Flintshire, Cirrus Des Aigles, Buffering and Snow Dragon are among the Group 1 stars from seven nations and jurisdictions heading to Sha Tin on 14 December, to compete with a stellar line-up of Hong Kong’s finest at the HK$83 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races.
A total of 25 overseas raiders and 22 international G1 winners are among the 51 selected horses for the Turf World Championships announced today, Wednesday, 26 November. The LONGINES HKIR is comprised of the HK$25 million LONGINES Hong Kong Cup, the HK$23 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, the HK$18.5 million LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint and the HK$16.5 million LONGINES Hong Kong Vase.
Flintshire brings outstanding form to the 2400m LONGINES Hong Kong Vase. Trainer Andre Fabre has not ducked a test with the four-year-old this year. The 2013 G1 Grand Prix de Paris winner heads to Sha Tin after running second in two of the world’s great mile and a half events this autumn, the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France and the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf in the US.
He is set to face the past two Hong Kong Vase winners, Dominant (2013) and Red Cadeaux (2012), as well another to have made the frame at Santa Anita recently, the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf third, Just The Judge, winner of the G1 E. P. Taylor Stakes in October and the G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2013.
Cirrus Des Aigles is always a headline draw. The French superstar has been in great form this year, winning three G1 races to take his top-flight tally to six. The veteran of many a famous skirmish will be having his fifth start at the LONGINES HKIR when he lines up for the HK$25 million LONGINES Hong Kong Cup, the day’s feature event and the second richest 2000m turf contest in the world. Also selected for that race is the southern hemisphere star Criterion, winner of the G1 Australian Derby this year.
The world’s richest turf mile race, the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, has in its line-up Japan’s top-class milers Grand Prix Boss and Fiero, as well as Britain’s G1 Woodbine Mile victor and G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile third Trade Storm.
An exciting cast for the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint, the world’s most lucrative all-age 1200m contest, features one of Australia’s toughest G1 speedsters, Buffering, alongside European luminaries Gordon Lord Byron and Sole Power. Japan, buoyed by the back-to-back wins of the great and now retired Lord Kanaloa, looks to the G1 Sprinters Stakes one-two of Snow Dragon and Straight Girl, and the speedy G2 winner Little Gerda.
Japan’s representation, with 10 horses in total, will be the largest contingent from that country ever to compete at Hong Kong racing’s flagship event.
“The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races is one of the most lucrative and prestigious days in the horseracing calendar, and, once again, the great talents that comprise the selections for our four Group 1 races illustrate that point,” said William A Nader, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director of Racing.
“We have a slew of proven elite level horses coming to Sha Tin for world racing’s great end-of-year occasion, making up a total of 22 individual winners of 43 Group 1 races. This is always a great showcase of international racing at the highest level with top horses such as Flintshire and Cirrus Des Aigles heading the overseas line-up against the best of Hong Kong.”
The home team features the best Hong Kong has to offer including Horse of the Year Designs On Rome, alongside Blazing Speed, Military Attack and California Memory in the Cup; crack milers Able Friend, Ambitious Dragon, Gold-Fun and Glorious Days; elite sprinters Lucky Nine and Sterling City; and defending champion Dominant in the Vase.
LONGINES Hong Kong Cup
ARCHIMEDES – JPN
Lightly-raced G3 winner and 2nd to Just A Way in 1800m G2 on only start this term back in March.
CIRRUS DES AIGLES– FR
France’s veteran hero of six G1 wins including Prix Ganay, Prix d’Ispahan and Coronation Cup this year.
Winner of G1 Australian Derby (2400m) and G1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) earlier this year and 2nd in October’s G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
FARRAAJ – GB
Won lucrative 2100m handicap at York, UK in July and 3rd latest in G1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, Australia.
MEINER LACRIMA – JPN
Only 10th in G1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin in May but smart winner of 2200m G2 in September.
BLAZING SPEED– HK
Recent G2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) winner landed HKG1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) and HKG1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) last term.
CALIFORNIA MEMORY – HK
Won this in 2011 and 2012 but missed last year’s contest. Ran himself into the shake-up with 4th in Jockey Club Cup latest.
DESIGNS ON ROME– HK
Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year after wins in G1 AP QEII Cup and HKG1 BMW HK Derby at the course and distance.
ENDOWING – HK
Flopped in this in 2013 after winning G2 Jockey Club Cup but back to form latest with close 3rd in that contest.
HELENE SUPER STAR – HK
Won G2 UAE Derby in 2013 and ran on to be 2.75L 9th in G2 Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin latest.
MILITARY ATTACK– HK
Former Horse of the Year and winner in 2013 of G1 AP QEII Cup and G1 SIA Cup.
PLEASURE GAINS – HK
Seven-time HK winner at 1600m-1800m and smart 3rd to Able Friend in April’s HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m).
SAME WORLD – HK
A local G3 winner capable of fair efforts in higher grade including 2nd in 2012 Hong Kong Derby.
LONGINES Hong Kong Mile
CAPTAIN CAT - GB
Dual G3-winning miler and 5th in G1 QE II Stakes at Ascot in October.
