Hong Kong

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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Derby Winners Throw Down In Hong Kong Gold Cup

Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) and Furore (NZ) (Pierro {Aus}), winners of the BMW Hong Kong Derby in 2020 and 2019, respectively, treated racing fans to an epic final-furlong battle in Sunday's G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, with the undisputed current king of the hill in the jurisdiction just clawing his way past Furore to take his current winning streak to 13 and his overall record to a spectacular 16 from 17. Golden Sixty is now within four victories of the record currently held by the legendary Silent Witness...

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American Pharoah Represented By First Hong Kong Starter

'TDN Rising Star' Congratulation (American Pharoah), previously raced in Europe as Monarch of Egypt, will become his sire's first runner in Hong Kong when he steps out in Sunday's Class 1 Chinese New Year Cup H. over 1400 metres at Sha Tin Racecourse. Bred in Kentucky by Ran Jan Racing Inc. and trained by Aidan O'Brien for Peter Brant, Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier and Derrick Smith, the $750,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase won on Naas debut in April 2019 to become American Pharoah's first winner before finishing runner-up to Siskin...

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Friendless 'Proposal' Makes Amends in Hong Kong Classic Mile

Those who got stuck into Sunday's Hong Kong Classic Mile from a pari-mutuel standpoint very much adopted a 'what-have-you-done-for-me-lately' approach, failing to give the talented Excellent Proposal (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) the benefit of the doubt for a dismal last-out performance in Class 2 company Jan. 10. Dismissed at 22-1, a massive overlay given the promise he'd shown previously, the chestnut rallied wide beneath Blake Shinn and charged home to cause the boilover. Lucky Express (Aus) (Toronado {Ire}) lasted for second from a desperately unlucky Tourbillon Diamond (Aus) (Olympic...

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At Long Last, Hot King Prawn Gets His Group 1

Entering Sunday's G1 Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin, the likeable Hot King Prawn (Aus) (Denman {Aus}) had won half of his 22 career starts and had been out of the top three on just four occasions. His record at Group 1 level left more to be desired, as he had been blanked from seven previous tries, but the John Size trainee righted that wrong with a convincing success Sunday. Drawn gate two for Joao Moreira, Hot King Prawn was driven along early and found himself in the perfect spot...

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A Dozen On the Trot For Golden Sixty

Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) had to channel his inner Usain Bolt in Sunday's G1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin, as the 5-year-old sprinted his final half-mile in a mind-boggling :44.18 and final 400 metres in a staggering :21.80 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. His record now stands at 16 starts for 15 wins and his 12th consecutive score draws him ever closer to the local record of 17 straight held by the legendary Silent Witness (Aus). Very little went according to script. With Zac Purton steering,...

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Fownes Sends Out 'Delight'-ful Duo In Classic Mile

Ten years on from his lone success in the Hong Kong Classic Mile with Lucky Nine (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), trainer Caspar Fownes starts two of the three top-rated gallopers in the first of the three legs of the 4YO Classic Series at Sha Tin Sunday afternoon. Enrich Delight (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) will try to give his sire back-to-back winners of the Classic Mile, following on the success of Golden Sixty (Aus) last year, and has done little wrong in two Class 2 appearances over 1400 metres. A maiden winner and...

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Golden Sixty Back To Work at Sha Tin

Exiting an imperious victory in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile Dec. 13, Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) goes in search of his 12th consecutive victory and 15th from 16 starts overall when he takes on a field of mostly familiar faces in Sunday's G1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. Winner of seven straight during the 2019/2020 season, including a sweep of the 4-year-old Classics, the Queensland-bred gelding has yet to be tested in four runs this term and his Hong Kong Mile success came at the expense of...

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