capped a perfect 5-year-old campaign by being named the Horse of the Year in Hong Kong during ceremonies held Tuesday evening at Happy Valley Racecourse. Bred in Queensland by Asco International Pty Ltd., Golden Sixty--an A$120,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling turned NZ$300,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run breezer, took his overall winning streak to 14 during the season and to 17 from 18 overall, using his trademark...

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Hong Kong Horse of the Year Exultant Retired

Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}--Contrary {Ire}, by Mark of Esteem {Ire}), arguably the best stayer to be based in Hong Kong and the jurisdiction's Horse of the Year in 2019-2020, has been officially retired from racing, according to information on the Hong Kong Jockey Club website. Bred by Belinda Strudwick's Co. Kilkenny-based Ballygallon Stud, Exultant was raced by his breeder as Irishcorrespondent in Europe and was trained by Mick Halford to a third-place effort behind Churchill (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) in unsuitably soft ground in the...

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Panfield Ascends To New Heights in Champions & Chater Cup

Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) was a well-backed third in the 2018 BMW Hong Kong Derby before winning the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup H. and finishing runner-up in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup. Three years on, South American import Panfield (Chi) (Lookin At Lucky), who racked up a trio of top-level successes on home soil prior to his sale to Hong Kong, outran odds of 25-1 to complete the tierce in this year's Derby and was only fifth to Butterfield (Brz) (Setembro Chove {Brz}) in the Queen...

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Double Dose of Ho On FWD Champions Day

On this day 12 months ago, jockey Vincent Ho guided Southern Legend (Aus) (Not A Single Doubt {Aus}) to an upset victory in the FWD Champions Mile, his first Group 1 score some 10 years removed from being named the champion apprentice rider in Hong Kong and about a month after throwing Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) across the line first in the prestigious BMW Hong Kong Derby. Sunday's FWD Champions Day program at Sha Tin, attended by the biggest on-track crowd since COVID-19 took hold last year, marked a...

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Japanese Horses Clash With Locals on FWD Champions Day

Japanese-based gallopers have left their mark on FWD Champions Day at Hong Kong's Sha Tin Racecourse, and as many as five raiders from the nearby island nation will attempt to continue that trend this weekend in front of as many as 6,000 racegoers as COVID restrictions ease in the region. The day's richest event at HK$25 million is the G1 FWD QE II Cup (2000mT), in which Japan owns four of the seven entries with a cloud hanging over the participation of 2019 G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase hero Glory...

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Faves In Five For FWD Champions Day

Barriers were drawn Thursday morning in the Sha Tin parade ring for Sunday's FWD Champions Day meeting, featuring a trio of Group 1 events worth a combined HK$63 million (about US$8.1 million). Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) is perfectly drawn for his get-back, run-on style that has seen him greet the judge on no fewer than 13 straight occasions, including the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile and G1 Stewards' Cup in his two most recent trips at the 1600 metres. He faces just five others in the G1 FWD Champions...

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Sky Darci Leaves Fownes, Moreira 'Beaming' After HK Derby

by Alan Carasso Any time you hand the car keys to Joao Moreira, you have a fair bit of confidence that good things are to come. Still, entering Sunday's HK$24-million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin, there were questions aplenty as to whether Sky Darci (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}), the race's highest-rated galloper, would see out the trip, having underperformed in the two lead-up events. But, one race after bringing up his 100th winner for the season, the 'Magic Man' put a brilliant steer on the Kiwi-bred and...

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'Emperor' Leads European-Raced Hong Kong Derby Entrants

During the nine-year stretch from 2006-2014, no fewer than five European-bred and -raced gallopers were successful in the BMW Hong Kong Derby: Viva Pataca (GB) (Marju {Ire}, 2006); Helene Mascot (Ire) (Peintre Celebre, 2008); Collection (Ire) (Peintre Celebre, 2009); Akeed Mofeed (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}, 2013); and Designs On Rome (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), 2014). Sunday's 2000-metre feature at Sha Tin includes five horses--four European-bred, one US-bred--that were imported with this very race in mind. Here is a brief recap of how they have gotten to this point. For handicapping...

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Luck of Hong Kong Derby Draw Favours Russian Emperor

After finishing a barnstorming second from gate 11 in a slowly run renewal of the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) four weeks back, last year's G3 Hampton Court S. scorer Russian Emperor (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) was assigned barrier five as post positions were drawn Thursday for the HK$24 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse. The former Aidan O'Brien galloper was no factor and well beaten in his first two local appearances, including a ninth to the upset-minded Excellent Proposal (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) in...

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'Up' and Coming Son of American Pharoah Set for Hong Kong Derby

Jan Vandebos and her late husband Robert Naify paid a visit to Coolmore on a trip to Ireland several years ago, fueling a desire to seed her high-quality broodmare band with a mare by the world's most dominant stallion. That rendezvous set in motion a chain of events that will see the RanJan Racing-bred Congratulation (American Pharoah), the former 'TDN Rising Star' Monarch of Egypt, take part in one of the world's richest age-restricted events, the HK$24-million (US$ 3.09 million) BMW Hong Kong Derby (NH/SH 4-year-olds only, 2000mT) Sunday afternoon...

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Big 'Cap Latest In Purple Patch of Form For Top Line Sales

In the fall of 2018, Torie and Jimbo Gladwell, owners of the Ocala-based Top Line Sales, welcomed into their training program a colt by Curlin out of the stakes-winning Marion Ravenwood (A.P. Indy). Some 2 1/2 years later, the bay colt--now named Idol--is a Grade I winner, having flown home down the center of the track to take out the prestigious Santa Anita H. Mar. 6. The victory was the second leg of a unique triple for Top Line graduates over the last few weeks. Idol was bred by Len...

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