FIERO – JPN
Went down by narrowest margin to Danon Shark in G1 Mile Championship at Kyoto recently.
GRAND PRIX BOSS– JPN
Two-time G1 winner and almost got the better of Just A Way in the G1 Yasuda Kinen in June.
HANA’S GOAL – JPN
Dual G3 winner in Japan and victorious in G1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) in Australia earlier this year.
TRADE STORM– GB
Won G1 Woodbine Mile and then third in G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile this autumn.
WORLD ACE – JPN
High-class galloper from a mile to 2400m in Japan and Classic-placed at 3; won 1600m Kyoto G2 in record time in April.
ABLE FRIEND– HK
Brilliant miler and easy winner of G2 Jockey Club Mile last start - runner-up to Variety Club in G1 Champions Mile in May.
AMBITIOUS DRAGON – HK
Dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year and winner of 2012 Hong Kong Mile; back this term after 18-month lay-off.
GLORIOUS DAYS – HK
Won 2013 Hong Kong Mile first-up and previously ran close 2nd to Ambitious Dragon in 2012.
Hong Kong’s champion Miler and runner-up in 2013 Hong Kong Mile but no match for Able Friend last start.
SECRET SHAM – HK
Smart performer from 1200m to 1800m and 4th to Able Friend in G2 Jockey Club Mile last time.
LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint
Stalwart G1 sprinter with four wins at highest grade in Australia; 4th in Darley Classic (1200m) last start.
GORDON LORD BYRON– IRE
Globe-trotting sprinter miler with G1 wins in Britain, Australia and France from 1200m to 1500m.
LITTLE GERDA – JPN
Five-time winner at the distance in Japan including the G2 Centaur Stakes in September.
SNOW DRAGON– JPN
Japanese sprinter who landed first G1 win in the Sprinters Stakes this autumn.
SOLE POWER– IRE
Four-time G1 winner at 1000m and runner-up to Lord Kanaloa in this race last year.
SPALATO – SIN
Six from six in Singapore from 1000m to 2000m including Singapore Derby; lost unbeaten tag in G2 Jockey Club Sprint latest.
STRAIGHT GIRL – JPN
G3 winner and thrice G1-placed this term from 1200m to 1600m, latest when 2nd to Snow Dragon in Sprinters Stakes.
AEROVELOCITY – HK
Six-time course and distance winner and very unlucky when hampered at vital stage in G2 Jockey Club Sprint latest.
FLAGSHIP SHINE – HK
Six-time HK winner from 1200m to 1650m and smart 3rd latest in G2 Jockey Club Sprint.
GOLDEN HARVEST – HK
Course and distance Class 1 winner first-up this term and closing 4th last start in G2 Jockey Club Sprint.
LUCKY NINE– HK
Hong Kong Champion Sprinter, winner of this race in 2011 and last two editions of Singapore’s G1 KrisFlyer International Sprint.
PENIAPHOBIA – HK
Precocious 2yo in Britain, won G2 Jockey Club Sprint latest and bidding to become first 3yo winner of this race.
SMART VOLATILITY – HK
Solid Hong Kong sprinter with four wins at course and distance and 2nd in G2 Jockey Club Sprint last start.
STERLING CITY– HK
G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner in March and no luck in running last time in G2 Jockey Club Sprint.
LONGINES Hong Kong Vase
CURREN MIROTIC – JPN
G2 winner who posted career best effort when 2nd to Gold Ship in G1 Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) in June.
High-class German runner who notched a first G1 win last time in the Preis von Europa (2400m).
G1 winner at 2400m last year and 2nd this term in Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Breeders’ Cup Turf and Coronation Cup.
JUST THE JUDGE – GB
Two-time G1 winner in Irish 1,000 Guineas and E. P. Taylor Stakes and 3rd in Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf latest.
PARISH HALL - IRE
Won G1 Dewhurst Stakes at 2 and G3 winner twice since; 2nd latest in 2400m G3 at Ascot.
RED CADEAUX– GB
Won this race in 2012 and recently 2nd for 3rd time in G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
SNOW SKY – GB
G3 winner at 2400m in UK and classic-placed latest when 3rd in G1 St Leger (2920m).
BUBBLE CHIC– HK
2nd in 2011 G1 Prix du Jockey Club and won HKG3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup at course and distance in May.
DOMINANT – HK
Defeated The Fugue to win this race last year & twice winner of HKG3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup at course and distance.
Five-time winner from 1600m-1800m at Sha Tin and 3rd in HKG3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2400m) in May.
RAINBOW CHIC – HK
G3 winner at 1 600m in France; three-time Hong Kong winner at 1800m and 5th latest in G2 Jockey Club Mile.
WAYFOONG EXPRESS – HK
Three-time HK winner from 1600m-2000m; 6th in last season’s HKG3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2400m)
WILLIE CAZALS– HK
2nd in 2011 G2 Derby Italiano and also in 2013 HKG1 Champions and Chater Cup and HKG3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup.
# LONGINES Hong Kong International Races – Past Results
CIRRUS DES AIGLES
DESIGNS ON ROME
GRAND PRIX BOSS
GORDON LORD BYRON