Longines Hong Kong International Races

German Target Possible For Pyledriver

Group 1 winner Pyledriver (GB) (Harbour Watch {Ire}), who won June's G1 Coronation Cup, is under consideration for the Nov. 7 Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich, according to co-trainer William Muir. The 4-year-old entire has been out of action since a minor setback ended planned starts in the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot and in York's G1 Juddmonte International S. "I'll let him tell me when he's ready," said Muir, who trains with Chris Grassick. "After York I said I wouldn't set more targets...

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Targets Aplenty For Lady Bowthorpe

Fresh and well after her maiden Group 1 victory in the Nassau S. at the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Thursday, William Jarvis trainee Lady Bowthorpe (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) is eyeing a pair of top flight races in France. The first target for the 5-year-old mare is the G1 Prix Jean Romanet on Aug. 22, and, if the bay continues to thrive, the G1 Prix de l'Opera on Arc day would come next. "I haven't been back [to the yard] myself, but I've had reports that everything is good with her...

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For Second Straight Year, Longines HKIR Prove Odds-Defying Show

by Alan Carasso Hong Kong was in the throes of massive social unrest at the time of the 2019 Longines Hong Kong International Races, protests had taken place at the Chinese University of Hong Kong literally steps away from Sha Tin Racecourse, and the city bore the scars of the same. The tension was palpable, yet the Hong Kong Jockey Club staged a successful renewal of the races, so successful, in fact, that record turnover of HK$1.71 billion was realised. Only weeks after, Hong Kong was enveloped in the global...

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Reynier On the Road Again

Jerome Reynier may lack the name recognition and firepower enjoyed by his fellow Frenchmen like Arc-winner Jean-Claude Rouget, the legendary Andre Fabre and rising star Francis-Henri Graffard. But the 35-year-old, based in Marseille in the southeast of France, can boast of sharing a spot with that esteemed company on the French trainers' premiership by earnings (north of €2 million in France alone, good for ninth place) and by number of winners (81, sixth most). Reynier can close what by any metric has been an outstanding season this weekend in Hong...

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'Sixty' Set to Confirm Status As Hong Kong's 'Golden' Child

History tells us that when one darling of the Hong Kong turf fades into the sunlight, almost invariably--though not to be taken for granted--another one appears. Fairy King Prawn (Aus) was the marquee Hong Kong galloper at the turn of the century and it wasn't long after that Silent Witness (Aus) took the jurisdiction by storm, embarking on a 17-race winning streak that included back-to-back runnings of the G1 Hong Kong Sprint in 2003-2004. A Derby win often paves the path to Hong Kong super-stardom, and such was the case...

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TDN Q & A: HKJC Chief Racecaller Mark McNamara

Having broken into the racecalling business nearly a quarter-century ago, Mark McNamara has worked his way up from describing the action at Moruya in southeastern New South Wales in Australia to becoming one of the primary voices of New Zealand racing from 2009 to 2019. McNamara, now in his early 40s, returned for a short time to Australia, but the job of chief commentator for the Hong Kong Jockey Club came open in late 2019 when Brett Davis announced that he would be returning to Adelaide to take a similar...

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Soumillon Ruled Out of HKIR

Christophe Soumillon will miss Sunday's Hong Kong International Races meeting after failing to secure an 'unconditional' release from the 14-day quarantine he has been undertaking in Hong Kong. Having been granted a short-term riding contract with the Hong Kong Jockey Club set to begin HKIR day Dec. 13 and last through Feb. 14, Soumillon--who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Breeders' Cup in Kentucky early last month--arrived Nov. 26. A release from the Club Thursday evening indicated that even though Soumillon had cleared his first COVID-19 test upon his arrival,...

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'Legend' Unluckiest Among Favorites at Longines HKIR Draw

A total of 39 horses representing Hong Kong, Japan, Ireland and France were entered and barriers drawn Thursday morning for Sunday's HK$95 million Longines Hong Kong International Races meeting at Sha Tin Racecourse. Although Boniface Ho's Classique Legend (Aus) (Not A Single Doubt {Aus}) has yet to win a race at Group 1 level--he is a multiple Group 2 winner in Australia--he is one of the marquee horses of this year's HKIR, having arrived in Hong Kong on the back of a dominating victory in the A$15-million The Everest at...

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Longines HKIR Notebook: Japanese Runners Do Their Thing

One of the more anticipated mornings leading up to the Longines Hong Kong International Races comes midweek, when the horses representing Japan are allowed to flex their muscle. Four of the six runners that will fly the Japanese flag in three of Sunday's four races did just that Wednesday morning at Sha Tin. Japan fields three of the eight entrants for the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup, a race won by its team in three of the last five years. Danon Premium (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) will try to give...

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Purton By a Nose In Longines IJC As Doyle Lands a Winner

For the second time in four years, Zac Purton, Hong Kong's leading jockey in each of the last three seasons, hoisted the trophy following the Longines International Jockeys' Championship held Wednesday evening at Happy Valley Racecourse. But a fair bit of the spotlight shone upon Hollie Doyle, who capped a fairytale season with a victory in the fourth and final leg of the series, good for a share of third place in the competition. The 24-year-old, who along with her partner Tom Marquand was part of a six-strong European contingent,...

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Longines HKIR Notebook: Inferno Out of the Sprint

Barree Stable's Singapore-based Inferno (Aus) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) has been scratched from Sunday's G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin after being found to be lame in his left front leg by Hong Kong Jockey Club veterinarians Tuesday. Very little went as planned for Inferno on his trip over to Hong Kong. The air conditioning in the horse float that transported Inferno from Kranji Racecourse to Changi Airport about 30 minutes away broke down and the horse was subjected to the heat for three hours. He then had...

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Asmussen Has Fingerprints All Over HK International Races

Former jockey Cash Asmussen is the owner of a Hong Kong International Races-related accomplishment that will never be surpassed. Asmussen, who remains hands-on at the age of 58 at the Asmussen Horse Center in South Texas trying to raise the next generation of equine stars, has not only called the shots aboard a couple of rare American-bred HKIR winners, but shortly after his retirement in 2001, he also helped select a Keeneland September yearling on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club who would go on to create history. Heady...

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