A total of 293 horses have been nominated at the first stage for the HK$84.5 million Hong Kong International Races which will take place at Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday, 10 December. The meeting consists of four Group One events, namely the HK$25 million Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the HK$23 million Gr1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), the HK$18.5 million Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), and the HK$18 million Gr1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Among the overseas stars entered are top-class UK miler Ribchester, Ballydoyle stable-mates Highland Reel and Roly Poly, Japan's QEII Cup winner Neorealism, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Cloth Of Stars. The home contingent includes former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, last year's Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only, and gun sprinters Lucky Bubbles and Mr Stunning. There are 17 Australian horses entered, including Gr1 winners Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, and Boom Time, as well as Takedown and In Her Time.
The final nominees for 2016/17 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards have been announced. Winners of the Champion Awards will be announced at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards 2016/2017 presentation ceremony to be held on Friday, 14 July, at the Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The Champion Awards Judging Panel has also decided to present Lifetime Achievement Awards to Able Friend and Aerovelocity, in recognition of their great contributions to Hong Kong racing. The finalists are:
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, multiple US Gr1-winning sprinter & Darley shuttler Street Boss (Street Cry-Blushing Ogygian, by Ogygian) added a Group success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Rapper Dragon (Street Boss-Swing Dance, by Danehill Dancer) scored by 0.5 length for trainer John Moore in the G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m), over 6YO Irish-bred gelding Beauty Only (Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) & 6YO US-bred gelding Circuit Land (Mizzen Mast-Storm Dove, by Storm Bird). Fresh from his clean sweep of the 4YO series in which he became the first horse in history to claim the 4YO Triple Crown, Rapper Dragon, who raced in Australia as Street Rapper, advanced his record to 9 wins (including the Hong Kong Derby, Hong Kong Classic Mile & Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 17 starts for $5,284,605 earnings. “Now I’m convinced that he’s the best horse in town,” champion jockey Joao Moreira said. “That number one spot was open and there to be taken, and he looked like he was going to be the one.” Trainer John Moore agreed with Moreira’s assessment and confirmed that Rapper Dragon’s next start would be in the Gr1 Champions Mile on 7 May. “I’d go along with that, certainly, he’s the best we’ve got in the stable now that Able Friend’s racing career is at an end. If he wins the Champions Mile there’d be no doubt at all…”
A total of 151 nominations have been weighted for the 152nd running of the $ 3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick on 1 April. Heading the weights is Godolphin's dual Gr1 winner Hartnell, who has been allocated top weight of 58kg on a 50kg minimum (49kg for 3YOs). Next in line on 57kg is Black Heart Bart, a four-time Gr1 winner ranging from distances of 1200m to 1800m. Also allocated with 57kg are two international entries from Hong Kong, Beauty Only and Helene Paragon. Both horses are Gr1 winners in their own country. The Japanese mare Smart Layer is the highest weighted mare on 54.5kg, with the next highest weighted mares being First Seal and English with 53kg. Prized Icon and Astern head the 3YO and will be asked to carry 53kg, while Global Glamour and I Am A Star head the weights for 3YO fillies with 51kg. Global Glamour and Sense of Occasion are exempt from the ballot for winning the Gr1 Flight Stakes and Gr2 Villiers Stakes respectively. Click here to view all the weights.
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, dual Gr1-winning former Coolmore shuttler Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill-L'On Vite, by Secretariat) celebrated an elite success when 5YO Irish-bred gelding Beauty Only (Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) scored by 0.5 length for trainer Tony Cruz in the Gr1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), over 4YO French-bred entire Helene Paragon (Polan-High Zaff, by High Chaparral) & 4YO Irish-bred gelding Joyful Trinity (Zanzibari-Bargouzine, by Stravinsky). Beauty Only improved his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Mile & Gr2 HKJC Chairman's Trophy) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 HKJC Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup) from 28 starts for €3,922,002 earnings.
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, multiple US Gr1-winning sprinter & Darley shuttler Street Boss (Street Cry-Blushing Ogygian, by Ogygian) added a Group success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding Rapper Dragon (Street Boss-Swing Dance, by Danehill Dancer) scored by 1.25-lengths for trainer John Moore in the HK$3 million Gr3 Lion Rock Trophy (1600m), over 5YO Irish-bred gelding Beauty Only (Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) & 6YO UK-bred gelding Secret Weapon (Choisir-Just Devine, by Montjeu). This was the first stakes victory for Rapper Dragon who improved his record 5 wins and 3 placings (including the ATC Champagne Stakes) from 12 starts for $1,237,304 earnings. Formerly campaigned as Street Rapper in Australia, Rapper Dragon is out of the unraced mare Swing Dance (Danehill Dancer), a half-sister to Gr1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner Amanpour. Rapper Dragon is therefore a direct descendant of influential matriarch Natalma, dam of legendary stallion Northern Dancer and great grand-dam of the great Danehill.
At Sha Tin, former 6-time Chilean Champion Sire Hussonet (Mr Prospector-Sacahuista, by Raja Baba), who relocated from Arrowfield Stud to stand at Cornerstone Stud, celebrated a major Gr1 success when Australian-bred 5YO gelding Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison, by Commands) scored by 1.8-lengths for trainer John Size in the HK$10 million Gr1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), over fellow 5YO geldings Beauty Flame (Footstepsinthesand-Lucy Diamonds, by Orpen) & Beauty Only (Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal). Purchased for $65,000 by John Foote Bloodstock at the 2012 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud, Contentment took his record to 9 wins (also including the Gr3 Celebration Cup and 14 placings (including the Gr1 Stewards' Cup earlier this month & Gr2 Jockey Club Mile) from 16 starts for HK$18,438,600 earnings.
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, former triple European Gr1-winning Coolmore shuttler & now South African-based sire Oratorio (Danehill-Mahrah, by Vaguely Noble) aded a Group success when 8YO Irish-bred gelding Military Attack (Oratorio-Almaaseh, by Dancing Brave) scored by a head for trainer Caspar Fownes in the HK$4 million Gr2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) for 3YO+, over 7YO UK-bred gelding Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas-Leukippids, by Sadler's Wells) & 5YO Irish-bred gelding Beauty Only (Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal). Former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Military Attack took his record to 13 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup & Gr1 Singapore Airlines International Cup) and 11 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Cup, Gr1 Singapore Airlines International Cup & Gr2 HKJC Jockey Club Cup) from 38 starts for £4,708,508 earnings.
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, dual Gr1-winning former Coolmore shuttler Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill-L'On Vite, by Secretariat) celebrated a Gr1 success when 3YO Irish-bred gelding Beauty Only (Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) scored by 2.25-lengths for trainer Tony Cruz in the HK$8 million Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), over 4YO Australian-bred gelding Divine Calling (Stratum-Rubicall, by Rubiton) & 3YO US-bred gelding Giant Treasure (Mizzen Mast-Palisade, by Gone West). This was the first Gr1 victory for Beauty Only who took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 Premio Guido Berardelli in Rome) from 9 starts for €793,126 earnings.