At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, 4YO UK-bred gelding Time Warp (Archipenko-Here To Eternity, by Stormy Atlantic) landed the biggest prize of his career when scoring a powerful front-running victory in the HK$25 million Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), defeating Werther & Neorealism. Time Warp, who began his career in Europe, improved his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Prix de Pontarme) and 7 placings (including the Gr2 Jockey Club Cup) from 23 starts for £2,081,457 in earnings. Trainer Tony Cruz said he was not surprised by the win. “It’s no big surprise to me. The horse has been pushing me to run in this class of race and I believe there is a lot of horse in him. 2000 metres around this course is perfect for him. If he has it his way, nobody can beat him," he said.
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.
Superstar mare Winx heads the list of 141 horses entered for the 2017 Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Tuesday's noon closing time, reports racing.com. Winx, who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in May this year, is preparing for an historic spring campaign in which she will attempt to join the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. Among those horses nominated for the $3 million weight-for-age feature at Moonee Valley on 28 October are 15 international entries, including Japanese star Neorealism, English Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher, and Highland Reel, who was third behind Winx in the 2015 edition of the race. Click here for the full list of Cox Plate nominations.
In an effort to at least make the 2017 instalment of the Gr1 Cox Plate mildly competitive, leading international gallopers from five major racing nations have been extended an “all-expenses paid trip” to make the journey to Moonee Valley this October to take on the World’s Best Turf Horse, reports theage.com.au. Although the Coolmore-owned Adelaide was superior to all in the 2014 running, high quality horses such as Highland Reel and French import Vadamos have been uncompetitive against Winx in the past two years. One stumbling block for the MVRC, as it is each year, will be attempting to lure the thoroughbred elite like French prepared Almanzoor and the Aidan O’Brien mare Minding at the same time as one of the world’s premier races, the Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is run in Paris. Chief among contenders to make the trip Downunder appear to be Japanese Derby winner Makahahi, and possibly Godolphin-trained Ribchester, although he is yet to shine beyond a mile. Also invited will be Champion Hong Kong galloper Werther, ironically often partnered by Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman, while Hong Kong QEII winner Neorealism, another part of a strong Japanese juggernaut is also likely to be pursued. Last year’s Gr1 Caulfield Cup runner-up, Scottish, may also return, with trainer Charlie Appleby sure to have the Cox Plate in his sights. MVRC CEO Michael Browell commented, "The Club has sought to invite the world's premier middle distance weight-for-age horses and, working in conjunction with Racing Victoria's International Agent Leigh Jordon, we are confident we have identified horses that may be attracted by our lucrative prizemoney and incentives.” He added, "The recent global recognition of the W.S. Cox Plate undoubtedly helped us market our race to international connections, but there is no denying the two-sided effect Winx can have on the race."
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, 6YO Japanese entire Neorealism (Neo Universe-Tokio Reality, by Meadowlake), a three-quarter-brother to Arrowfield Stud stallion Real Impact, scored by a neck for trainer Noriyuki Hori in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m), defeating the fast finishing Pakistan Star & defending champion Werther. Jockey Joao Moreira, who claimed a 5-win haul on the day, celebrated his first win in the HK$20 million feature. “When you win a race like this for the first time, it is always special,” Moreira told the South China Morning Post. Neorealism improved his record to 8 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Kyoto Mile Championship) from 19 starts for ¥397,006,150 in earnings.
At Kyoto racecourse in Japan, 5YO entire Mikki Isle (Deep Impact-Star Isle, by Rock of Gibraltar) survived a stewards inquiry to post the second top flight victory of his career when scoring by a head for trainer Hidetaka Otonashi in the 33rd running of the Gr1 Mile Championship (8 furlongs) for 3YO+, over fellow 5YO entires Isla Bonita (Fuji Kiseki-Isla Cozzene, by Cozzene) & Neorealism (Neo Universe-Tokio Reality, by Meadowlake). Mikki Isle improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 NHK Mile Cup) from 19 starts for ¥529,481,000 in earnings.